My Christmas Tradition – Presents and Procrastination

Here we go again. Another year almost to an end, another Christmas time almost upon us. And every year friends ask that same question again and again, “you ready for Christmas??” When I ask this of my friends, some say “oh yeah!!” To those lovely stinker heads I jokingly say, “Oh FINE!!” Then they ask me if I’m ready, and I snort, “HECK no!!” Well, OK, maybe I use a stronger term than HECK, but this is a family-type column so all my 4-letter naughty bits will be kept away from the keyboard, thank you very much.

I am spoiled rotten by my Beautiful Girlfriend; she gets most of the stuff for our kids and the grandkids. For the most part, all I have to worry about is stuff for her. Sure, I get a few stocking stuffers for the kids… kippered herring and jerky for the big kids, candy and goodies for the little kids. I was smart enough to get my wife’s “big” present some time ago… all I have to do now is remember where I stashed it. Then I also got her this cool book she asked for… I think I know where that is…

Being the excellent procrastinator that I am, though, I normally wait to find the “little stuff” with my last paycheck (which is now Social Security) before Christmas. This year is no exception. This weekend I’ll be dashing about the store at a very fast pace; maybe looking for fancy foo-foo juice (my Dad’s term for cologne) for my Lovely Wife Person and maybe some earrings or some of those snap-on Groucho Marx eyebrows or how about a gold plated lint brush with matching shoulder reflectors oh and WOW there’s one of those cool hand-crank radio/flashlight/tire pump/grease gun combination things oh wait she won’t want that but she might like these yellow socks but hey who am I kidding I can’t buy her any clothes Holy Cow there’s that CD she’s been looking for but oh FOOEY the case is cracked oh what the heck maybe a few bags of peanut M&Ms and some fluffy stuffed frogs I just don’t know OK to heck with it here we go I’ll just get the foo-foo juice and WHADDYA MEAN IT’S $150 PER MILLILITER?? OY YOY YOY!! NEVERMIND AWREDDY!!

On the other hand, you have all the baking. Yes Virginia, I really do bake around this time of year and of course I haven’t started any of that monkey business yet neither. It seems like it was November just a few days ago!! And yes, I am fully aware that frogs always say “time’s fun when you’re having flies;” but that doesn’t help me right now does it?? HmmMMM?

Breathe… breathe…

OK. I’m not gonna stress out about all this. Just gonna do the best I can and probably stay up way too late wrapping all the stuff I got. But that’s all my fault. All I need to do is quit procrastinating.

I’ll do that either next year or the year after that.

Please enjoy the Spirit of the season, which has absolutely nothing to do with all the gifts and face stuffing. Rather, as you all know, it has to do with peace and love. So I hope all of you enjoy your Holidays, as I’m pretty sure we will.

In the meantime, I’d like to invite you to watch “A Christmas Carol,” that was made in 1951 and starred Alistair Sim. I found the black and white version on YouTube… it’s in mono so don’t worry that only one of your speakers is working (hey, can’t beat the price!).  There are many film versions of this story, but this one has always been my favorite. Every time I watch it I get all gooshy; because I can really relate to the main character.   Although I’m not proud to admit it, there was a time when I was badly afflicted with Mr. Know-It-All disease, and I was all too angry and selfish all too often. Took some emotional and spiritual pain, then time and hard work to grow out of this dark time in my life; but I’m very grateful to say that my “Mr. Jerk Face Know It All” days are long past. I’m grateful especially to The People Upstairs and all Their Messengers who showed me the way.

Well back to the film:  my very favorite part is near the end when Scrooge realizes he has a second chance at life (at 1 hour and 8 minutes into the film if you don’t want to watch the whole thing).  Makes my cry (for happy) like a baby every time.  And I thank the makers of this film for giving me a mantra I repeat somewhat regularly:  “I don’t know anything. I never did know anything.  But now I know I don’t know anything!”