Not Into It

It has been a hard day today.

I think, like a lot of people who have had loss in their life, the closer you get to Christmas the harder it is to deal with.People who still have all their family haven’t a clue as to what the loss does to you at this time of the year.Things happened today that just seemed to put me over the edge, and I can honestly say I have not cried this much and felt this low in a long time.It’s hard, because I used to love this week and now, I can’t believe that I have turned into one of those people who can’t wait for February, so December would be over.

It is sad, and when I think of my “past” life”, I think this is what makes me tear up the most.I guess I need to put the sadness of the past in its place, and the fear of the future in it’s place.I just have got to live in this moment.
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Christmas Week Warmth…

…is what they are talking about on the Weather Channel.

  
This was the sunrise shot from the east,as obviously I am not at the ocean.Yet, three minutes after I took this shot, the heavy drizzle commenced.The girls and I are old hat at weather, but as I said my morning prayers as we walked, I prayed for those folks affected by the tornados in the south and Midwest-until it happens to you, you have no clue of major life upheaval, that is, if you are fortunate enough to escape with your life.

I’ve read of people saddened at missing Christmas with extended families due to weather.Fortunately their families encouraged them to stay out of harms’way:they felt their present was to have their loved ones for Christmas coming.

I am going through nothing like this, thank God.My weather is in my heart where it’s raining tears, missing MY dad and MY mom and family I can’t be with.I can only pray for the day to be back with them.This Christmas I will have a smile on my face and get comfort knowing I’ll be with them again one day.This is nothing next to the poor 6 people who died in the tornados.

If you are traveling please be careful.May the protective hedge of the Divine Being keep you safe,

Merry Christmas and safe travels ! 

 
From me and Kasia,whose tongue is always going,,,,

  
And from me and the Zush🌲🎀🐶

  
And from Jim

One Day at a Time

I went to my friend’s Christmas party and managed to keep a smile on my face.

I socialized with folks, heard stories and responded to them and questions. I tried to keep an interested look on my face. My heart was just not in it.

It kicks me in the butt, though, because December used to be my time, birthdays of Mom and me and later Greg, my nephew.Christmas, of course.When you live in a house full of holiday malaise it is rough to get the spirit,let alone keep it going. I got home tonight and heaved a large sigh, as I was happy it was done. Don’t get me wrong: it was a great party and the food and drinks were excellent.

I just need to get through the holidays.

I remember a happy time.Of late,it has not been.I paste a smile on my face for folks and wish them a Merry Christmas, but my heart is not in it.I pray all the time when I am walking the girls,and my mind is just filled the mundane and pressing thoughts of daily life.Perhaps if things were different, I’d feel differently. I respect and love the season: I really do.

Right now though, I am just living for January.

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Christmas Malaise Conquered

I just came back from the Wesr Cape May Christmas parade.

  
Met my buddy and neighbor,Linda and that  was a nice surprise. It always amazes me that there are so many bands that participate. We even managed to catch some string bands and caught the audio: the lighting sucked, though.When you are in a hurry to run and catch the music, well, it happens.

  
But most importantly I got to see some Christmas lights. If that doesn’t get you in the Christmas spirit, I don’t know what will.

  

Holiday Malaise

Ok, so my tree is up but I haven’t managed to get out to see any Christmas decorations yet.
We were in Congress Hall the other week and it was Christmas-y but tonight was the actual tree lighting ceremony, but instead we are here.

Friends of Jim’s are coming tomorrow so the house got the once over today and instead of taking in the sights we are here at home.**sigh**

I probably will wait until later and try to catch a Christmas movie on tv, figuring that’s as close as I am going to get, for now.Actually, I have to keep an eye on Zush, as I suspect she is not feeling too well, so I’ll probably be monitoring her to make sure she is ok.

My sister has her Christmas decorations up outside, so maybe we’ll try to go out more when it is dark out, so at least there’ll be a little warmth of the season in my heart, until I can see some lights.

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Old Softie Redux

For lack of anything worthwhile on five zillion stations on cable, I put on White Christmas on Netflix.

