If you are reading this, you are still here. We are still here. The end of the world has come and gone again, another non-event, and it is now for us to carry on. Maybe not as usual but to carry on nonetheless.
Oh, you Mayans. Why have us believe the end was coming so close to Christmas anyway? You lived in simpler times, remember? If you were so good at predictions, shouldn't you have known the crazy course humanity would have taken by now?
In the ever-present battle against time, we must prepare souls for what's to come and earthly domiciles for at-hand holidays simultaneously?
Yet all this end-time talk did have redeeming value. It at least got some of us thinking, if only about what is and isn't worth it in this mixed-up world after all.
I know I've made a few key Christmas decisions this year, and I'm willing to share, in case any of you should want to copy (or mock) me. Hey, just here to help. Here goes …
• Christmas cards. Still love receiving them, especially with a photo or personal note, but I might have to stop sending them. Sounds selfish, but, for one thing, my hand just fails me at writing anymore – with a pen, I mean – thanks to too many keystroking years. Classic use it or lose it, and I may have lost it.
I'm not alone, I know. Yet the thought of a world without any handwritten notes saddens me, so here's one solution: Pen as many Christmas cards as possible, perhaps prioritizing for those I rarely get to see. The others I will finish in the new year, one holiday and batch at a time. Folks I love for all kinds of unusual reasons can get Valentines, Irish eyes can read St. Paddy's salutations, and so on. To everyone, an annual card, just at completely unexpected times.
• Christmas cookies. I was so over them. Then I checked Pinterest. Found recipes and pictures for cannoli chocolate chip, sea-salted peanut butter, cake-mix cookies with Christmas sprinkles, you name it. Just like that I was making another grocery list and checking it twice, impairing even further my ability to write cards. Next year, the computer goes dark for Christmas.
• The oh-joys of cooking: Is it me or are garbage disposals garbage these days? For the second time in three years, I have broken one right before Christmas, this time a brand-new one. The problem? I'm guessing too much home-cooking means too much temptation for an In-Sink-Erator tired of settling for scraps. Hey, did you know store-made pans of food aren't half bad? Discovered that a couple of years ago and may never go back.
• Lights, dagnabit. After another year of half-lit hanging hassles and tangle-taming tussles, I'm hitting the half-price sales the minute Christmas becomes a memory. It's just logical: Two seasons is my expected lifespan for reasonably priced lights anymore anyway. If I buy a few boxes each year at half-price, the cost is a wash and storage and set-up so much simpler.
• Presents! Certain people in my life have tried to sell me on the value of one signature gift per person, rather than the sacks I like to fill, having always thrilled to a good hunt. But it might be wrapping paper that pushes me, finally, to comply. Splurged on $5 rolls this year, and the corners still split. And the tape still ran out too fast. So Dec. 26 also will become gift-bag stock-up day. Next year, I buy only what fits in the nifty bags, and the earth thanks me, too, because gift bags have nine lives.
Wait, did I just say next year? You think we'll still be around? I'll take yes. Entire societies, orders and ways of life have passed away, yet we still have so much to learn. (Obviously; call my little rants a case in point.)
This must be why The Big Guy keeps giving us another chance. Dec. 22, 2012. So here we are again to celebrate the sending of a certain Little Guy. Someday we'll get the most crucial message. Thank heaven that Big Guy has patience.
Reach Sandra Snyder, the editor of At Home, at 831-7383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.