Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my holiday hymns and hers! How are you? Well, I guess there is little doubt about a white Christmas in Racine this year. It’s very nice and appropriate. I can tolerate temperatures in the 30’s and 20’s. It was chilly at downtown’s Winterfest last Saturday, but even an old-timer like me can take it for a half hour or so. What I worry about is the months to come. Temperatures in the single digits or below zero frighten me. That gets dangerous. I hope that Mother Nature goes easy on us in January and February.

I watched Sunday night’s Packer game with great trepidation. After messing up my prediction of who the starting quarterback would be, I started to believe the hype about the New England Patriots. By game time, I was a pessimist. But then our glorious Green Bay Packers fought with spirit and valor. They gave the Patriots more fight than they’ve encountered in quite awhile. The Packers led at the half. The game finally came down to the last few seconds. There is nothing shameful about that, especially not for a second string quarterback making his first NFL start after only a week’s preparation. I salute you, o mighty Packers! Enjoy your Christmases, and then vanquish the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon.

I just have to take time to once again publicly thank SC Johnson Company for their generous donation of more than $600,000 to fix and maintain the Dr. Laurel Salton Clark Memorial Fountain for children of all ages in Racine: We are truly blessed to have a company of such caliber take a philanthropic interest in our city. Thank you, again, ladies and gentlemen.

I received an email from our own Mr. Logjam late last week. Here is what he had to say:

Dearest Madame Z,

This should be the merriest time of year, but somehow I can't get motivated. I am avoiding sending out the Christmas cards fearing I would end up with blisters on my tongue like last year from licking the envelopes. I'm still trying to find a present for the Mrs. that she won't return on the 26th. I have a string of lights out on the house, decorations that I will have the ambition to June. I'm beginning to think that having to pay my property taxes this week had something to do with it, but that isn't all of it. I'm beginning to think Scrooge was right. Maybe I'm getting tired of people, stores, and TV commercials wanting my money, being afraid to say Merry Christmas; preferring to stay with the sterile "happy holidays." Besides a little heat in the eggnog, I am open for suggestions to get me into the Christmas spirit. Any suggestions or hocus pocus you could bring forth would be appreciated.

As always,

Oh my dear, dear Mr. Logjam, I can empathize with you, but Christmas definitely is a wonderful time of year if you can get in the spirit. (By the way, “heat in the eggnog” is a form of spirits.) I try to ignore the commercialization of Christmas as much as I can. If you are in the stores, though, you will be bombarded with it. I try to make my shopping expeditions into “missions” where I go in, get what I want, and get out, as quickly as possible. I don’t have much control over how others treat Christmas or how it is hyped. My antidote is to seek out situations where the holiday is treated with more respect. One simple thing is taking a leisurely drive to look at Christmas decorations at night. Mr. drewzepmeister posted a blog on this: Even just driving by the lights at the Zoo cheers me up a little.

Christmas music is another way to get into the spirit. I’m not talking about what they blare at you in the stores – I’m talking about a favorite Christmas album or two that you can listen to, or, better yet, attend a holiday concert. Often a choir singing can fill me with a sense of majesty and beauty.

Probably the most important thing you can do, though, is to help someone else. The spirit of giving is the spirit of the holiday. Presents and gifts are wonderful expressions of our love for each other, but perhaps there is some simple need in your community that you can fulfill, whether by action or donation or time and effort. Helping others seems to be what His message is all about, so what better way to celebrate His birth?

Oh my, I sure have run on this week. I hope I helped you a little with my suggestions, Mr. Logjam. The “hocus pocus” should have arrived a few days ago. I sincerely wish each and every one of my Irregulars and regulars a most Merry Christmas! May the love of the season warm your hearts all year long. Joyous Noël!

Want to know what the New Year has in store for you? Find out here:

Be careful on the slippery streets and sidewalks, my dears. Slow and easy does it. Take your time and you will get there in one piece. Peace!


kkdither said...

Thank you Mme. By dishing out advice to logjam, you've spread it to the rest of us as well. Keeping it simple this year has helped me. I'm vowing for nothing lavish, no matter what everyone else does. The notion that less is more might catch on.

Even before reading your column, my next "mission" was to find a red kettle and toss in some serious dough.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the suggestions Mdm Z. The Christmas music worked.......except for that damn wikkikanikkihaha Christmas in Hawaii song......I punched 3 different buttons on the car radio and they all were playing it at the same time! I almost drove my truck into a lightpole!

Anonymous said...

I always get nervous around Christmas, especially when someone suggests they throw another Yule LOG on the fire.

drewzepmeister said...

Thank goodness, that I'm more into the Christmas spirit this year than last year.