Merry Crisis! Happy Stressmas! Oh, wait, that’s not right. Except maybe the stress in Christmas. This is the most stressful time of the year…oh, wait, I have to pay an overdue bill I forgot. Be back, one sec.
Really, it is a time saver to pay bills online, but why is such a simple procedure so time consuming? I need to get my head wrapped around Christmas, so I turn the radio to the station that has the 24/7 continuous Christmas music that started last month. I guess it is all right since there is not really any Halloween music anyway and only one song that could pertain to Thanksgiving.
Christmas tree lights on a tree is a very old tradition, dating back to the 17th century in Germany when those who had money decorated their trees with candles. In 1882, an associate of Thomas Edison and vice president of Edison Light Company, Edward Johnson, had 80 red, white and blue incandescent light bulbs the size of walnuts specially designed for his Christmas tree. But it was not until the 1930s that it became feasible to have the little globes replace candles for most people. From then to now: zoo lights and massive displays, to the tune of 250,000 lights at a Colorado mall, for the wonderment of all. Which reminds me to take down the outdoor lights, which reminds me that I need a better ladder this year, as statistics show that I am more likely to die from falling off a ladder stringing lights than I am to be killed by a terrorist.
Oh, darn! Forget to order the Christmas dinner roast. Quick phone call to QFC. That exasperated sigh gave my memory a jolt. I’m sorry to have added some stress to the guy taking my order who remembered that I already ordered it when I picked up the Thanksgiving turkey.
That song with the refrain “Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!” makes me anxious. Don’t let it snow! That would really unhinge me!! I hate driving on icy roads and navigating parking lots. I have a few gifts already bought but far from being done!! Snow belongs in the mountains not in town! Shut up about it! Better to turn off the radio. Take a deep breath, and answer the phone.
Checked out the unknown caller on the internet to find out it is a scam call, which sets my teeth on edge. Take my advice and always confirm the website is legitimate; type in the URL yourself. And do not use a debit card, which is attached to your checking account, use a credit card. It is even safer to use a one-time-use credit card. Never, ever, give out credit card information by way of email or phone; if you cannot verify that it is a secured website, do not order anything from it. Be especially careful of e-cards, as these can contain malicious spyware—keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware current. According to the website scambusters.org, “Purchase gift cards online, if possible. Or, only buy the cards from retailers when they’re kept behind registers or available upon request.” Do this because it is easy for the scammer to get the card numbers and call the 800 number to learn when the card is activated. And sadly, beware of charity scammers, all too prevalent this time of year.
The box of Christmas cards teetering on the desk just fell onto the floor, splaying out 60 cards and and 60 envelopes. I could have sent those out last week. I forgot to get Christmas stamps and labels and ink for the printer.
What the heck is so good about this time of year??!!! I have no time for things I want to do, no energy for the obligations of the season. I want to be somewhere else...somewhere with sunshine and tropical sunsets.
Doorbell. I just hope it is not a salesperson for windows. I feel I should post a sign that we have had all of our windows replaced, which is not exactly true, but some of them were. Five years ago. Be right back.
A beautiful Christmas floral arrangement for me from my daughter. She has sent flowers at Christmas time every since she left home, even when she was deployed overseas; now she is living here in the same city, and still reminds me that I am special.
And that is the answer to my question. Christmas is about reminding those we love that we do care. It can be as elaborate as a gold-plated Rolls Royce or as meaningful as a sit down dinner with relatives and friends; it can be a gift wrapped with newspaper and twine or foil and velvet ribbon; it can be a dollar bill in the Salvation Army pot or an unwrapped toy for a tot; it can be reading The Night Before Christmas to your children or taking them to see the zoo lights. It is giving of yourself and that is priceless.
If I could give a gift to my readers, it would be the gift of time. Take time for yourself, give your time to those who matter to you. And have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!