Silver Bells

Silver Bells’ve been on holiday since Friday.  So I really should be all smiles, especially since I’ve been watching holiday movies and listening to holiday music almost every waking moment.  I can’t get those holiday tunes out of my head.  Seriously, my singing and humming have become the soundtrack for family life around here.  Mundane activities such as making up the bed and washing dishes, both of which I can’t stand, have been re-imagined as auditions for the lead role in a holiday musical.  Each day has become more festive around the house, but outside is a different story.

With just three days left before Christmas, I expect to see signs of the season everywhere. A day spent out and about the city at this time of year should be alive with colorful window displays, strands of blinking lights, bright tree-lined streets, cheerful seasons greetings, and even a few unexpected surprises that remind us that there’s still good in people.

I confess that these were the things I hoped for when I asked my sister to take off work and spend the day with me this past Friday.  I told her the plan was to start with breakfast, do a little shopping, take care of a few errands, and be open to try new things and go wherever the day took us.  It was a given that the day would be relaxing and filled with holiday fun.

Here’s what actually happened.

  • Sister encountered psycho, ex-friend at cafe we chose for breakfast and handled it like a pro.  Despite the sticky residue left over from their last conversation, sister smiled and gave away a hug, too.  Unnecessary drama avoided.  Holiday cheer up.
  • Tried a new cocktail and discovered that even though the description “spicy, slightly sweet” was intriguing, it was best not to make Bulleit Rye Whiskey my new thing for the season.  No need to purchase a bottle.  $27 dollars saved.  Holiday spirit down.
  • After going in and out of many stores and finding nothing under $24 dollars, decided cool stocking stuffers for teens were overrated.  Reverted back to plan A–travel size toiletries, socks, underwear, and a couple of candy bars.  Holiday gifts done.
  • Deviated from to-do list of errands to go pick up fried fish on the other side of town and spotted eye lashes on a car.  Genuinely confused by it.  No mistletoe.  No reindeer antlers.  No snow flakes.  Holiday decorations nowhere to be found.
  • Saw random guy walk out of the mall, go to his car, stand next to it, and undress. Granted, he didn’t get completely naked.  He was bare from the waist up.  But why?  He pulled his shirt over his head and acted as if it was the most normal thing to do.  There was no reason for that kind of exposure in the middle of the parking lot.  His belly was as big as Santa’s.  I’m sorry.  It wasn’t right.  Childhood memories of Santa forever altered.
  • Fled mall flasher and was greeted with road rage all because of an attempt to switch lanes.  It was unclear what the young man yelled as he swerved and pulled up beside us. One can only imagine.  Holiday gone off the rails and over the cliff.

I can hear that old song now…Silver Bells.  Silver Bells.  It’s Christmas time in the city.  But after a day like Friday, I have to say it’s hard to tell that it’s Christmas time in this city.


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