December 5, 2009 1:43:00 PM
Adele Elliott - [email protected]
The huge, impressive Columbus Christmas tree has been lit, and so has the much smaller "Chris and Adele" tree. We have wassailed, and shopped for artistic wreaths. Most of us have chosen from so many seasonal concerts. No one can attend them all.
Not in the mood yet? Have you seen the snowflakes hanging from downtown light poles? What about sparkling displays in every store?
Well, sometimes this season loses that greeting-card charm. There is so much pressure to shop, shop, shop, and clean, and cook. And did I mention shop?
I have the perfect antidote for the sort of stress that makes folks wish for a prescription of tranquilizers. Just don''t do it. (Shop, I mean.)
Of course, there are people on our lists that must receive a gift. This is especially true for those who have little ones. But, really, think of the adults you know. What do they actually need?
My family lives in Portland, Oregon, which must be as far as The North Pole in the post office''s perception. I want to send them a small token. However, they have learned that my packages are usually opened on the feast of The Epiphany. I just cannot seem to get anything there on time. I don''t make apologies for that. By now, late gifts are expected.
I plan to wrap a few things for my husband and some treats for my furry children. There are, of course, others who deserve to be remembered this year.
I can''t forget my good friend, John, who will spend hours talking to me about our poetry, pretending that he is never bored. Miss Cherri Moonpie shares my love of a certain jewelry designer. We both tape her appearances on The Home Shopping Channel, but in all honesty, never buy anything. My neighbors, Jyl and Greg, have been so good to us this year (as always). Surely, they should be remembered.
There are more on this list. Like a couple of ladies I call my "fairy godmothers," because they give me help and support, but would be embarrassed to see their names in this column.
Wait! I am falling into the trap I am trying to escape. Alright, we must do some shopping.
But spending money does not the season make. My favorite seasonal thing to do is watching the very corny, very old Christmas movies. It seems that I never tire of "It''s A Wonderful Life," or "Christmas In Connecticut." I love "Miracle On 34th Street."
Most men can relate to "A Christmas Story," where a little boy wants nothing more than a Red Rider BB gun. Of course, his mother objects. His father wins this battle, with hilarious and somewhat predictable results. (Not to worry, no one dies from BB shot.)
Don''t even talk to me about remakes! There is no improving on perfection. (Maybe I should send a small gift to The Turner Network. They make my life happier.)
These are wonderful films to watch with friends. They teach us that Santa is real, and that angels watch over us. And that is my point about shopping less. The most valuable gifts this year (or any year) may be that time spent together.
My advice is to queue up a classic movie, make some popcorn and serve a warm drink. This could be remembered as an evening more valuable than something that comes in a Tiffany-blue box. (OK, maybe not.) But, one that is unforgettable and fun, anyway. I''ll bet my fairy godmothers would love this.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.