Yup.White Christmas.

No, there’s no snow right now in Cape May, but as someone with a first day of winter birthday, I always felt I had squatters rights on this film. My parents watched movies on the television and White Christmas always seemed to air in time for my Mom’s or my birthday. I remember being in my childhood kitchen, and Mom and I turned the tv around into the kitchen so we could watch White Christmas while we made cookies.

#Thankful for those days

  

A Piece of Dad

  
My Mom had made a ceramic Christmas tree many years ago.It hung in there for a while, and then, it broke.My Dad, ever the trooper, went out to ceramics and made a new tree for my Mom.

I got it out tonight and put it up. I added my little Goebbel/Hummel kneeling angel with Baby Jesus and a balsam candle.

I am smiling tonight because I feel Dad with me. It’s a good feeling!

Pretty Old.

So I am retired,now, right?

It’s a holiday weekend, right?

I can’t believe I made time to do this, but I actually worked on some Christmas cards today. I don’t know what came over me.Maybe it’s the fact that I have this desk that really isn’t as large as I have had in the past and I thought, maybe working on them, I’ll make some room.

I flashed back to growing up and remembering my Mom sitting at the dining room table addressing Christmas cards.Jeez, even she waited until the first weekend of December.I am having company next weekend, so I guess, that also played in the back of my mind,so I would have time to hang with my buddy from my teens, Margo.

For some reason though,realizing I did this today made me think of how OLD I am fortunate to be getting. I just wish mentally, I’d feel a little younger….

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Almost December

Jim and I went over to Cape May tonight to see the preparations for Christmas and see if any of the decorations are up.

It was surreal to walk through a seaside town and realize November is almost done and the temperature today is 51 degrees.We walked through town with sweatshirts.

We walked through the shopping mall/street and people were doing their black Friday shopping while eating ice cream. I think last year black Friday was snowing here:just goes to show you that climate changes is a reality.

We parked by the ocean and walked through Congress Hall, which was completely decked out for Christmas with the exception of it’s Christmas tree being lit.They are doing that a week from tonight.

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They have their carousel up and candy canes and lights on the shrubs.The doormen are dressed as if they are toy soldiers.There are garlands of evergreens all through the building.It looks as if it is Christmas.I guess they will do it soon enough,
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Tra-la-la….pbbt!

So now, walking the girls this morning, I came across more decorations that went up over the weekend.

  
Something so odd about seeing penguins on a sixty degree day. Don’t get me wrong.When I lived back in the city, I decorated our first house with snowflakes. See, good Catholic girl that I am, I put up a manger scene.Always did, always will… But as we had no two-legged kids, we opted for seasonal decorations.

Now that we are down here,my decorations are minimal. A fresh wreath on our door, blue and green tinsel around the mailbox-nothing exciting.

I do have holly in my heart, though.

Who’s on First?

I know friends of mine who go and say they have seen Halloween decorations up right with back to school stuff. I know people who can’t wait until Halloween is over to put up Christmas stuff.

Where I am at now, people decorate, except for me.I really had to shake my head this morning because a part-time neighbor a few blocks away has Christmas stuff up. Everyone else who decorates has fall/Thanksgiving stuff up.

Seriously?

The story goes is that she decorates early because she brings her friends down mid-December and they celebrate Christmas then.

Me?

I’ll be the one in bed with the blanket up to my nose, wondering is it’s February 1st yet.

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Christmas in July

I know it was a little early, but evidently Christmas in July came for all of my co-workers and myself yesterday on the job.

Evidently, anyone who takes a ferry ride has the opportunity to file a rating card when they are done their trip.Now, according to the folks at Trip Advisor, we evidently got the highest rating that you can get. The top management took the opportunity to write us a letter that we each got, thanking us for our great job we do.They also gave us a card for a free Mr.Softee ice cream cone from the truck they had at the job yesterday.That was a surprise.They also gave each of us a tee-shirt that said ” Keep Calm and Ferry On.”

