Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Salvation

So, this is Christmas. How about one of those dazzling holiday letters filled with an account of my year - the friendships made, the friends lost, the goodness shared, and deeds well-done, and maybe a little naughtiness?

The reality is that I like receiving those state-of-one's-life letters. Do you read Marge Miley's column in the HTR? Often, when she gets a letter from an old friend, she shares bits and pieces with her readers, and even though I don't know who she is talking about, I find the homey notes charming, and full of the warm exchanges we aren't so good at these days.

But, instead of a Christmas letter, I am sharing some holiday happenings from the past few days. Let us begin with the lovely art offering at the top of the page. This is a white elephant gift that has been making the rounds in our book group for a few years. We have a love-hate relationship with this Readers' Digest Santa. Susan brought him all the way from Illinois many years ago. I can't recall the lucky recipient that year, but each year, we wait to see who brings in the largest gift bag or box because we know the Santa with the Gerri-curls is hiding inside.

After a few years of enthusiastically trading him from person to person, he disappeared. We tried to figure out who had had him. Had he been destroyed when Mary's basement was flooded? Did Denise get him the year she moved to Madison on us? Todd, our one and only male, who came to one meeting, and then to our Christmas soiree...surely Todd must have him! Or, perhaps Cindy ended up with the elfish fellow. Our annual party the year Santa went missing proved to be the last she was healthy enough attend. We sadly said goodbye to her a few months later.

We worried about this little Santa; we hoped that he would return, and crossed our fingers that if he did, someone else would wind up with the cheery, seasonal albatross for a year. When he reappeared this year, everyone was elated, sort of. We talked about our disappearance theories and that gave us a moment to remember Cindy together. It turns out that Steph had him all the while. She missed a couple of our holiday parties, and was quite coy and cagey for years concerning his whereabouts. I know that if I ever have a big secret to share, it will be with Steph!

If I sent out Christmas cards, this is the picture you'd see this year. On Friday, the day of the huge snow dump, our FedEx delivery man came in with a heavy box filled with special order Christmas books. He put it on the counter and said "Hey Bev, got a shovel? I'm gonna dig you out." Now, you all know how much snow there was, and how much footage I have here to be cleared, but he had at it, all the while, his truck was in the middle of New York Ave, running. Pretty soon, our regular snow blower fellow started up, but if that hadn't happened, I'm sure he'd still be out there! How's that for a Christmas gift!

One of my favorite winter events is the European Christmas Market at the Osthoff in Elkhart Lake. This wonderful camel was parked outside the main entrance. He licked my hand, gently. He must have liked what he tasted, because he smiled ever so nicely for this picture.

This is Snarky Cat. You can find him warming his butt atop the lighted display case at Two Fish Gallery in Elkart Lake. Although cats make me itch and sneeze, I look forward to visiting Snarky a couple time a year. Two Fish is a beautiful little gallery, with an artsy garden. Both the gallery and the garden are open year round.

Well, 2009 is creeping up, but not before you all spend time with family and friends having yourself a merry little Christmas.

From all of us here at LaDeDa...thanks. We are cherish your friendship and are grateful for your support. To regular readers of Fine Print on a Monday...thanks for not reporting me to the Stupid Squad. I hope my babblings have filled some spare time in your lives. Stay tuned! There's sure to be more nonsense in 2009.

I'm reading Little Women.

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