I settle into Kris Kringle’s sleigh and sit back as the reindeer pull me into my 26th Christmas as Momma Santa. I diligently search for the glow of Rudolph’s nose to light the way in the foggy history that I am making. I have a list just like the man in red, but no bustling elves in my workshop to help me decide what I should do. And while Claus is expected to bring what children ask for I have choices to make. Visions of sugarplums are not dancing in my head because it is spinning with colors, sizes, and deals. This show has had a good run for many years. Now I have the option to re-write the script, but I am having difficulty changing the lines.
Decision making has never been my forte, so it is like a holiday miracle that I had five children! Now, it is my responsibility to clothe them with shirts, pants, dresses, and shoes. Since I do not do new clothes on a regular basis it all comes in a blizzard of activity at Christmas time. This requires me to plow my way through the crowds and mentally war with myself over the perfect items for each individual. The cocktail glass runneth over with indecision. Maybe, just maybe, since this is the time for joy and goodwill towards fellow man I should treat myself to one hassle free Christmas, and just give the masses what they ask for. I did it once. But can I do it again?
Can I break the tradition of buying multiple presents in favor of purchasing one and only one? The answer to that question is worth hundreds of dollars. The gift that would ease the stress of my shopping madness does not fit in a stocking, nor can it be wrapped in a box and placed under the tree. However, it is a one stop shopping item that is on the entire family’s wish list, and it can be tied with a bow.
I think about the meaning of friends, family, unconditional love and remember Bert, a best friend to the end. He was devoted to the kids, always keeping a paw over them. He was a gentle Yellow Labrador giant trained as a seeing eye guide dog whose skills stayed with him after he was adopted by us. Bert was a tireless playmate who played catch and let the kids lay all over him. The love he shared was as endless as his drooling and shedding. He was devoted to his human friends. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
This time around I could pick a girl and name her Holly. So, am I ready to throw the pink collar in and add the idea of vet bills to my budget? Dog food is no big deal because I can just feed the leftovers to the kids! But, in keeping with the spirit of this blessed season I must be totally honest. Giving my family a pet this Christmas would not be a totally selfless act. My hope would be that the miles and miles of walks a dog takes me on would keep me in shape. And all the petting this furry being allows me to lavish upon it lowers my blood pressure to readings that are closer to the numbers the American Heart Association mandates than they are now!
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? No. At the end of the leash I come to realize that no man is a failure who has a four-legged friend, because that makes it a doggone wonderful life!