Wow.I always considered myself fortunate to have a paying job, and now I have a little more better paying job.When they pull rabbits out of a hat like this, well, I can’t help but be thankful and wonder what’s next.”

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Chrusciki , revisited

I went with Jim to see Cioci Frannie today.

Cioci is my Mom’s remaining sister and I wanted to pay a visit to her for New Year’s day.She just had a little plumbing issue, and Jim tried to help her out and it seemed to be of some help.

After we were done with the plumbing, I sat with Cioci and Jim and she offered us some Chrusciki.If you are a regular reader of this post, you’ll remember this time last year, as I posted about chrusciki when reminiscing about Christmases past.Today, as we sat at her kitchen table, the chrusciki were so bittersweet, as she wished us lots of luck in our retirement.

Funny how something so tasty has so many memories tied to it, and today, I made some more.

Tomorrow I end 30 years in my position.End of an era. I am packed up again with Jim and the girls and we are headed off to a new chapter of our lives.

I’ll have to make sure that I have a chrusciki recipe in my future.

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Merry Christmas to all

We actually socialized tonight with an old neighbor of ours tonight-we were invited to the family house for their Christmas party.

It is odd for us to actually be up at 11PM, without driving up from Undisclosed being involved. We have to get up tomorrow morning for Mass and then more festivities and missing people who aren’t here to celebrate Christmas with us anymore.Thank God for memories.

Here’s hoping your Christmas is merry and bright, or whatever seasonal holiday you might actually be celebrating.Be safe, enjoy the holiday and the folks you are with.

Be happy!

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Fit bit versus…

The holiday season is going to really pout my fit bit to the test.

It’s time for chocolate kisses, home-made cookies, cocktails and the like. The mere prospect has me quaking in my boots a wee bit, as I managed to nicely fit into a lower size of pants and would like to keep it that way, if not lower.

I am getting the last night walk off tonight, since I have walked over 16,000 steps today. Jim is going to take the girls out, and I am going to get ready to get to bed and stay warm under the blankets.

It’s going to be a long holiday season.

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Flip side of the Day

Once again, the morning reminded me why I am retiring.

Suffice it to say I won’t be teary-eyed about leaving the local transportation systems and some of the riders on it.

Coming home was a different story.

While we were down at Undisclosed over the weekend, my neighborhood was busy.Below are a few new shots of Christmas light shots I took while coming home off the bus.

Enjoy!

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Posting a little early

We are down at Undisclosed and on our way our to a neighborhood Christmas party.Actually, my “sister” and friend Georgine sneaks a homemade cake in the party as an early birthday for me, as my family is spread far apart and doesn’t do it anymore.

The girls are walked, and emptied and now rested. We are looking forward to a nice party and being able to walk to the party is an added plus. I managed to get over 13,000 steps in today, but more than that, we have no worries about drinking and driving.

If you are going out for any holiday party,please have a designated driver if you are going, and have fun, but most importantly, be safe.

Let’s keep the upcoming holiday season a happy one!

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ChristmasLights- Canine

I really had a crappy bus commute this morning coming into work and texted Jim that I was going to blog about it tonight.

Until I came home and got off the bus, and got home and got the girls.

My mood changed.

We went for our pre-dinner walk and we took in the local Christmas lights of the immediate area that we walk in, where there was basically semi-detached, or “twin” houses.The girls are always happy to be out with me, especially in my zip fit bit stage, because they know we will WALK!
We did, and we paused on occasion to take the lights in. I have to watch with the big blow up snow globes, because Kasia gets scared of them.

Below are a few of the pictures that made a crappy morning and mediocre day into a fun night.

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Christmas Lights

One of the perks of walking the dogs at night right now is, despite that it’s cold out right now, folks have Christmas lights up.

At my age, I remember the lights my father would put up on our row home porch every year.The tradition was, he put them up in time for my Mom’s December 18th birthday: it was the traditional flip of the first switch.We loved it. It was tradition, it celebrated Mom’s birthday, my birthday and the most important birthday,Christmas.As I got older and my nephew Greg was born on December 19th, I took my toddler nephew Matt out through the neighborhood to ooh and ah at all the lights.

