This past weekend, I laid abed until 8 a.m. Lest you think me a regular slug, this is not a typical morning. Women of my particular generation, especially “industrious” women of my generation, are prone to arising early. We were raised by house-proud women, after all. We have the wash on the line before daylight slants over the horizon. If we have a job of work outside the home, we don’t hop into our vehicle and drive off unless the beds are made, the kitchen is set to rights, and there is no clothing draped over a chair or lying on the dining room table. We often eat our breakfast in the dark before the dawn. No dilly-dallying or lolly-gagging on the outdoor deck or at the indoor table with a cup of coffee or tea. We get things done, by gosh. Thus, lying in bed until 8, unless one is ill, is a definite aberration.

And why was I snug in my bed, besides the fact that it was nicely warm there, you may ask? In truth, I was admiring the snow lying on tree limbs. There are two windows in the room — one facing east, the other facing south — providing a grand view of treetops and the accompanying limbs. Tree limbs lined with freshly fallen snow are a thing of beauty, and I was lost for a bit. Perhaps I haven’t been losing myself enough lately, so my subconscious mind is taking over and doing it for me. This isn’t the only event that has been out of character for me in recent days, however, which causes a bit of worry….

We received a couple of the “merry and bright”-type Christmas cards on Friday. One is red and gold striped, the other black and white plaid. Everyone knows stripes and plaids do not go together but what did yours truly do? I hung them right next to each other on the door casing. Right. Next. To. Each. Other. Oh, the faux pas. Can you imagine?

This next may fall under the category of “too much information,” but hopefully you all can keep a secret. All the Christmas gifts are wrapped and tucked neatly in the corner of the spare bedroom. It’s only Dec. 14 as I type this. Never in my life have all my Christmas gifts been wrapped by this date. Most years, none of my Christmas gifts have been wrapped by this date, yet there they sit. Mocking my “oh let’s wrap at the last minute” self. Two aberrations are a bit strange, sure, but three? And as you may have guessed, there’s more.

The outdoor decorations are up. We haven’t had a howling wind or minus 40-degree temps this year, and yet our outdoor decorations are up. Granted, we do not imitate the Griswolds (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Griswolds) at any time, but having set our small array out on the mildest of days is just beyond the pale! And I, who so value the traditions in my life, am letting so many slip by the wayside this season. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, let me tell you.

Next is the most difficult to admit (gulp). Christmas movies are my favorites. Not necessarily the Hallmark or Lifetime varieties, though those are fine, but the classics, the “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the “White Christmas,” the Maureen O’Hara version of “Miracle on 34th Street,” the “Bells of St. Mary’s” classics. As I mentioned before, it is now Dec. 14 — Dec. 14 mind you — and I’ve viewed half of “White Christmas,” the end of the newest (to my knowledge) “Miracle on 34th Street” (which I don’t really care for), and most of “A Christmas Story,” and that is all. That is all. No George Bailey. No Bing Crosby as the affable priest. No little girl Natalie Wood as Susan wanting a mom, a dad and a house. No Ebenezer Scrooge visited by the spirits of past, present, and future. No classics at all. I’ve never fallen this far behind in my Christmas viewing. Never. A most bitter pill, indeed.

Thank goodness we don’t have our tree up yet. That would be the absolute limit. It goes up only a couple days before Christmas Eve and that is that. Thank goodness — there may be hope for me yet!

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