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City sidewalks, busy sidewalks … Make mine a silent night instead

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks … Make mine a silent night instead

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012 8:01 pm
By: By Chris Menees, Staff Reporter

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks ... Make mine a silent night instead | Chris Menees, Just A Thought

If you’re looking for a picture-perfect Christmas, don’t look to me.
I’m no Martha Stewart.
Don’t misunderstand. I love Christmas. There are visions of sugarplums dancing in my head as we speak.
But I’m the woman with the crooked gingerbread house and the drooping poinsettia.
If you’re one of those ultra-creative people who decorate a themed tree in every room or make a Victorian village straight from a Rockwell painting, more power to you. In fact, I admire you. I’m just not likely to become one of you.
With December looming, I’ve yet to deck the first hall or hang the first stocking by the fireplace with care.
I’m pacing myself … psyching myself up … taking baby steps … avoiding the Christmas rush.
I do, however, have a sweet little slightly-slanted gingerbread village adorning the dining room table. And it smells wonderful when you walk into the room.
The youngest granddaughter hinted she wanted to make a gingerbread house, so I picked up a couple easy-to-assemble kits — one for a house and the other for a miniature village of five huts. Easy-smeasy, I thought. Four hours later, we attached the last gumdrop with the last smidgen of icing.
Our gingerbread man’s main house leans — a lot. But if you tilt your head to the side, it looks awesome.
Of course, I live in fear that our holiday home-sweet-home may crumble if the back door is slammed too hard or if a good gust of wind blows through the room.
My little gingerbread village may be small potatoes to you professional decorators out there, but, at this point, it’s a huge accomplishment for me.
In my defense, it is still November (at least for today).
I promise I’ll shift into mistletoe mode tomorrow, quicker than you can say ho-ho-ho.
Honestly, I just don’t like the hustle and bustle that inevitably come with Christmas. It’s gotten too commercialized and too far from the real reason — Jesus’ birth.
Shopping really isn’t my bag anyway and you won’t ever catch me within a mile of a mall on a Black Friday. I value my life. The blood and carnage just aren’t worth the five bucks I’d save on something I probably don’t need anyway.
It’s been said that America is the only nation where people will bow their heads in thanks on Thanksgiving Day and then act like total idiots the next day on Black Friday as they trample one another to see who can emerge with the best bargain.
I had to laugh out loud the day before Thanksgiving when I saw one local store had pallets of sale items wrapped in plastic, accompanied by signs warning they were under video surveillance until sales started at midnight. Seriously? Would people really risk jail for a great deal on a set of plastic food storage containers?
Even holiday grocery shopping isn’t without its dangers. Last year, I witnessed gray-haired grannies grabbing the last turkeys like there was no tomorrow and, in my own crazed condition, I fear I would have knocked down my own mother to snatch the last bag of shredded hashbrowns from the freezer case. I was just grateful to get out alive.
In our over-commercialized society, you’ve gotta love the days leading up to Christmas — pushing and shoving, stores jockeying for our business, mailboxes filled with gift catalogs. (I’m not sure how I even got on the mailing list for the one peddling the life-size T-Rex for the bargain price of $249,000, plus shipping on the 661-pound monstrosity.)
City sidewalks, busy sidewalks … The crazy, crowded shopping scene just isn’t for me. I’m definitely more of a silent night kind of person.
Silent night, holy night … that’s what it’s really all about anyway.
In the end, twinkling lights and jingling bells don’t mean a thing if we forget the real reason for the season — the birth of a King.
Chris Menees may be emailed at cmenees@ ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 11.30.12

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