Now I walk the girls at night and there are blown up reindeer and snow globes and God knows what else adorning lawns in neighborhoods.The lights are no longer simple,in fact some of them are LED giving a whole different glow to Christmas.I always look and admire the handiwork that I see in front of me, no matter the amount of kitsch in it, because I remember the lights of the row home 50 years ago and the warm memories with it.

Nothing like it in the world.

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Let the Games Begin

Here at Undisclosed, the holidays officially commence with the West Cape May Parade and also the lighting of the Congress Hall Christmas tree. This is how, Jim, myself, our friend Jerry and Vida spent our Friday night.

We saw the festivities and shopped around the little booths and enjoyed ourselves. I started with a cinnamon bun latte and graduated to a chocolate martini with my friend Vida and it was something we both enjoyed. The boys had beers, and were happy with those.

Part of the game of Congress Hall was sitting around watching the folks who are there and we love to do that and we had folks laughing with us.

Our girls, however, weren’t happy that we were out partying….they’ll get over it.

LOL

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Party Pooper

That’s me…

We were invited out for Christmas eve. Jim and I both went. but he brought me home because I am beat.It’s really hard to throw yourself into a party and whoop it up, because of the month I just went through. People were drinking and singing along to You tube, but I was there in body but not in spirit.

Jim went back after dropping me at home, and with my blessing, as he truly needs to unwind.

Me? I’ll shower and go to be because that’s what works for me.

Good night!

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Gotta be a holiday…

because I am up,congested to the top of my head, and Jim is sleeping.

Is there anything else worse than having your breathing impaired?Nothing in all my years with crappy sinuses have made me so physically uncomfortable. I don’t even want to think of how asthma and other sufferers of serious breathing diseases handle this on a daily basis, and with the thought of them, I know that I really can’t complain about being stopped up. Perhaps it is the 4:10am aspect of it-I am one who loves my sleep and know by being up now, it’s going to be a really long day.

In the old days, I’d be with all my family, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins as we would join together to celebrate the Polish Christmas eve custom of Wigilia, the Christmas Eve supper.Most of the family who were there now celebrate it in heaven:there are not too many of us left.The younger generation who have since come of age are spread throughout the country.So in my heart tonight I know I will go back and fondly remember how good it was back then and say a little prayer for those of my family partying in heaven.

Here’s hoping your Christmas eve fills your heart with happy memories and you have room to create even more!

Merry Christmas!

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Rain, rain..

There is nothing like a weather front going through, especially when you have lousy sinuses.

Take that fact, multiply it that I stayed up late to watch the Eagles spank the Bears in their football game.

We got up early today, our bodies sore from putting things in the crawl space,Jim is taking the girls out for their walk and maybe, just maybe, despite the rain, we may not have to rush today.I have to admit,it might be nice: I wouldn’t know how to behave…lol.

Hope your week is good and your Christmas is spectacular.

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Apprehension

I am dreading today and am glad to be working .

Yes, it is Christmas Eve, but being of Polish descent, it’s when we ” did” the holiday .

So this is life after Mom’s death.

No Christmas pin can make it right. No Mom= loss. My heart is in my gut thinking of past Christmases.Dad was gone and now so is she.

It’s going to be a long day.
Hold a good thought, ok?
I need it.

Thanks.
Merry Christmas!

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Happy birthday in Heaven

It’s been a year, Mom.
A year since I got to sing Happy Birthday to you.
A year since I gave you some chocolates, fuzzy socks you always liked, and sang Sto Lat.

Well, you didn’t make one hundred . You hit eighty- nine. I was blessed to have you for fifty-two of them. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss you. I miss those blue eyes, that soft touch, that smile.

Happy birthday in Heaven, Mom. I know Dad made the pound cake for you , not our favorite 1-2-3-4 cake. I’m glad Dad is with you to get you your first heavenly birthday card.

Our December birthdays won’t be the same without you.

