Ahhhh, the holidays! As I type this column it is a cold and dreary morning, one week before Thanksgiving. The holidays have unofficially started. The Hallmark Channel has been broadcasting Christmas movies since Halloween. I’ve been Christmas shopping for months. And I am planning 3 birthday parties for December and January.
I love the holidays. No honest, I really do. I watch those Hallmark movies and I get so caught up in the moment and I pine for those quaint little town Christmases. I check out our little town for a gigantic tree in the square and carolers in Victorian costumes. Except we don’t have a town square… but there is supposed to be a tree lighting this weekend and Santa is arriving on a fire truck.
I long for those moments when everyone is cheerful and polite and kind to each other. And that usually happens for about 30 minutes on December 23rd when people actually smile at you in the grocery store instead of their usual mowing you over with their cart. I was at the store the other day. Our store is not big and its aisles are crammed with displays of wares, enticing impulse shoppers to grab some pumpkin butter, elderberry jelly and Chicken In A Biskit crackers and heave those goodies into their carts. So, the aisles are jammed and there’s a back up at the meat counter because some college kids are searching for the cheapest pack of hamburger and granny is undecided between the pork cutlets and chicken legs. Over by the cereal aisle there’s an informal PTA meeting of disgruntled parents and the old-timers are having an impromptu reunion by the Metamucil shelf. I am trying my best to smile and be polite as I weave my way in and around all of these distractions. I try to make contact with the couple that is blocking the ENTIRE aisle as they peruse the soups. I finally have to clear my throat and nicely ask, “Excuse me, may I please get through?” I don’t know what I was expecting for their response – wait, yes, I do. I expected one of those warm and fuzzy Hallmark moments. They would blush and smile and say, “Oh, I am so sorry!” And they would hand me a homemade gingerbread man and hustle to move that cart. That didn’t happen. They scowled at me, well; the man scowled and mumbled something under his breath and this old lady glared at me as she leaned defiantly on her cart. I waited and I waited and it felt like that scene from The Shootout at the OK Corral. I actually found myself reaching my six-shooter on my hip and I don’t pack heat, just a crossbody purse. They finally begrudging moved and I grabbed what I needed and booked it out of Dodge!
Sigh… is this a foreboding of what is to come in the next month? I have signed up for all kinds of festivities and shows and plays. I do my shopping early and mostly online because I can’t handle pushy, grumpy crowds of people. I want to see throngs of happy and joyful mankind, who are taking the time to bask in the magic of Christmas. I don’t want to be pushed and shoved and have grinches try to cut in front of me. I suspect, unfortunately that I will see more of the latter. At this point, my goal is to take the grandkids to see Santa without having a brawl with an obnoxious granny. And I want to see carolers in Victorian costumes. And I want to be served some fruity punch in a fancy glass cup. And I want an elf to jump out of the bushes and give me Christmas cookies and I want Santa to have a real beard and I want a Christmas miracle and snow. I want everyone to be happy and friendly and kind. Double sigh. Triple sigh. Methinks I am going to have stay inside my humble abode and curl up on the couch and turn on the Hallmark Channel if I want to see any of that interaction. It’s just “Too Peopley” outside…