Some things just make me scratch my head in wonder, especially around this time of year:
- Inflatable lawn decorations that mostly just look like oversized deflated balloons strewn about the lawn, except for the few hours each night they "come alive." They're kind of freaky, aren't they? But put a giant inflatable snow globe out there and suddenly it all comes together. Not!
- Tissue paper. I hate the whole tissue paper thing. Why do we need to use tissue paper when wrapping gifts in perfectly good clean boxes and bags? It just gets thrown away, right? Unless you're like my husband who insists we save boxes (good idea) and tissue paper (kind of annoying). I'm going to see if I can get away without the tissue paper this year on the very few clothing articles I'm giving as gifts!
- Stockings. Who ever got the crazy idea to hide stuff in giant oversized socks? I know, it has its roots in tradition but honestly . . . do we still need to hang socks around the house?
- The day after Christmas. I swear, some people live for this day. Why? To stand in line to return and exchange things because everything's marked down after Christmas? I know – I worked retail in a department store one Christmas – never again. People literally told me on Christmas eve that they'd be back the day after to exchange things so they could get a better deal! Go figure.
- Giving to get. By this I mean those super deals where YOU get something for yourself when you spend so much money. You know – buy $100 in gift cards and get a $20 gift card for yourself. Huh? Even Christian organizations do this . . . when you call now and pledge so much money, we'll send you a really nice calendar that you really don't need but we'll send it anyways cuz we're just nice that way and besides we have 5000 extra we need to get rid of. Really now, is it about the giving or the getting?
Now lest you think I'm a total Grinch, let me share a few things I totally "get" about Christmas.
- Olives. It's the one time a year I can eat entire cans of black olives and not feel bad (well, a little sick, yes but no guilt!)
- Nut roll. Nuff said!
- Starbuck's gift cards. Sorry but you can never have too many of these.
- Family Christmas newsletters. I know these have taken their share of bashing over the years but I truly love hearing what's going on in people's lives and hey, if Christmas is the time they feel compelled to share . . . bring it on! BTW . . . I still hear from my dear 7th grade teacher Mr. Witt every year. Well, actually it's his wife that sends a handwritten card updating me on their family doings. What a blessing to keep in touch with people, even if it only happens at Christmas.
- Kenny G "Miracles" CD playing on Christmas eve, sitting with Mike in front of the Christmas tree (which is barely decorated this year but with the lights on, you can hardly tell!) Just sitting, savoring the moment . . . until he can't take it anymore and the TV goes back on!