I grew up, as many of us did, with a very definite picture in my head of Christmas. Some of us have a very pleasant picture of this holiday and others less so, but everyone immediately has an impression when you start talking about it.
As you know, Dear Readers, I had a completely ordinary childhood for someone from SW Pennsylvania. So when I think of Christmas, I picture going to school and returning home in the dark, that silly Christmas commercial about the star and tree, endless showings of “White Christmas” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” houses spending stupid amounts of money on holiday decorations and even more money on snow removal equipment. There’s some other stuff rattling around in my head too, but that’s mostly about family and giant meals and no one cares about that stuff.
Let me tell you what’s NOT pictured in my cavernous cranium when I picture Christmas. My “To Do” list is piled up so high that it is threatening to collapse even my reinforced lab table. Christmas is supposed to be about eggnog, off-key singing of songs no one knows the words to, and wool socks. It’s not supposed to be filled with feverish attempts to finish work during your unpaid leave!
You know what else is NOT in my mental Christmas picture? Bicycle commuting all through December in shorts and a T shirt. I know that this is the balmy South and seeing snow is about as rare as spotting a Democrat, but it still normally takes a turn towards the chilly during the winter months. There has been exactly one day this winter where I’ve thought, “I should probably wear a coat this morning.” ONE!
If this is a sign of what’s to come when I head home for the holidays, I think that I’m going to need a crash helmet and a cape. Good luck, everyone!