This is hard to write, but I’m thinking my troop of baboon friends can help me out.
I am not a Christian, but I love Christmas. I can massage almost every Christmas tradition into something meaningful for my Yuletide/Solstice beliefs. I love the feeling of hope and redemption that comes with the season. I love having a tree filled with lights and ornaments, I love making gifts for my friends and loved ones. I love baking holiday cookies, I love cookie exchanges. I love getting cards and reading people’s newsletters. I love holiday movies (although I will admit I like older stuff better than current films) and I love holiday music.
For decades I have listened to my holiday CDs at the office during December. For many years I played them using my computer but these days I have a little teeny radio/CD player. I tend to the more traditional music; Mommy Kissing Santa Clause and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer aren’t in my collection.
This past week I began to bring in my CDs and (as always) I said to all the folks who sit around me that if the music bothered them to let me know. In fact, just this morning, two of the folks who sit on either side of me chimed in on what to play next. So it was shocking to me when my boss emailed me in the early afternoon that someone had come to her and complained about the music.
I’m broken hearted. Not because I have to use headphones or ear buds to listen to my music. I’m broken hearted because someone who sits nears me, someone who has worked besides me for YEARS (we haven’t changed seating arrangements in about 4 years) thought it was better to complain to our boss than to stop by my cube and say “Hey, I’m having a bunch of calls today, can you turn your Christmas stuff down?” or “I’m having a really stressful day and your music is distracting – do you have ear buds?” It’s completely disheartening to think that anybody who knows me even remotely would be able to imagine me getting pissed off about something like that.
I feel like a balloon that’s been stuck with a sharp pin – deflated and completely spiritless. I know it’s just one person, but I’m having trouble shaking my doldrums. Nonny is coming next week and I have a serious list but right now I don’t feel like doing anything but sitting here feeling sorry for myself. I’m not even in the mood to go downstairs and make hot chocolate.
How would you cheer up an unwilling Scrooge?
The news is in. DNA scientists have tested the Yeti “relics” – samples that believers have kept over the centuries. All turned out to be some type of bear DNA (and one dog). So I’m thinking that Yetis are busted.
What’s your favorite mythical creature?
I think we’ve pretty much determined that most of us aren’t big shoppers, so I’m assuming that if we didn’t give Black Friday much due then we would have the same attitude about Cyber Monday. At least there were fewer commercials.
Imagine my surprise to come home from work on Cyber Monday to find my mailbox FILLED with glossy catalogs. Every couple of years I fill out the No Junk Mail registry but clearly this is a task that needs doing a little more often. Of all these catalogs, I have only purchased from two of them and one of those was over two years ago. I haven’t even HEARD of a couple of these companies. It was particularly disturbing to get TWO catalogs from one company on the same day.
The irony of getting a box full of catalogs on the day we should all be shopping online isn’t lost on me and it’s a little frightening to think of all these catalogs filling up our landfills at this time of year.
The chances that I might glance through some of these before they hit the recycling? Maybe 50%. Chances that I will order anything because I got these catalogs? Zero.
What irony is striking you this week?
It’s Cookie Central at our house this week. We started with the fussy ones: Frosted Sugar and Shortbread Cookie Sticks – to get them out of the way. They require frosting and sprinkles so take more time than others. Twelve more kinds to go. I even got YA onboard today!
When do you start your holiday baking (if you indulge)?
I stopped at the library on Black Friday to pick up a couple of books. Found these two scooters and helmets parked inside the entrance.
Jacque asked for a haiku day, so I thought I’d get us started:
Library scooters –
Someone is raising them right.
Hope for the future.
While America now knows the Friday after Thanksgiving as Black Friday, for the last couple of decades at our house it’s been Tree Friday. For many years this was the day that Child and I headed out to chop down a tree for the holidays. These days I head down to Bachmans (they have a 25% off fresh trees on Black Friday and they are really close by).
In fact, it was 7 years ago on Tree Friday that I got my nickname from Jacque. Dale had written that day a great bit about Black Friday and used some Shakespearean language to get us going. My bit was:
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the north and Hansen Tree Farm is the sun.
Open up, fair Tree Farm and await the crowds
Who, already stuffed and sleepy from yesterday
Swing saws and other implements of destruction.
Jacque came up with Verily Sherrilee that day.
So what about you? Taking part in Black Friday shopping? Online purchasing? Just taking it easy?
It seems to me that Thanksgiving has more expectations attached to it than any other day of the year. I like to read advice columns in the morning (makes me feel like I have a good handle on things); for a couple of weeks the columns have been filled with angst about Thanksgiving.
Grandma doesn’t want to host dinner and two of the daughters are throwing a fit because it will spoil the day. Uncle Joey always drinks too much and everyone is worried about whether he will spoil the day. Cousin Mary has a new boyfriend who is a vegetarian and everyone is worried his dietary needs will spoil the day. Grandpa won’t come because he has a new puppy that isn’t welcome and it will spoil the day. For so many people Thanksgiving seems to be encased in amber; it must be exactly as it’s always been and it can’t be spoiled.
As a person who moved away from home at an early age, got divorced and then became a single parent, I have never had a chance to cement a list of requirements to make Thanksgiving Day overly static. There is however, one thing that I have been in charge of for many years – the thankful project. I’ve done a paper Mayflower w/ little scrolls that people wrote on, I’ve done a large cut out turkey whose feathers became lists of what we’ve thankful for, I’ve done a large tree with leaves for the thankful thoughts. This year I’m doing a big poster board covered with square of different papers and have a handful of markers for everybody to write with. I love doing the thankful project as it really brings it home to me where my focus should be, rather than on whether the potatoes are the way I like them.
One of the things that I’ve written down for the last couple of years on the thankful project is “baboons” (which I then have to explain). I am beyond grateful that I’ve found a community of folks who are thoughtful, caring, sincere, well-read, funny… all these things and more. I’m thankful for this past year with you all on the Trail and looking forward to the year coming up.
No question today – just heartfelt thanks for all of you!