A Day Late and a Dollar Short

This is an old phrase I remember my dad using. It popped into my head today because I’m a day (or two) late with this blog and the reason has to do with Christmas.

It is my favorite holiday. When I’m home in the Northern California wine country I pull out all the stops decorating almost every room. I have ornaments going back to when the kids were small. Every year they get hung on the tree, even if an eye is missing from a popcorn-covered snowman or the foil is coming off a homemade star.

But I’m not home this year. Capt. Mark’s excellent therapists, teaching him how to walk again after his stroke, are in Las Vegas where we will remain until summer. That meant I had lots of shopping to do and packages to mail and maybe a few decorations to buy.

Bright idea number one: let’s do Amazon prime this year. Free shipping and some items come within a couple of days. I happily shopped on-line (caregiving doesn’t allow for lots of shopping expeditions away from the apartment) thinking it would be well worth it. Two gifts I ordered weighed quite a bit. No shipping. Yay. And then the bomb dropped. I had them sent to my own address.

Duh (banging my head against the wall) I should have had them shipped to their final destination. Someone in the household would have wrapped them for me. Heck, for what I paid to have them sent back out again, I could have purchased gold embossed wrapping paper and sent it along with the item.

I love shopping and wrapping and packaging items to send to my kids who are far away. This time I outsmarted myself and my pocketbook is a lot lighter as a result.

Bright idea number two: as I’m not going to be at the apartment in Las Vegas for Christmas, no sense in getting a tree (good thinking). Instead I’ll buy a lot of bright red poinsettias and decorate the place with flowers. It will be festive. I won’t miss the tree or lights. When Capt. Mark and I arrive at my daughter’s in Sonoma I’ll get all the feel-good trappings there.

I bought two beautiful plants and then it hit me. Who will water them while I’m gone for three weeks? It will be very sad when I walk back in the door and find dead leaves everywhere.

Nix the decorations. The two plants will do nicely and can be given to a neighbor when we leave.

I have a bouquet of fake roses…one for each of my published novels, generously provided by the San Francisco Chapter of Romance Writers of America. Maybe I can hang a few tiny ornaments on the leaves.

Bright idea number three: Donate a few new toys to a local children’s charity. That’s the best feel-good of them all.

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