Christmas Eve, 2015

A quiet day, at least for now. Shopping and wrapping? Done. Cards and letters? In the mail. House cleaned? Almost there. Decorations and lights up? Roger that. Christmas tunes on the CD changer? Fa la la la la, la la la la! An unexpected blogging window has opened, and I’m taking advantage of it. The critters, meanwhile, are taking advantage of comfy cushions.

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An American friend who lives in Melbourne posted an Aussie letter to the editor about the War on Christmas in the States. Apparently people around the world … and many Christians here at home … think we’re no longer allowed to say “merry Christmas.” I don’t know where they get that idea. Nearly everyone says merry Christmas, whether or not they’re Christian. Granted, businesses, schools, and government agencies avoid the phrase, but that’s hardly a new thing … it’s always been that way.

Later this morning I’ll take the doggies to the feed store. They’re almost out of grub, and I’ll get each of them a special treat while we’re there. They love trips to the feed store because there’s a galvanized metal water trough full of baby chicks on the floor by the cash register. Schatzi and Maxie can smell them and hear them peeping, and sometimes I’ll lift them up to give them a peek. Oh please buy us one, Daddy!

In our Air Force days we invited single friends over on Christmas Eve. We continued the tradition in civilian life, though we don’t have as many single friends now as we did then. Still, we have a few, and they’re coming by tonight, along with some married couples we’re close to. We used to put off trimming the tree until Christmas Eve, but Donna crossed the Rubicon this year and decided to decorate it early. This is a good thing. It means we can relax with our friends tonight, and they won’t have to work for their dinner. Dinner? Clam chowder and a shrimp boil. I’ll start chopping carrots and potatoes this afternoon.

Donna says this’ll be the last year we put up a Christmas tree. She’s always been a huge child about the holiday, but she told the kids they can have their pick of our collection of decorations and baubles when we take this tree down, so maybe she really means it. Me? I’m all for cutting back. I love the season, but not the work of trimming trees and stringing outdoor lights. That’s for people with kids, and our youngest is now 40 years old. And it was Polly, that very 40-year-old, who did all the work of stringing lights and hanging decorations this year.

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Maybe, like Donna, I too am a huge child about Christmas. Last couple of years, from the 1st to the 25th of December I updated my Facebook profile picture daily with vintage greeting cards, Santas on motorcycles, photos of shopping mall Santas with screaming kids, and the like. This year I left the profile photo alone, posting odd and interesting holiday photos and illustrations to my news feed instead, hashtagging them with #WarOnXmas. I’ll finish tomorrow.

The air museum was swamped with visitors yesterday and I came home hoarse after narrating two back-to-back tram tours. It’s our high season, and Wednesdays at the museum (well, all the days, but Wednesdays are my days) will be like this through the end of April, so I’d better start packing throat lozenges.

I couldn’t help but notice the complete absence of holiday decorations at the air museum. One of my volunteer colleagues told me the wife of our chairman issued a decree to that effect, and that the snack bar contractor, who had earlier put snowflake decals on the windows, was told to peel them off. Maybe there is a #WarOnXmas after all.

Next week our son Gregory will be here with our daughter in law Beth and grandson Quentin. I put a deposit on a rental Harley and Greg and I will go riding next Thursday, rain or shine. Polly’s Ducati has been on Craigslist for two weeks now, and we got our first serious looker two days ago. I think she’ll be back with an offer early next week. Hey, I can hope, right? It’d be a nice Christmas present for the right person.

They say days are getting longer again, not that I can tell. It was pitch black when I woke up this morning at 6:15. It’s light out now but gloomy, with low clouds over the mountain to our north. When it does clear, there’ll be snow up on top, the perfect backdrop to Christmas in Tucson.

I may not get back to this blog before New Year’s, so happy holidays … or Merry Christmas, take your choice … to all of you!

© 2015, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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