I haven't been able to find my holiday spirit this year... at least not until last Wednesday, which I declared to be "Santa Day". Toys for Tots was going to be collecting from around town on Friday, so if we were going to get our toys in, it had to be soon and Thursday was out because it was KenPo Day, as well as Interminable Medical Testing Day. So Wednesday it was.
We'd actually done our TfT shopping the previous weekend, by accident. My granddaughter was staying with us and we went to the store, where the kids began buzzing around the toys. Spur of the moment, because I wanted her to experience this too, I told the kids to load up the cart. And they did. They blew the whole toy budget for this year, but it was great to see them getting into it.
Wednesday was Santa Day. I came home from work, donned the costume. When boy got home from school, he decided he wanted to be an elf again this year, but his costume had fallen apart (cheap-o felt thing), so we made one up out of a hat, my husband's ObiWan shirt and a robe belt. It worked!
Us in front of our lawn decorations.
We packed up the toys in green flannel pillowcases and took them to our ABC affiliate (who happens to be sharing our building this year) to drop them off in the TfT box. Their receptionist, who already thinks I'm something of a kook, was thrilled and wanted a picture with Santa.
Z-boy was the most angelic elf....
And when we were done delivering the toys, we walked around the building visiting some of the people we work with.
This is Jannie. One of the most beautiful people I know, both inside and out. She and Z-boy have a special thing!
Afterwards, we went shopping, still dressed up. At the hardware store, I was waving to a little girl and her grandpa took me to task. Wanted to know why he didn't get what he asked for last year. I looked him in the eye and asked him why he didn't like the coal he got last year. Granddaughter nearly dissolved in giggles. Methinks grandpa is usually a pretty gruff character, but he started laughing too.
I don't approach people when I shop dressed up like that. I let them approach me, and if it's a small child looking, I'll wave and smile. Sometimes I get a wave back, sometimes a hug, but always a smile.
At Boston Market, where we stopped for dinner, there were several tables pushed together with three children around 2 years old at it with their parents. I waved at them and looked at the parents for permission to approach. Z-boy was disappointed that I didn't let loose with a big HO-HO-HO, but these were little tiny kids. I didn't want to scare them. So I went over, shook their hands and said I could tell that they'd been very good this year.
And it is a good year. My Christmas spirit has arrived just in time.