Another Christmas passes, leaving us with memories and a big mess
By: By DAVID CRITCHLOW JR. Messenger Editor
Another Christmas has passed and the in-laws are already gone.
It seems it was just a couple of days ago when they came in for their six-night stay at our house (or does it seem like they got here in November for a month-long stay?).
Actually, their visit wasn’t bad at all. My wife gave her father a few projects to work on at the house and her mother helped with the cooking and some babysitting duties, so it worked out fine.
As I reflect on the hectic holiday season, a few moments stand out.
• Our Christmas tree didn’t fall down and we didn’t even have to secure it to the wall with wire, as we have done in the past.
• My wife only misplaced a couple of packages and only once that I’m aware of did someone get the wrong present. (Sorry, Dad, but the smoked salmon wasn’t intended for you.)
• While I was never nosy when it came to trying to figure out what was inside the gift-wrapped packages at Christmas before it was time, I am certainly familiar with the practice. With two older sisters, it was commonplace.
Apparently they’ve passed that trait on to my daughters, one of whom sneakily unwrapped a present that had two video games inside, took one of them out to play and then rewrapped the lone video game.
As they say, Santa’s watching … and she got busted.
• My neighbor may have finally solved the Great Christmas Reindeer Vandalism Caper.
For the past several years, someone has been playing tricks on his goofy looking, bow-legged, plywood reindeer, sometimes painting them pink or like zebras or even mutilating them. This year’s herd of reindeer grew on a nightly basis, with one painted orange, another one multi-colored, another one like a horse complete with mane and tail and another one like a bad cross between a poodle and a Dalmatian.
While somehow I made the suspect list in years’ past, my neighbor happened to catch a Sherwood Hills man making a suspicious drive-by of the property on the afternoon before Christmas, no doubt eye-balling his late-night handiwork.
As I sat visiting with my neighbor on Christmas Eve, someone stopped by and added a concrete donkey, rearranged the existing herd in unspeakable poses and posted a sign out in front of the yard advertising it as a petting zoo.
As I said, I was with my neighbor at the time the malicious act was committed and discovered, thereby clearing my sometimes good name.
However, I still wanted to help my neighbor find the guilty party or parties.
Fortunately, I was able to aid in the detective work when I received a phone text, giving details of the most recent activities, including the naming of the guilty parties. It appears as though it’s a family affair.
After Christmas comes the traditional breaking of ornaments during the tree-undecorating party. This get-together, which is never quite the joyous occasion as the decorating party, concludes with the toppling of the tree. It’s during this time those millions of dried-out needles scatter everywhere in the house and those beautiful, shiny icicles leave a Hansel-and-Gretel-like trail across the yard during the unceremonious dumping of the tree at the curb.
The undecorating continues with the removal of the colorful outside Christmas lights that were draped over the trees and bushes. Oops! I never got those up this year so I guess I get to skip that step.
With Christmas behind us, we now look toward the new year and those traditional New Year’s resolutions.
Like so many others, weight loss is at the top of my list and I’m looking to Health Quest to inspire me for my body-sculpting workouts. Weigh-ins are Saturday for the popular Biggest Loser campaign, with $750 going to top “losers” in the male and female categories.
As some of you may remember, I tried this before as part of a team. Unfortunately, my teammates slacked off and I was forced to go it alone. I did fairly well but plenty of work remains to be done. In fact, I’ve gained back the weight I lost — plus some.
It’s not my fault, though. I think someone has been putting that Human Growth Hormone, or HGH as the sports world calls it, in my pizza, doughnuts and everything else I eat, resulting in the aforementioned growth.
So, I’ve got a lot to overcome, but I’m ready for it and I challenge my former Biggest Loser teammates and everyone else to accept the weight-loss challenge.
Good luck in trying to take that first-place title and prize money away from me. Just don’t get in my way or I’ll push you off the treadmill.
Messenger Editor David Critchlow Jr. may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 12.28.07