Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Christmas Eve Shuffle

Well, it's finally here. The big day before THE BIG DAY. 

It might be holy but, it sure isn't silent. No sir. There's much to do today — and tonight. There will be hustle. There will be bustle. And finally there will be guzzle. 

If you're anything like me your day will be a frantic mad dash toward a finish line which jumps away from you each and every time you think you've reached it. 

Christmas Eve is why we say errands are "run" and not simply "done." 

Pictured: Plan C.
I've got some gifts to pick up (and a few that still have to be picked out). So, like many other poor, lost souls I'll be making that sad December 24 trek to the mall. 

If you're ever feeling like your level of disorganization and procrastination can't be surpassed, it's all but guaranteed you'll find a guy at the mall who makes your particular brand of disarray look like that of a rank amateur. 

I'm just hoping that today, I'm not that guy. 

I know what I've got to buy. But, there's no guarantee it will be there. And if it's not there, I'll have a plan B. And if Plan B doesn't work, there's always Plan C. 

Even if the gifts I want to buy are there, that's but one task of many to be crossed off the list. 

Gifts must then be wrapped and some must be sent. Which means I'll have to go to the post office. Ever go to the post office on Christmas Eve? It's where you'll find the most embarrassing examples of misbehavior this side of Youtube.

Once that's done, it's back into the car and fighting through traffic.

Nothing is open tomorrow so groceries must be bought. Beer must be stocked. The turkey must be thawed. Prep work for Christmas dinner must be completed. Beer must be stocked. Snack foods must be kept at optimum levels and we need to be sure we’ve got enough beer stocked.

And when all of that is done. When the bows are bowed, the food is ready, the turkey is thawing and all the prep work that can be done for Christmas Day is done, we've got to go to church.

Yes, Mrs. Blackwell remains a big believer that Christmas is indeed a religious holiday. So, we’ll make our way to church where we’ll see a similar scene to the mall.

Even though we’ll get there 30 minutes before the service starts, finding a parking spot will be an exercise in patience. Ditto for finding a seat inside the church.

Men will be sporting clothes they haven’t worn since last Christmas Eve and kids will be floating on air at the prospect of the next 24 hours.

And, when the service begins, the church will go quiet (except my son) and we’ll settle in for 45 minutes.

During that time, the kids’ attention will be a second-to-second proposition, as will that of many adults.

And, in the midst of this scene, I’ll find a moment of serenity.

I’ll see my wife. I’ll see my son and I’ll remember, that life is good, that we’re fortunate to have each other and that, yes, I’ve got enough beer stocked.

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