The holiday season is now in full swing, with Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us. Some of you, and I don’t know why, have had your Christmas trees since before Thanksgiving, and I applaud your organization but I don’t understand it.
What must it be like to live such a well-ordered life? I have no idea. As late as Wednesday afternoon of last week I was still clearing off the dining room table, and it took a couple of hours.
But, we each have our holiday traditions and I am all about diversity, so I celebrate our differences. And I might as well, because when one celebrates there is food and drink involved.
My friend, Margaret, always so engaged, always so active, spent October and November sending out e-mails to our group, touting the Run, Run Rudolph 5K, in Santa Clause, IN. It is this Saturday, and, oh boy, we get to run around Christmas Lake Village or some such thing, looking at all the pretty lights.
My friends have been in training for weeks for the event. Some are coming from out of town. I can’t believe it.
When Margaret brought this up in October, my email response went something like this:
“Honestly, what is wrong with you, Margaret? Can’t we just sit in the car with cookies and hot chocolate while driving six miles an hour through lit-up neighborhoods?
Why must every pure pleasure be bought at such a price?
I can think of nothing worse than running through the park, tripping over electrical cords as I speed past Christmas lights. Christmas lights are made to be looked at long and lovingly, as we, full of wonder, gaze upon them, all the while imbibing delightful beverages—egg nog, hot mulled wine, a plantation punch.
The idea of bundling up to sweat is anathema to me. It reminds me of the disco era. All gussied up in slick and unbreathable polyester, while gyrating like one demented, in a frenzy on the dance floor, sweating like a pig.
Pig is a festive meat, holiday ham, ham and angel biscuits, bacon and sausage heaving on platters at a Christmas breakfast. There would be wonderful cakes and a small piece of divinity to cleanse one’s palate, and maybe some potato dish, like hash brown casserole with cheese and sautéd onion.
And coffee, rich special Christmas coffee served with cream and holiday flavors of cinnamon and peppermint.
And that Couch to 5K business you suggested in your email.
Let me start now, this minute, TRAINING to see the Christmas lights. I will make a wall chart, with big squares to to X out as I move closer and closer to my goal of running through the park, at night, in a blur.
You all go right ahead, and I will join you. I will be the one in the bed of a pickup truck; you can’t miss me. I will have a little hibachi fire going, and rosy cheeks from my Christmas punch. I will drape myself in blinking lights and I’ll be singing along to the Christmas carols blasting from my boom box.
I could share my Christmas cookies but I won’t tempt ya. I know how you athletes take your performance seriously.”
Okay, I admit my reaction might have been a bit extreme, but it is how it hit me at the time, plus it was just so much fun to write.
As it happens, my friends are more serious athletes than I would have given them credit for, and they have been training and are making plans for Saturday, even as I write this.
Out of graciousness or spite, I can’t tell, they still include me in the e-mails about the run. I notice they plan to go out to eat right after. I think I could just about muster enough energy to get off the couch and join them for dinner, maybe cheer them on from the comfort of my car.
I am a loyal that way.
It is the holiday season after all. And I bet there will be pie.