Love,
Marisha

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So awfully glad..

There were times in my life that I was sorry I couldn’t bear children. I guess, that would have been through my early forties.

Now, on the cusp of my fifty-third birthday, boy am I glad.

I was talking with my neighbors this morning and we were talking about holidays and I said about my nephews being grown. Back in the day it would be going on the train, getting to town, seeing Santa, presents, lunch, well, you know the drill. Don’t get me wrong, mind you-I love kids. The thought of this year having to go out and toy shop and all the jazz that goes with it, well, I feel like I got a break.The first year without Mom is going to be rough enough, or should I say, I know it’ll have its moments. I know she is where she wanted to be and all is good on that front. It’ll just be nice to think back on memories of the past and make my own present memories with Jim and the girls.

The mother all snuggled …

….up in her bed, but no sugarplums are in her thoughts…She ate some babka and had coffee with her breakfast… She is resting now,with Oreo snuggled next to her. Thanks to my brother Bob, she is going to have pierogi and mushrooms for lunch:a far cry from Christmases past. We’ll take it, for all is calm…

Merry Christmas!

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Shifting into low gear

Knowing I have Mom tonight and tomorrow night into Sunday day, I think my body is correspondingly trying to fall into low gear. I just can not seem to get started today. Cold caffeine, hot coffee, nothing…Maybe it’s just I know that there is only the expectation of me for Mom and I really don’t have to do anything else. I am going to my in-laws Sunday night, after my brother who helps me has a family dinner with his boys. I will do my little celebration then.

Here’s hoping everyone has a Merry Christmas and a healthy 2012!

love,

Mar

Back in the day..

Back in the day, Jim wasn’t used to getting a wife birthday presents and Christmas presents in the same week.

Then I turned 50. Hah! Got a smart phone, shore house and HP laptop all within one month. Nice.

In anticipation of a life after my current job, Jim got me a birthday/Christmas gift last night. I have crossed the abyss. I now own a Mac book Pro. I am an apple girl.

 

Thanks Honey.

 

In other avenues, today is my Mom’s 89th birthday and I will be the first to admit that I seriously wondered if she’s see it. Thank you God, for the gift of my Mom.

It is also the 9 month birthday of my new knees….

 

Phew…

Busy weekend!

Farewell from the undisclosed location, for now…..

xxoo

On the way to “Undisclosed Location”…

 

As my birthday falls on a Thursday this year, we decided to make an Undisclosed Location celebration this weekend. Fortunately for me, my brother Bob is taking my normal night with Mom this weekend so I get to go down and relax. With the way things have been going, the weekend of relaxation is a gift in itself. To be able to walk along the water and take deep breaths of the salt air is my idea of heaven.To have the girls and Jim with me? Also my idea of heaven.I’ll be able to see a few of my friends and neighbors while down there, kick back at our new Friday night spot, the Moose lodge and just take it easy….take it easy…something that has been a foreign concept to me for the past 4 years.

Below is a picture of one of the many Christmas trees in Congress Hall, which is in Cape May New Jersey.

Here’s hoping your weekend is just as bright, wherever you are…

Bittersweet moments…

It’s quiet.

I have just spent 25 minutes singing Polish Christmas carols& hymns to the Blessed Mother, but now Mom has settled down.

As her condition has been deteriorating ,I have had her in hospice care at home. I listen to the phlegm rattle in her throat as I sing.This is new to me.. No, not Mom making a vocal comment to my singing, but watching and waiting. I sit and wonder what will be.Will she be granted a gift to see her 89th birthday this Sunday?Will she see Christmas?New Years? I sat with her wondering if the woman who brought me into the world will be here for my birthday-Not that she would know the day, but will she be here? My chest is tight as I think of that. I’d like to think almost four years of caregiving has toughened me up,but obviously not.The book has been almost 52 years in the making,and all I can do is wait.

This is not quite as hard as having to tell my folks I had cancer, but it is a close second.

All I can do is pray.Any you can say for us would be deeply appreciated.

Thanks, my friends.

