Once again, our lights are up and working and, I'm happy to report, no major mishaps or near electrocutions occurred during the process.
One thing that helped is that I've retired the ladder that reached the peak of our roof and I no longer try to string lights to the height of the Smith Tower. I'll leave that to our younger neighbors nearby. They'll learn.
I can also report that the shopping's done and presents are under the tree. What helped is the fact that I'm retired and one benefit of that is the ability to wander the stores at 10 a.m. on a mid-week morning. For example, I visited one small chocolate store in a local mall and was the only customer there during my entire stay. The samples offered were tasty, plentiful and wonderfully calorie filled.
Once again, we bought a natural Christmas tree because we both like the evergreen scent that fills the house. The daily waterings the tree requires are a small price to pay for the enjoyment we get from that.
We hung all of the decorations we've purchased over the past 42 years and have found that -- according to my wife -- there's still room for more. This is, to my thinking, a matter for debate since I have trouble finding any visible branches where ornaments aren't bumping into each other. To prove her point my wife immediately went out and purchased a 2013 Christmas commemorative ornament that has a place for a picture in its center. Said picture, this year, will be a Christmas photo of our dog, "Monty."
Don't ask. You're either a dog person or you're not.
Every day, when I'm out and about, I find myself listening to the radio and hoping that they'll play an old Christmas song that I've always enjoyed. The title is "Old Toy Trains" and it's sung by Roger Miller. It's a short song that tells of the attraction that exists between little boys and electric trains.
It's not one of the Christmas "standards" like "White Christmas" or "Jingle Bells" and this pretty well ensures that it doesn't get the air time that it should. The good thing is that I can, and do, bring it up on YouTube. There's something about that song that pulls at me.
On the food front (AKA -- "The Battle of the Bulge"). I recently came across an interesting theory about eating during the holidays. Apparently, drinking large quantities of very cold eggnog with any holiday meal cancels the food's calorie count.
The author of this theory explained that, once eggnog has been consumed, it takes energy to heat it to your normal body temperature. That energy (in the form of calories burned to warm the eggnog) has to come from somewhere and that somewhere would be the deviled eggs, artichoke dip, peanut brittle, turkey, yams, mashed potatoes, gravy and pecan pie you've likely been eating. Thus, everything cancels out.
Some would argue that there's a discrepancy somewhere in there, but I'm not going to spend a lot of time looking for it. There are better things to do over the next week or so, and they all involve having a good time with friends and family while hovering somewhere near either the kitchen or the dinner table. How can that be wrong once every year or so?
We're lucky. Our now-grown kids who are away have been calling frequently and our newly engaged (and still local) son will be bringing his fiancé to visit on Christmas Eve and for part of Christmas Day.
Still, being apart from the others weighs on us and the words "missing them" doesn't seem to adequately describe the feeling. I believe that those of you in similar situations know what we mean.
All in all, though, the true theme of Christmas is very simple.
Let others know that you care.
It's the only gift worth giving or receiving.
Merry Christmas to each and all of you.
Larry Simoneaux lives in Edmonds. Send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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