It was last week, the first week in November, when I was walking through the supermarket and heard "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" come over the music system. It's not even Thanksgiving yet, for Pete's sake!
I remember,when I was a kid, how much fun it was the day after Thanksgiving because it seemed as if every store suddenly exploded with Christmas decorations. The fun was to go downtown in the days after Thanksgiving to see all the stores done up in their Christmas finery. The other day I was walking through Costco down an aisle where one side had Halloween costumes and the other had Christmas decorations.
Any day now I expect to see Christmas decorations pop up with fireworks for 4th of July.
It kind of takes the "magic" out of it when the promotion of the holiday starts so early.
One of the most fun things I remember during the Christmas season when I was a kid was the arrival of the big Montgomery Ward and Sears catalogs. They were our "wish books." My sister and I poured over the books looking at all the things we knew we'd never get, but hoped for. Beautiful dolls with long hair and gorgeous clothes, kitchen sets, bicycles, and, later, the most trendy clothes. The books were each a good two inches thick and all inclusive, everything from kitchen appliances to toys and clothes. When we were small, we didn't have a television, so we had no hard-hitting ads to let us know what we couldn't live without. All we had were the wish books.
When Christmas was over, Karen took the books and cut out the human figures and made paper dolls out of them, as our mother had done when she was a child.
I am on a "do not mail" list, which has significantly cut down the number of catalogs that I get throughout the year, but I still get an inordinate number of them. I decided to keep a record this year, because I swear that there are some companies that send me a catalog every day and I wanted to see if my feeling was correct.
I don't remember when my first Christmas catalog came this year,a but I started keeping records twenty-six days ago, on October 20, and since that time I have received 45 catalogs.
While I haven't received different catalogs every day from any company, since October 20, I have had four catalogs from Woman Within, a catalog for fat women's clothes. FOUR. Has their inventory changed four times since October? Of course not. They just change the cover and send out the same catalog.
Signals, which offers "gifts that inform, enlighten and entertain" has sent me three catalogs. I'm trying to decide whether to order the Christmas Story leg lamp, a kit to build my own Golden Gate Bridge, or a t-shirt that says "Careful, or you'll end up in my novel."
Tying Signals with three catalogs are Plough and Hearth, the magazine for gardening and home decorating. How I got on THAT list is anybody's guess, since my idea of "gardening" is to step outside every month or so to see which weeds have grown since the last time I went outside, and my house seems to be decorated in "early bath towel," as the floor is often covered with towels which started out sopping up puppy pee and became puppy pull toys. I'd love to buy some of their decorative accents, but don't have a spare flat surface on which to put them.
I really had the feeling that Junonia (another fat ladies store), Just My Size (another fat ladies store) and Lands End sent me catalogs every day, but maybe it's just that the rotation of the three along with Woman Within is so constant that it seems that way. Just My Size and Lands End have only sent me two catalogs in the past three weeks, and Junonia only one.
But it's early. It's not even Thanksgiving yet. I intend to continue keeping this list from now until Christmas and then write a final report at the end of December.
Walt, who had come home yesterday to get clothes so he could go back to Santa Rosa and be at his brother's bedside, along with his sister and sister-in-law, sent the best text message I'd received since Norm was admitted to the hospital: "We have talking." The doctors were finally able to remove the ventillator from Norm and he is awake and able to talk, though still very groggy.
It seems a very long time since I got the message "he could die" to today. I am feeling like a huge load has been lifted for all of us.Merry Christmas.