Can We Please Have a Breather Before Christmas?

While many nearby homes are already fully in the holiday spirit, we’re neither here nor there.

Our first snowfall was yesterday. I brought our dog Gus outside for some fresh air and marveled as he saw snow for the first time. He held out his tongue to catch the flakes and drank lustily from the pools of melting snow below our downspouts. Only about two inches fell, but it clung prettily to the branches, shrubs and mailboxes.

The snow was beautiful but it was another unwelcome reminder that fall is over and I’d better get my ass in gear soon for Christmas. Around our town a few organized souls have already done so. As soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers were cleared away, electric candles miraculously appeared in each window, garland sprouted around the garage and tasteful white lights on every tree and shrub. On Thanksgiving day we saw at least three cars topped with trussed dead firs driving by. I am still upset that millions of people cut Thanksgiving short to wait in line to buy holiday junk at Walmart.

At our house, two large pumpkins, beginning to soften with age, still sit on our doorstep. Yesterday’s snowfall has given them fluffy white hats. We’ve been too lazy busy for our annual late November tradition of smashing them in the woods, at the same place where countless pumpkins have been slain in years past. While I’ve added a wreath to the front door – only because I had ordered them from our local Boy Scout, who delivered them before Thanksgiving — the pumpkins are still there, as out of place as uninvited Christmas party guests.

We need a breather — a few days or even a week of stillness — between the fall holidays and the winter ones. Just a few days to decompress from the Halloween candy and the tryptophan coma, to pull out the dead chrysanthemums and smash the rotting pumpkins, to sweep away the last of the leaves, to appreciate the barren beauty of the unincorporated territory between holidays. A few days to rest the brain, wallet and soul before December’s shopping, glitz and revelry. Who’s with me?