It’s the 2nd of December and my emotional feeling is almost surreal — we can’t have finished yet another year so quickly. I’m seeing Christmas lights all over the neighborhood, hearing Christmas music in all the stores, and accepting that I’m seriously late on getting my Christmas cards in the mail — AGAIN! I at least have them created and printed. My cards have almost always been handmade, but for the past several years I’ve been more oriented towards digital cards. They’re cheaper and faster to make, and much, much easier on my hands.
I try to write something in each card, personalizing the message to each friend or family member. A lot of my family members are up there in age and have given up sending out cards, much less shopping for Christmas gifts or even setting up decorations. We’re usually in Arizona at Christmas and I have to confess to using store bought cards last year. Robert’s father had passed away just a couple of months previously, and I just couldn’t get in the mood to make cards. Too much going on in our lives at the time.
This year, we’ll be home here in Tehachapi at Christmas, and will be able to join our Depot friends for Chinese food on January 1st. I’ll have to get busy and come up with a favor for everyone. Robert asked me why I felt I needed to make favors for everyone when no one else does it. I told him I didn’t know — it’s just something I have to do. For several years in a row I made laminated bookmarks with the Chinese symbol for the New Year (i.e., Year of the Dog, the Rabbit, etc. Whatever year it was, that is what was on the bookmark). Finally, someone spoke up and asked me to stop making bookmarks. LOL I think they had enough of them…
This last year we surprised everyone and showed up out of the blue for the New Year celebration. We made sure to arrive at the restaurant before anyone else, and to make it a real surprise, I had made pocket tissue holders from railroad fabric for the women and tucked a large York Peppermint Patty in each tissue holder for the husbands. Our friend, DS was the first one into the restaurant and he walked in smiling, looking forward to seeing everyone and celebrating a new year together. He looked down at the table and saw the favors — then he noticed us waving at him from the other end of the room. He grinned really big and we could see that he didn’t really understand that we were here instead of in Arizona. Finally, his facial expression changed and he started laughing out loud — he recognized us! His wife wasn’t able to make it to the gathering and when he went home, he gave her the tissue holder and asked if she knew anyone that made things like that — she immediately said, “Yeah, Carol makes things like this, but they’re in Arizona. Aren’t they??” DS laughed and said, “Nope. They were there at the restaurant before anyone showed up. She made these for all the women!!”
I’m looking forward to another wonderful celebration with our friends.
Be safe, be well and please be happy. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. I realize there’s a lot of killing going on in the world right now, but if we try to make a difference for those closest to us, perhaps the positive change can grow and we won’t see as much violence in the world as we do today. I believe that our children must be allowed to grow up without having violent games as part of their everyday life. I truly believe it numbs their minds to the horror of taking another person’s life with a gun. We really must find a way to stop the senseless killing that’s going on in our country.