I’ll be out for a couple of days, because in my 5th year of volunteering at the school Santa Shop (properly known as Gifts Galore, misunderstood by 3 year old Sara to be named The Gifts War, as it will forever be called at our house), I have found this event heralds in the holiday season for me. I look forward to it all year. This year’s capable Chairman (GO TAMMI!), has allowed me to stretch my decorating wings. Whatever we had in storage, I was told to “have at it”. The big red sign that replaces the “Meeting Center” sign? I can put that up? Yep.
The myriad of ceiling signs, and the twinkling lights that surround the entire shop, and the spinning fairy at the gift tag table, and I can turn all the poles into candy canes?! Yep. 2 hours folks. I had that Meeting Center decked out in 8 year-old style decor in 2 hours flat. Me, the big ladder, and those lights? I was in Gifts War heaven. You know the warm feeling you get when you unpack your Christmas ornaments? It’s like saying hello to old friends. I get that same feeling, but instead of ornaments, I’m unwrapping larger-than-life hand-me-down signs rescued from a Barnes & Noble dumpster at midnight. What can I say? Christmas joy comes in many, many forms.
The windows-of-uneven size are an annual challenge for me. I reverted to my Gifts War Mentor’s go-to and tried to turn the windows into snow globes. After 4 years of scraping off spray snow, I decided on paper snowflakes. Do you know how many snowflakes it takes to fill in 4 windows not quite 45″x47″? Them’s a lot of snowflakes guys. Our school’s paper rolls don’t evenly fit the windows either, and while working on these at the last minute (what? me? procrastination? NEVER…), I realized I’m the world’s worst free hand sketcher. Wait…I knew that in advance. So, with 45 minutes to go-time, 4 huge sheets of blue paper, and in need of something large and round to trace, my eyes started dashing around my house. Big…round…think LORI…THINK:
Did I get up on a rickety-stool and disassemble our living room ceiling light? I may have. And I think we can all agree it was the perfect assimilation of a gigantic, not quite 45″ snow globe. What’s important is that I A) Did not kill myself on that stool while cursing that I couldn’t find the ladder (of all the things I misplace around here, I am most famous for losing very large ladders…??? don’t ask me how I do it), and B) Got the entire chandelier reassembled before Greg got home. One more eye-roll from him in 2012, and I fear he might go blind.
So, I’m off. I must unpack my “Got Gifts?” red apron, warm up the spiced cider for the volunteers, and pack up a tray of bark cookies. This time of year means war…a GIFTS WAR...and I’m about to watch 400 kids oh-so-carefully pick out presents for the people they love most. It’s heart-warming in a way I cannot describe. I wish you all flavors of joy this holiday season.