I’m sitting here early on Christmas morning, darkness still outside—except for the ever-glowing string of Christmas lights on the tree and fence at my next door neighbor’s house. Every Christmas is a little different, but I was a little surprised to be conscious before 5 a.m.
I finally got all the presents wrapped. It’s ironic that I ordered them all around the end of November, but I waited until the big day itself to put most of them in the pretty paper. Well, Santa Claus must have been watching over me this year, because halfway through the wrapping, the roll of tape I was using came to an end. After about 15 minutes of searching, I found another roll under my desk. Yes, under. Obviously, housecleaning should be moved up on my perpetual list of things to do, but the day was saved, as I didn’t feel like going to a store and throwing a brick through the window because it was closed for the holiday just to get some tape.
I have to chuckle this holiday season because I read several Facebook posts from friends in Arizona reporting a white Christmas. That news would confound my friends in Wisconsin, as they’re under the mistaken impression that Arizona never gets snow or any type of cold weather. I, as a native Arizonan, know better, but it’s still unusual for the state to have a white Christmas because the snowstorms are occasional and random, not to mention that any snow that falls during the winter is usually gone within a couple of days. In another twist of irony, northern Wisconsin’s weather forecast today is for rain.
As much as I feel at home at Wisconsin, I admit that I miss Arizona during the holidays. Prescott is famous for being Arizona’s Christmas City. One of the big events is the lighting of the county courthouse. The lights were pretty cool when I was growing up, but looking at this year’s display makes me wish I’d taken my trip in December instead of September just so I could go crazy photographer-style and snap a boatload of photos. Still, I get my jollies snapping holiday decoration photos around here in Wisconsin.
Another fond memory of holidays back home is the World’s Largest Gingerbread Village sponsored by one of the casino resorts. Schoolchildren and other folks were invited to come up with dazzling creations that filled up most of the lobby. Some professional chefs locally and down in Phoenix got in on the fun to really add a touch of class to the place. Add in a toy train chugging around the village, tooting its horn, and you’ve got a load of Christmas fun.
I guess I should stop reminiscing and make some breakfast, as Christmas dinner with the family looms in a few hours. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, and don’t forget that only you can prevent ugly Christmas sweaters.