No pretense here.

The picture you see is a neighbor’s house at the Undisclosed location. It is only part of his light display he puts up yearly, and the picture, I will be the first to admit, does it no justice. But it is probably the biggest piece of Christmas you will get from me.

My Mom’s mental state is down to a 4- when she first got sick she was iand 8 and THAT was severe. The best you can have is 30. I got off the phone with my brother, and we were talking about Christmas. I really don’t care, knowing the chance of actually getting a caregiver who will work is slim and none.Some things are expected, at this point of the game. Mom’s birthday will be Sunday, and 89 will be the magic number. Will she know it’s her birthday? No. Will she recognize me? No. I went to get her a birthday card and looked at the verse: would she understand it? No. So I got her a bunch( 9 pair) of fuzzy socks, as that is what keeps her feet the warmest while she lays in bed. She’ll think it’s just socks-no clue it’s a gift and that’s fine.

My godson Greg has a birthday the nest day and mine is three days after that. Once again, there is no spirit. I am just plain washed out. I will celebrate Greg’s birthday with him on Monday, but mine will just be another day, spent waiting, and praying.

So in lieu of a Christmas greeting, here is the picture of the Undisclosed Location neighbor’s lights.

Merry Christmas.

Next Iron Chef..not…

..at least when it comes to working with chocolate.

For the Undisclosed location neighbors, last year I made chocolate bark in different varieties, and it went over pretty well. From watching the Food network, I tried to learn about melting chocolate. I found out about chocolate seizing, and how to loosen it up. So this year, I decided to something different- chocolate covered pretzels. I made a few different varieties, such as white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate, and topped then with jammies, brickle pieces,mint chocolate and non pariels. A few have made it out to neighbors so far-three more neighbors to go and then they are out of the house. It’ll be a good thing, because we both thought they tasted pretty good!

Christmas Pins

 

I have my Mom’s Christmas pins.

It was a big thing for us, because Mom’s birthday is December 18 and I follow her by 4 days. When I was a kid, the obvious was always to get her a Christmas pin. When people would give one to me, however, I would thank them, as I was younger, and promptly put it away in a jewelry box. Mom and I would always kid about who had the most Christmas pins.

Last night I was going through Mom’s and found this pin you see in the picture. It’s got to be 45 years old: the enamel is wearing off and it isn’t quite as new looking as the rest.This pin originally was my Mom’s, but I remember that I had no poinsettia pin, so she let me have this one, and I wore it to death through my early grammar school years. I eventually got tired of wearing it, somewhere around fifth grade and it went back to Mom. I guess she figured I’d like it again someday and what do you know-I found it in a box waiting for me to reclaim it.

Thanks, Mom.

Poinsettia

My birthday is this month. Most of my friends have daisies,rose,or mums for their birth month flower. Me? I get a pointsetta.

It is funny that a plant I abhorred as a kid I now respect as an adult. It is like me: lose your coloring but hang in there, and with proper care, you can have a nice houseplant.They say if you cover the plant with a brown bag at night,from October on, you can get the colored leaves back. I have done this many times and like life, it’s not easy. Some years it works and others it doesn’t .

I have come to appreciate pointsettas.
They hang in there,just like me!

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Good tidings….

..have started …early…..AGAIN.

I took marketing classes along the way but can only wonder if anyone ever taught what OVERSATURATION would cause.

Radio stations doing all Christmas music all the time..since October? End result for me? Spare me the Christmas carols until Christmas day. Christmas decorations up at Halloween? They’ll be lucky if they get me buying a string of lights. I don’t want the hassle of going TO a store and dealing with a crowd. O.K., yes, there is cyber-shopping, but believe it or not, retailers, I do like to feel the quality of the material of what you are charging me 5 arms and three legs .

So I will buy,albeit with gritted teeth, what presents I NEED to buy, but more importantly, I will work on giving what I WANT to give to those I want to give to. I will not be following the commercial list of giving gifts to anyone who crosses my path daily.

Please, Ad men,…let me do Christmas MY way this year.