There has been a catalog deluge at our house. Big, glossy catalogs full of gloves and toys, and speakers. We got four just today.
The paper (yes, we still get a paper paper–we are old school) promises to be fifteen pounds on Wednesday and Thursday. Fat with ads so the teaming masses can plan to trample one another in pursuit of the joy of Christmas.
I don’t know about you, but if you threatened my life I couldn’t tell you a single present I got two years ago. I can however wax poetic about the time my Dad and Uncle took to a steep embankment of snow with a toboggan and all the kids and grown-ups road into the parking lot below until our fingers were numb and our faces hurt with laughter. I can tell you in detail what it was like to hold my Mom’s had in the Santa line at AM&As. How impressed I was as my boyfriend McGyvered a star onto my little potted Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I can tell you about late-night Christmas cookie baking with a friend that resulted in laughing so hard I collapsed on the floor holding the cookie sheet (which made us laugh more). In fact, this blog has been, and will continue to be, peppered with the moments that have meant Christmas to me. And only one has to do with a present. All of those moments and memories were gifts I still hold close to my heart.
As the insidious Black Friday draws ever nearer, keep that in your mind. You remember the moment, not the presents. Drive around and see the lights together. Take along walk in the snow together. Hold a little hand and get lost in gingerbread, or ice skates, or stories. Take your Mom to see Santa this time. Laugh. Let your brother take all of your money playing Left Right Center (or is that just my brother?). Memories last longer than presents do–plus you don’t have to go to the mall.
PS–My friend Jen found this clip from Christella Morris (crawltheline.com) and passed it on. Thanks, Jen.
Before this season, I spent a bunch of Christmas seasons spent behind the cash wrap of a store in the Shops of the Charleston Place Hotel. Together with a legion of people who make the season bright for shoppers and diners, we worked, worked, worked. We smiled until our cheeks hurt and shared the features and benefits of every beautiful bauble and delicious bite ever to appear in a Christmas ad. We stood in aprons and starched shirts until our we ached all the way down to our toes. Sustained by the bites of food from the Charleston Grille–and the sloshy, icy sound of the martini shakers that marked the end of the day! And when I look back I can’t help but smile and miss the good old days because of all of the moments those seasons held.
The magic wasn’t in the work, it was in the people and the place. The sweet, frankincense smell of Crabtree and Evelyn’s Noel candle. The perfect sip of Godiva dark hot chocolate as we stepped out of the decked halls of the hotel and on to King Street and the crisp Charleston air. Back then, the street would be closed off so a winter wonderland could be built in the very middle of town. A big tree with lights and packages and ornaments, the clip clop of horse and carriage rides, Santa and his friends would wander through making everything merry and bright. I often miss the camaraderie of those days. We were, for the most part, broke kids figuring out our way in the world and working hard to pay our rent in the mean time. Exchanging cookies with friends, singing carols down the street in the middle of the night made the whole world look bright. Today’s plan is to write a hand written note to all of the people who share those memories with me. We are now all across the country and it is high time for us to reminisce again!
If you want to get into this moment, here is what you need:
-This song by Billie Holiday http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs4AUuZ9TKk
-A cup of Godiva Dark Chocolate http://bit.ly/1eMoSV7
– Good friends to reminisce with
You may not get snow, but you will get beautiful homes and boats glowing with christmas lights!
The whole city gets in the spirit.
You can also plan your own trip to Charleston. It is one of the most wonderful places in the world to spend your Christmas:
- How to NOT go Broke at Christmas (savingmoneyinyourtwenties.com)