Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas

By SHELL SHERREE

If I woke up with amnesia and needed to find our mailbox, I’d only have to follow the trail of rolled up Christmas sales catalogues tossed over our fence.

We have a No Junk Mail sticker on it. How thoughtful that they comply by throwing the junk mail into the garden instead. Clearly we need a sticker with more explicit instructions.

The other day, I pulled a Christmas Card from my hubby's elderly aunt out of said mailbox. We were visiting her that very night but she seems to enjoy mailing our card come rain, hail or shine and we've had plenty of all three, so it was no surprise to find it there.

Aunt Teensy's (name changed to protect me) festive bake-up is as reliable as her Christmas Card. Each year, we have our Santa celebrations with her early in December (she has a very busy dance card and slots us in before the perm relaxes). This year, as always, she fondly sent us home with fruit cake, shortbread, coconut macaroons, jars of mixed lollies and mixed milk choc-coated indiscernibles. I nearly slipped into a sugar coma in the car and that was just from cradling them on my knees. Ironically, she has diabetes. I have to wonder if she is trying to live out her sweet cravings through us.

I don't usually eat lollies and mixed milk choc-coated indiscernibles. (Technical note: Dark chocolate is an antioxidant, not a lolly.) But I make a polite exception this time each year and snort my way through them at a cracking pace on the pretext of getting rid of them so that I'll stop eating them. (Somewhat like tidying up for the cleaner.) This year, however, the thought that the lollies could have been made in China and filled with melamine flitted through my head. Not that Aunt Teensy would have bought such things had she known, but I'm not sure if she keeps a finger on the pulse of world news nowadays or merely checks periodically to make sure it's still alive.

I couldn't look at the lollies in the same way after that and threw them away. I'm rather fond of my kidneys and have no desire for them to produce me some new kitchen cupboard doors. I believe we have shops for that kind of thing.

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