Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Happy Holidays !!

Hello everyone !

Happy Holidays to you all. I hope that this season, and every season, brings you warmth, happiness, and lots of chocolate. Did I say that ? I meant joy. Yeah. Lots of love from relatively warm, not-so-sunny-right-now California.

As you may have already guessed, Scott and I will not be in Toronto this Christmas. The holiday falls on a Wednesday, and Scott has no more time off work. We have invited some friends of ours that also do not have family in the area for dinner. We call it our Orphan Christmas. It should be fun.

My summer was filled with many activities, some new and some old. I am still playing softball, and have added a few new sports to my arsenal of favorite activities. I played volleyball in an inter-company lunchtime league throughout the summer. My friend Meredith, who was a championship tennis player in high school, coached me in tennis. I have been bitten by the hiking and walking bug. I have enjoyed a few lovely hikes through some beautiful Bay Area parks. I have also participated in a number of fundraising walks in San Francisco, including the AIDS walk and the Light the Night walk for leukemia and lymphoma. I've also started taking Spanish classes. Que tal ? :)

Remember last year when I whined about how the Christmas stuff was on the shelf at the beginning of October ? Well this year, the commercialists have outdone themselves. The first day of the year that I see Christmas stuff is a day I'll call Christmas Push Day. This year's Christmas Push Day ?

August 15th.

That's right ! I saw Christmas ornaments at the main entrance of Long's Drugs on the 15th of August. It was 95 degrees outside, the brats weren't even back in SCHOOL yet, and here was the Christmas stuff, sitting there for the whole world to see. I went to Costco to look for a cooler for our nice summertime road trips, and all they had was Christmas decorations. Not one cooler was to be found.

Four months and 10 days to the event. Lord help us.

At least the commercialistic Christmas crap didn't get in the way of us celebrating a most excellent Halloween. This year, we decided to get into the spirit of the holiday and decorate our house a little. We set up a skeleton whose bones stick up out of the ground and whose head lights up and flashes. We put flashing eyes in the bushes, a strobe light, and a big light-up bat in our yard. Cobwebs went around our door. I carved a most excellent pumpkin from a kit I got at Wal-Mart. And the final touch was a spooky CD playing Halloween sounds, piped from a speaker taken from Scott's four-channel surround-sound garage stereo system. Some of the kids even complimented our decorations. One said "Your house is scary !" Glad it was. :)

Many of you have already celebrated it and forgotten it, but American Thanksgiving this year was the last weekend in November. Of course, since we were inundated with Christmas since August, Thanksgiving is more of an afterthought than anything else. But we brought the Thanksgiving spirit into our home. I put some cool mini-pumpkin and corn arrangements in our dining room, and a colorful turkey flag in our front window. When I went to the party store to buy Thanksgiving decorations, they were jammed into a small corner of the store, overrun by the massive Christmas displays. I absolutely REFUSED to buy any Christmas decorations until AFTER THANKSGIVING. So there.

I heard a rumor that some people have started putting BOTH Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations outside their homes. At the same time. Say it ain't so !

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