Santa is already booked into the ho-ho-ho ‘hop up on my knee’ circuit

Here it is, the middle of November, very little snow, and almost everyone (including yours truly) taking advantage of our balmy fall conditions to get those outside Christmas decorations and inspirations in place.

Here it is, the middle of November, very little snow, and almost everyone (including yours truly) taking advantage of our balmy fall conditions to get those outside Christmas decorations and inspirations in place. Of course, most of the stores had already transformed to the tinsel, toy, and sparkle mode right after Halloween, and it won’t be long before jolly old Santa will be making a whirlwind tour of a shopping centre near you.

I really enjoy watching those long line-ups of stressed mothers and excited children, waiting for a precious few moments on Santa’s knee, to whisper their gift wish list, while insisting that they have been real good since his last visit. Despite the supposed downturn in our economy, everyone seems to be in fairly good spirits, and are hopefully looking forward to another glorious holiday season full of family, friends, and special celebrations, songs and traditions to suit the joyous occasion.

Just for fun this week, I thought that I would make up a few little suggestions and tid-bits that might help us all get ready for the Yuletide fling. Please remember that these wise and witty antidotes are coming from the same happy-go-lucky senior citizen who starts out pushing the cart during the shopping rush, while always looking for an excuse to head to the bathroom or coffee shop, or to disappear into the video section.

*I guess it’s never too early to send out Christmas cards, especially if they are going out of the country. For those of us that forget, the Internet has some great greetings and letters that come in colour, and can be sent as quick as you can say, no postage required.

*It’s a great idea to get oranges early (we’ve gone through three boxes already), and turkeys and hams are likely on sale right now!

*As I browse through the internet I have also found that they have the lists of the most popular and safe toys and gift ideas for all age groups, which by the way have also been approved by the North Pole Union of Santa’s Elves.

*On the current shoppers etiquette list: Don’t be stopping for a family strategy conference or time out in the middle of the aisle; plan your list so you know where you are going and the ideal excuse to make the rest of the family disappear if you are shopping for them; and never leave children unattended in a cart, because they get very excited and may fall out. If patience is not one of your virtues during Christmas shopping, stop for a coffee to re-charge, or why not go early in the morning or late at night! I know that all of you will remember to drop off an item for Santa’s’ Anonymous or the Food Bank as you always do!

*Christmas office parties are great, but please remember that what you do or say or perform on that jolly night will quite likely be the main topic of coffee breaks for the rest of the year.

*It time NOW to start to collect subtle hints about what to get for her or him, but remember that if we wait until Dec. 24 at 6 p.m. to buy it, it may not be there.

*At the current stage of life for my beloved Mrs. Claus and I, we feel that having each other is the most important gift, as well as being able to pamper, and enjoy the sparkle in the eyes of our grandchildren. We also really look forward to attending the Christmas Eve church service to celebrate the true meaning of the occasion. We believe that the easiest gift to give to the siblings is a gift certificate or cash card so they can get what they want; while our youngest son 10,000 miles away in Australia is only asking for mom’s special recipe for nuts and bolts, and a phone call on Christmas Day.

*A very important stop during your shopping spree is at the battery counter. Many of the electronic gizmos they sell these days don’t have them, and how embarrassing is it on Christmas morning when that fancy new toy won’t go anywhere.

*While a vast array of artificial trees and glitz has now taken over the decoration mode these days, there is absolutely nothing that can replace the traditions and true smells and shapes of a real one, even if it is a ‘Charlie Brown’! Whatever the case, when all of you add that personal holiday touch and talent to your home, inside or out, it will all look fabulous.

*Always remember that whatever the weather on that magic evening of Dec. 24, Reindeer Air and that jolly old pilot will make it to your house to deliver all sorts of treats. Don’t you dare stay up to late, but make sure that you leave some milk and cookies near the tree, and a bale of hay on the roof for those weary travelers.

*Most of the fun should be in getting ready for the holiday season, the sheer joy of giving and sharing, and absolutely no scrooges or grinches allowed! Have a great week, all of you.