Friday, December 02, 2005

Christmas Is Coming--Ready or Not

Gerald came home from our friend "Bun" Handkins' house the other day and informed me that "Bun" has his candy all ready to offer the carrollers from our church when we make our annual call to his home to share carols and prayer with him. When his Rose was first shut-in, we began going there usually first on our carrolling night, and they always insisted we come inside and have a piece of scrumptious candy. For a few years now, it has just been "Bun" to sing to, but he does not forget our candy. He is 93 and very alert still going to town most days as well as keeping check on Gerald's crops and ducks. Gerald could not keep from boasting, of course, that he had already had the first piece of candy during his visit with "Bun." I still have the candy canes that Noami Richey gave us carrollers and place them on our tree each year in remembrance of her. Funny how much a piece of candy can mean to you when it is from someone you love.

There is a wreath on our front door and a few decorations set out. I meant to ask Gerald to get down the heavy box from top closet shelf tonight but forgot. Mary Ellen's manger scene (a gift from her one year) is set up. The tiny set from our children's babyhood is waiting for me to set it up on the floor by the piano in the living room--although most of our grandkids are getting too old to play with it anymore. (Actually the original set came into our marriage with me as I had bought it for my college dorm room for the Johnson Hall Christmas open house. So the original set is well over 50 years old.) When some of the little hollow plastic figures broke after years of handling, I replaced them with the same size chalk figures I found at a rummage sale someplace.

I am enjoying the lights going up around the community and feeling sorry for the homeowners who fight the blown-down balloon-type decorations each morning that I see when I drive Samuel into town to his school.

I am trying to decide what to do and what not to do during this season of celebration. I've written an annual letter for many years and always enjoy it. But I had been thinking that since I am moving slowly this week with the first bout of sciatica I've ever had that maybe I should not do so this year. Then today I got the sweetest email from a young cousin-in-law telling me she loved to read it when she was a little girl at home. Hmmm. Do I really want to drop that tradition? I started it when cards and letters were the main adult part of the season for me since I really couldn't afford to give expensive gifts. When Gerald got embarrassed after all the critical letters that appear in Dear Abby/Ann type columns each year, I dropped his name from the letters. But by then, I could not stop writing the annual letter because I received so many nice notes from older friends and relatives saying they cherished getting them. So I decided that if those types who hate the letters and consider them brag-sheets weren't smart enough to throw them away without reading them, I would just have to let them suffer. I was not going to disappoint those people like me who really love knowing what long- ago friends and far-off relatives are doing. I even like reading my adult children's annual letters as it helps me review their past years. Just as writing my letter helps me review our year.

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