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Dec 04

I will be outside for the season

Clark Griswold: “Well, I’m gonna park the cars and get the suitcases, and well, I’ll be outside for the season.”
– National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, 1989.

About this time of year, three weeks out from Christmas, I commiserate with Clark Griswold and may just join him outside.

Just kidding of course since I am an incurable Christmas romantic and love the holiday.

However, there is a “but”. Well actually, there may be several “buts”.

As the years pass, I discover that I no longer have my old stamina needed to create the perfect family Christmas, just like Clark Griswold attempted to do in the movie Christmas Vacation, the subject of this series.

Neither do I possess a seemingly endless energizer-bunny ability to cook, clean, shop, wrap, write cards and letters, bake cookies, sleep little, drive to the airport to pick up relatives, attend parties and luncheons, make homemade gifts, or decorate elaborately.

Nope, no steam for such pleasurable pursuits anymore.

Instead, I delegate or don’t do them at all.

Some of my empty-nester friends tell me they are downshifting their holiday gears as well.

One friend commented, “Didn’t we just do the Thanksgiving dishes? Now it is almost time to cook that bird again! I don’t think I want to.”

And as we visited about the tasks ahead and Christmas Day looming a mere three weeks away, my baby boomer friends and I began to compare notes on our respective Thanksgiving gatherings of last week.

One Grandma said her grandkids ran lickety-split throughout the house for nearly three hours and broke only one lamp. “That’s good, Clark. Real good,” as cousin Eddie in the movie would say.

Another child found the pantry and a broom and subsequently swept a jar of jelly off a shelf. That child, being a very little guy, decided to sit down for a while and play in the goo.

Yet another boomer said her husband noticed that their attic door was ajar. They assumed the attic would be a safe hideout for Christmas gifts. When questioned about the open door, one chatty grandchild admitted, “Yes Grandpa, I played hide and seek in the attic but I only opened one gift. Honest.”

As for our Thanksgiving get-together, we escaped with only a few messes, some missing knickknacks possibly hidden by a grandchild, a broken dish, lost coasters that often turn up later under a sofa after the munchkins leave, silverware tucked inside the Grandfather clock, and a couple of ransacked closets.

Did I mention the injuries? Perhaps not. You see, two grandsons decided to jump on one another resulting in one very sore foot, possibly broken but turns out not. And one mom sliced an onion and diced her finger at the same time.

All in all, not too bad a holiday.

Nevertheless as I mentioned earlier, Christmas is just three weeks away and we will soon get to have this fun all over again.

As Clark Griswold said, “Well, I may be outside for the season.”