Joel Vernier

Winter, to me, is an endless napping opportunity. It’s too cold out or too icy to walk the dogs. The mail can wait until tomorrow. Let’s go shopping after the plows clear the snow. 

As long as the power stays on, the television works, and I can tune in or tune out the world. Lately, tuning out has been my preferred choice. 

Christmas is over, well almost over, it is not over until all the decorations are put away, and all of the bills are paid.

Thinking back a few weeks, setting up the decorations is fun! The Christmas with all the songs, get-togethers, services and of course, Christmas Day. The anticipation of the upcoming festivities is uplifting. 

In contrast, putting everything away is more of a time of reflection. Thinking of all of the friends and family that we spent time together, and the ones we used to. The laughter when the gifts were opened and the children’s delight with their toys.

The lights, the items that celebrate the holiday like the skating mouses, the Coca Cola Santa, an endless number of cute little ghosts of Christmas gifts from my family and friends. 

The Nativity is quite a challenge to put away as it is porcelain, so each piece has to be individually wrapped. The bulbs, lights, and antique decorations must also be carefully put away. 

I remember that our first Christmas after getting married was financially quite a challenge. We went to Frank’s Nursery and bought a fresh-cut tree; we paid $4.99 for the tree and 75 cents for some tinsel. We did not have money for lights or decorations. 

Budget Christmas decorations were the order of the day. We took a dozen eggs, put a small hole in the top and the bottom, and I blew the yolk and whites out. We washed them and let them dry. 

The next day we painted Christmas scenes on the eggs, glued on a hanger, let the paint dry overnight, and then hung them all over our tree. 

Next, we popped a couple of batches of popcorn, ate one batch, and then with a needle and thread, pushed the needle into the popped corn what seemed like a couple of hundred times, strung the popcorn on the tree. 

We finished it up with some tinsel. It looked nice, and those memories are among my favorite Christmas flashbacks. Out of the dozen egg ornaments, we have six left after all of these years. 

We still put those egg ornaments on our Christmas tree to this day! I have a few decorations over 50 years old and one over 100. 

Finally, all of the Christmas décors are put away. The house looks bare, cold, and January makes it feel colder. The memories will live on for years to come. What’s up next? Martin Luther King Day, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, and St. Patrick’s Day. 

It also seems like every day is recognized for something or another. In January alone, the 2nd is “World Introvert Day.” The 4th is “National Spaghetti Day.” The 17th is “Ditch New Year’s Resolution day!” Don’t forget Hallmark days! And on it goes. 

Let’s try to keep a little Christmas in every day!

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others.” – Joel, author of the book: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer!” © Joel M. Vernier January 10, 2022.

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