I'm having trouble finding some Christmas cheer this year. I'm not sure if it makes it better or worse that I do not seem to be alone in my quest. I think that the weather has a lot to do with the funk around here. The kids are clamoring for snow, and I am right there with them. It just doesn't feel like holiday shopping is complete without at least one ice and snow filled journey out to the mall. I didn't put my lights out in the yard when it was sixty degrees, as that just seemed wrong. Then in an attempt to lift our spirits, I broke down on a fifty degree day and flung some bulbs on the porch. When that didn't cut it, I put some more lights in the shrubs a couple days later. They don't really look right without a snowy backdrop...at least not here in Syracuse. They also probably seem more festive if you remember to turn them on when it gets dark.
Six bins of holiday decor hurled themselves on whatever pieces of horizontal real estate they could find. Still nothing. The tree went up. A small spark that quickly faded. Most presents wrapped. Well that just feels downright wrong to be so ahead of the game. Maybe it's the rushing that gets me fired up. I orchestrated a couple of elf visits for houses of friends who still have believers. That was fun, but I wondered if anyone would play along if candy wrappers and a letter from the big guy appeared here. You would think the actual visit from Santa would've brought out my yuletide glow... Is it wrong that I was relieved that it was not carolers at our door? Possibly. Is it wrong that I was afraid that he was a burglar, and I hesitated to open the door at first? Yes, I think so.
The husband signed us up for a block of time ringing the Salvation Army bell at the mall this past weekend. I didn't think we had the most happening spot last year, so was psyched that we were slated to be outside JC Penney this time. Um, change of plans as some political figure nabbed that spot. We were right outside the ever festive... Victoria's Secret? Ho, ho, HO! I am certain those displays front and center filled the hearts of my husband, teenage son and his friend with a special holiday glow. On the other side of us was the cellphone cover kiosk, which was as happening as you would imagine from 6-9 on a Saturday night. We actually did way more business than him.
At one point either my daughter's friend inquired as to why people stand by the kettle ringing bells. (Note: they take the ringers out of the bells and replace them with paper clips...very melodious...so you have to clank two bells together for any kind of audible effect.) There are no security measures, and you just walk away from the kettle when your shift is done. I told the girls that I think part of the idea is for people to see that folks are volunteering and donating their time, which might give them the nudge that they can donate a quarter as they walk by. Then we started to imagine how much money there would be if every person in the mall gave one quarter. Whenever we would have a serious dry spell, my daughter's friend would reach into her coat pocket and grab a few coins for the kettle, then she would thank herself...cracked me up every time.
Maybe I am just rushing the whole thing as a result of my efforts to be more organized and less stressed. There is still plenty more time even though I keep putting somewhat phony deadlines on myself to keep things moving. The Grinch and Peanuts have already aired which also fosters that sense that we are closer than the calendar actually says. There is still time to get the roast beast.