It took so long for Christmas to get here and then it was gone in a heartbeat. The Christmas ambiance that is.
The poor men and women in retail got but one short day to relax with family and friends and then they were back at again this morning – really early in some cases.
I listened to the radio while eating breakfast and doing some things in the house before I left for my walk. The story of the morning was all about the traffic congestion at the malls … it wasn’t even 7:00 a.m.! Holiday shopping has monopolized the local and national news for weeks until the malls finally closed their doors on Christmas Eve. And here the shoppers were at it again.
Years ago the breadwinner of the family got his paycheck, a holiday bonus, a ham and a handshake from his boss, not necessarily in that order, on the last working day before Christmas. He had to scramble then to hit the bank and the plaza before they closed at 6:00 p.m. … they didn’t have malls in those days. It’s a whole different game plan now though.
The weatherman said cold but bright and sunny and bright it was. I high-tailed it out of the house, quick like a bunny, this morning to go on a long walk – I set my sights on 6 miles and ended up going 6 ¼ by the time I got home.
It was rather desolate in the neighborhoods as I wended my way down to Council Point Park. It was hard to tell if folks were back in the work grind today or had left before dawn seeking marked-down Santas and leftover sequined holiday sweaters for next-to-nothing prices. Perhaps people were still recovering from the busy holiday yesterday. I quietly pounded the pavement, but still managed to rouse an outdoor hound dog or two. They then barked their fool heads off at me until I was out of their range of vision.
It was quiet at the Park as well. The first entire loop, I had to take special care as there was a thin layer of frost on the asphalt and it was a little slick. Of course, I stopped along the way to toss some peanuts and wondered if four paws were sliding on the slickened asphalt as easily I seemed to be slip-sliding away in my walking shoes. By the second loop around, the sun had come out and started melting some of the slippery surface so I was happy for that.
My friend Marge was driving around looking at the local night-time Christmas displays this week and posted a video on Facebook of a home in Lincoln Park that was decorated to the hilt for the holidays. There were lights galore and Christmas music streaming from inside the house.
On a lark, I decided to stop this morning on my way home and take a look. Although it was not as stupendous in the daytime, there was alot of effort expended on this holiday display. The property was not very big and the homeowner had crammed Christmas decorations in every available space on the lawn, porch and even the rooftop. At least 20 collapsed inflatable Christmas figures were laying in colorful pools on the grass. There were teddy bears and polar bears, wise men and snowmen … all gathered together and facing the street. A larger than life-sized Mrs. Claus was standing on the porch taking it all in. I wonder where they store it all? I must confess, these decorating efforts made my small holiday wreath on the front door look a little lame.
I moseyed past the display and picked up the pace as I still had quite a way to go before getting to my house.
At that point, I started getting a little weary and wished this angel had wings to carry me home.