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Despite Planning, 'Holidaze' Unavoidable
I’m sorry for the bah-humbuggers who can’t wait for December to end because they stress themselves out with orgies of shopping and jam-packed calendars. I achieve a peaceful and merry Christmas spirit by starting preparations early and careful planning.. The week after Thanksgiving we got 200 Christmas cards ready to mail, and I knew what my Christmas columns would be.
Last Monday The house is decorated, and tonight we’ll do the tree.
Tuesday: :Set up the manger scene that my parents gave me when I was twelve. Not to worry about next week’s column, am using a hoot of a story that a friend e-mailed. Dinner with friends where we told tree stories.. One year we bought a lovely tree that reeked of cat as it became warm in the house. We laughed merrily at a friend. He was teaching full time and attending law school at night. Their Christmas tree kept falling over. Finally, our friend, a gentle man and the best of husbands and fathers, succumbed to bottled-up stress, pitched the tree out the door and chopped it up.
6:00 AM Wednesday: Instead of writing, I sit and absorb the snowscape outside that’s as lovely as the one in the movie "White Christmas." . No bird, animal or car track mars the pristine snow. Oh the blissful calm of it! What a lovely Christmas I’m having. I’ve even done most of my shopping.
Wednesday evening; We hear a thud, rush to living room. Tree has fallen over. There’s glass on the floor, and the tree is a mess. Am no longer laughing about our friend’s plight. Fortunately, the most precious ornaments aren’t broken. However, Bill’s family believe that broken ornaments mean bad luck. Also, they insist that the tree must come down before New Year’s Day. . "Pooh!" I say. "Inanimate objects have no influence on events." "I’m not superstitious," Bill replies. "Just careful!"
Thursday: We move stuff out of our home office. Technicians are arriving tomorrow to change our telephone and television systems. During the process, my writing files and notebooks fall on the floor and become a jumbled mess that I throw into a box to deal with later.
Friday: Grocery shopping. Technician says here’s a problem. They’ll come back another day.
Saturday: Early AM, I finish the grocery shopping for a couple of parties we’re having. One of my best suggestions is shop early to avoid the crowds!. Am becoming a tad concerned because I haven’t found the story for my column. Laboriously I search through masses of papers and notebooks . . . "It has to be here .Where is it? . . ."
6:00 AM Sunday: I hunt through everything again. "Where is it? Where is it? It has to be here. It has to be here!" Still no luck. 10:45: Am standing next to the tree when it tips over again. I catch hold of it and shriek for Bill. He’s in the shower and can’t hear me. When he comes out we stand the disheveled tree up again. Our friends--including the one who chopped up their tree--arrive in half an hour to go out for a festive brunch followed by a trip down memory lane at a Brenda Lee concert. Bill, wearing only his underwear, vacuums up pine needles while I take a hasty shower Next the grapevine wreath that Vicki made falls from its place above the fireplace.
5:00 AM Monday: While I’m getting my coffee a crash in the kitchen awakens Bill. The dustbuster has fallen off the top of the fridge--dunno how! No, I do not believe in poltergeists! Still no XC#$%* E-mail story. I start column. I’m no Hemingway or Garrison Keiler, but I know how they felt when they lost manuscripts. I tell editors that I’ll be late.
4:30 AM Tuesday: Am writing frantically, making corrections and inserting material. Eek! Something has gone wrong with this @#!$% computer. Every time I type a letter the next one is erased. I’m afraid to try some of the "command" keys lest I lock this thing up or lose everything. I must not miss the final, sacrosanct deadline. What to do? What to do? Help! (There is no help.)
What, me stressed during this jolly season?
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