Tag Archives: holidays

Holiday Warfare

THE TWINKLING LIGHTS OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE, WREATHS ON EVERY DOOR, THE NUTCRACKERS SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE, AND THE EXCITEMENT ON THE KIDS FACES AS THEY SHOW ME THE REINDEER FOOD THEY BROUGHT HOME FROM SCHOOL… YEP…IT REALLY IS BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS.    CHRISTMAS HAS ALWAYS BEEN MORE THAN JUST A HOLIDAY FOR ME, IT IS MY FAVORITE SEASON.

THE SEASON BEGINS MONTHS BEFORE THE ACTUAL EVENT.  FOR ME IT UNOFFICIALLY BEGINS SHORTLY AFTER HALLOWEEN.   AFTER ALL THE SPOOKY DECOR IS PUT AWAY, THE HALLOWEEN CANDY ALL EATEN, AND THE CONTINUOUS SHOWING OF SCARY MOVIES DISAPPEAR, I GET THE FIRST STIRRINGS OF CHRISTMAS SPIRIT.

BY THIS TIME THE TEMPERATURE HAS USUALLY DROPPED, AND WE BEGIN GETTING COLD SPELLS.  I AVIDLY WATCH THE NEWS WAITING AND HOPING FOR A CHANCE OF SNOW.  ALL THE STORES DISPLAY THERE CHRISTMAS FINEST, AND MOST HAVE A COUNTDOWN OF SHOPPING DAYS LEFT UNTIL CHRISTMAS.  THE KIDS KNOW IT IS CLOSE AND BEGIN ON THEIR WISH LISTS, AND SANTAS START POPPING UP IN STORES EVERYWHERE.  OFFICIALLY THE SEASON DOES NOT BEGIN UNTIL THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING, WHEN THE TREE GOES UP, BUT EVEN DURING THANKSGIVING DINNER CHRISTMAS IS THE HOT TOPIC ON EVERYONES TONGUES.  AND IT IS AFTER THE MEAL AND EVERYONE HAS GONE HOME THAT THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT IS SLAMMED HOME TO ME, AS MY HUSBAND AND I SET UP OUR ITINERARY FOR BLACK FRIDAY.

WE MAY CATCH A COUPLE HOURS SLEEP OR MAY NOT GO TO BED AT ALL. WE POUR OVER THE SALES ADDS, SCOPING OUT THE BEST PLACES.  WE HEAD OUT IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT TO STAKE OUT OUR SELECTED TARGETS.  WE HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT WE WANT, WHERE IT IS, AND A PLAN ON HOW TO GET IT.  WE AREN’T THE ONLY NUTS OUT, BRAVING THE COLD AND CROWDS, WAITING FOR SEVERAL HOURS FOR THE STORE TO OPEN. THERE IS A SWARM OF US,STANDING IN LINES, SO WE CAN BE ONE OF THE FIRST TO ENTER THE STORE, GUARANTEEING US THAT WHATEVER ITEM WE ARE SEEKING WILL BE AVAILABLE.  EVERYONE IS USUALLY CORDIAL IN LINE, AS WE MAKE SMALL TALK, AND JOKE ABOUT HOW CRAZY WE ARE FOR BEING THERE.  THE CLOSER IT GETS, HOWEVER,  THE MORE RESTLESS EVERYONE BECOMES.  THE CHIT CHAT SLOWS, AND EVENTUALLY COMES TO A STOP, AS EVERYONE GETS THEIR “GAME FACE” ON.  ONCE THOSE DOORS OPEN, WE ARE NO LONGER UNITED, IT IS EACH MAN AND WOMAN FOR THEMSELVES.

THE TREPIDATION AND FEAR ON THE STORE EMPLOYEES FACES IS APPARENT AS THEY WALK TO THE DOOR, KEYS IN HAND.  EVERYONE CROWDS IN CLOSE……WAITING….. FINALLY THE DOOR IS OPEN AND IT IS A MAD RUSH INTO THE STORE.  SUDDENLY I REALIZE BEING FIRST IN LINE DOESN’T MEAN I WILL BE FIRST TO THE ELECTRONICS COUNTER, OR THE FIRST TO THE AISLE THAT HAS THE TOY ON SALE MY CHILD JUST HAD TO HAVE…PANIC ENSUES AS I SCRAMBLE TO LOCATE THE ITEMS AND GET CHECKED OUT, AND SUDDENLY IT LOOKS AND FEELS LESS LIKE CHRISTMAS THAN IT DOES THE PANIC OF Y2K, EVERYONE FIGHTING OVER THE LAST WATER BOTTLE OR BAG OF BEANS, CONVINCED WHEN THE YEAR 2000 HITS WE WILL SUDDENLY BE PLUNGED INTO THE MEDIEVAL TIMES WHERE RUNNING WATER, ELECTRICITY, AND STORES ARE OBSOLUTE.

THE TIMID AND SHY ARE SUDDENLY RACING THROUGH THE STORES, SHOULDERING EVERYONE OUT OF THEIR WAY.  I CAN HEAR OTHERS SHOUTING THEIR STRATEGIES TO THEIR COMRADES, AND I DESPERATELY TRY TO FIND WHAT I NEED AND GET OUT, HOPING MY HUSBAND IS GETTING WHAT IS ON HIS LIST.  THIS IS NO CASUAL STROLL THROUGH THE STORE, THIS IS A WAR ZONE!

BUT AT THE END OF OUR SHOPPING SPREE, THE CAR LOADED DOWN WITH GIFTS FOR THE KIDS, WE STOP IN SOMEWHERE AND ENJOY A NICE QUIET BREAKFAST TOGETHER, AND PEACE SETTLES OVER ME ONCE AGAIN.  MY HUSBAND PUTS UP THE CHRISTMAS TREE THAT DAY WHILE I BAKE OUR TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES, WITH HELP FROM THE KIDS OF COURSE.  THAT NIGHT I SIT AND STARE AT OUR TREE, THE SOFT LIGHTS GLOWING, CHRISTMAS MUSIC PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND, THE SMELL OF THE COOKIES STILL LINGERING IN THE AIR, AND OUR SPOILS OF WAR, WRAPPED AND PLACED LOVINGLY UNDER THE TREE……AND SMILE.

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