Tuesday, December 8, 2015

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Some holiday traditions are negotiable, others not so much.

Part of that is living alone, so there's no one else to Christmas-ify for besides yours truly. I'm unlikely to give up decorating a tree, even though taking it down is a pain in the ass, because I truly enjoy the smell of a fresh white pine in the room where I work every day.

I bake far less than I used to, typically making do with producing just two kinds of cookies instead of my former four or five and I rarely bother whipping up egg nog because I know I'd drink it all. Far better to indulge when I'm offered it out.

But apparently one habit can never go by the wayside and that's sending out Christmas cards. What has evolved over the years is when I send them out. Back in a former lifetime, I was that eager beaver who mailed her cards as soon as we turned the calendar over to December.

Not so much the past seven years or so. Generally, it's when I start receiving cards that it occurs to me that, whoa, mine haven't even been purchased, much less posted, and I get on it, like a dutiful elf.

Because Leo.

My long-time friend and former college buddy used to tell me that as far as he was concerned, the holiday season began when my Christmas card arrived. Now he lives in Key West so he certainly can't tell by the weather that the Yuletide is approaching, which means my responsibility to begin his season is even greater.

That would be why on December third, I got the following email from him:

Question 1. Is my Christmas card in the mail yet?
Question 2. If I asked you to tell me your through the wringer story, would you?

My answer - no, but it will be soon and of course, but I think you already know it - got us started on some memorable back and forth, resulting in some tentative planning about getting together, but got me no closer to sending out my cards.

Last night, he put his foot down and this is not a bossy man, at least not with me.

Now get to work and send me my Christmas card. I need to know the season has officially started.

Don't you know that on my walk today, I stopped to get Christmas cards? I'd bought Christmas stamps weeks ago, so part of my afternoon was devoted to making the male friend I've had the longest - the one I can laugh with for hours, definitely get bawdy with, fondly reminisce with, and certainly dance with - happy, or at least able to mentally commence his celebration.

Who am I, flippin' Rudolph? Christmas can't happen without my help? I jest, of course.

Years ago, Leo earned my undying devotion when he wrote me, saying, "The job at the radio station is so typical of you. If you didn't get something because of your educational or intellectual qualifications, you'd invariably wind up with it on sheer force of personality. It was one of three things that drew me to you, the others being your keen mind and your earthy sense of humor, a dynamite combination. Oh, yeah, you looked pretty good, too."

You flatter a woman with words like those and you earn the right to boss her occasionally. There's nothing quite like the right kind of man friend telling you what to do.

Oh, and my Christmas cards? They're in the mail.

1 comment:

  1. It wasn't intended as flattery, just an unbiased observation. But in your modesty you forgot one thing. I've always said you were perfect. My opinion hasn't changed. Merry Christmas.