Five days, and then it's Christmas.
Hum this little ditty to the tune of "Jingle Bells" and get yourself in the proper mood:
Five days left, five days left,
Til it's Christmas Day.
Have you done your shopping yet,
Or will you start today?
Deck your halls, hit the malls,
Do it while you can.
When it's done, just think in 12
more months you'll start again.
Appropriately described by many traditional carols, Christmas is season to be jolly and giving. It's a time when Santa Claus comes to town and chestnuts roast on open fires.
It's also a time for last-minute shoppers to hit the panic button.
Let's face it -- no matter how hard you try to buy the gifts early, there is always someone (namely children) throwing a monkey ** wrench into your well-planned holiday.
In our house, letters to Santa were written before Halloween.
Needless to say, they have since received minor and major editorial revisions on a weekly basis.
"What's that you say? You want a baby doll whose push-button bottle burps, coos, cries and says Mama. What about the doll that has baby-like skin and whose heart actually beats?" asks Mom (that's me) in a concerned tone.
"Well, I changed my mind," says the 4-year-old daughter who is still trying to understand the meaning of negotiation.
And the 8-year-old daughter announces she is writing a NEW LIST because she too has changed her mind.
Realizing this is a critical moment, the mother (that's me) goes on the defensive.
"I really don't think Santa Claus is going to be thrilled with so many changes at this late date. It's a very busy time of year for him, and his schedule is becoming more and more hectic.
"You know, Santa Claus is a lot like Mom and Dad in that he tries to keep within a budget. Keep in mind, he has many gifts to give," I say.
Looking for some sign that they accept what is being said, I ask, "Well, do you understand?"
Heads nod up and down, and play resumes.
The mother (me) breathes a temporary sigh of relief, knowing that tomorrow is yet another day when Christmas lists can change.
Speaking of lists -- several central Carroll County kids were willing to share their Christmas requests.
There were no Tinker Toys, Jimmy Jets or red wagons. My, how times have changed.
Eleven-year-old J. W. Sayre, a sixth-grader at West Middle School: "I really don't want anything special. I just want a tom-tom for my drum set."
Katie Meekins, an 8-year-old third-grader at Sandymount Elementary: "I want Pony Surprise, Barbies, baby dolls and Bunny Surprise."
Erica Hardee, a kindergartner at Faith Christian School: "I want Aladdin and the Genie and baby sitter Skipper."
Her 3-year-old sister, Apryl, who goes to the Christian Preschool and Kindergarten in Westminster: "I want a bike, Baby Rock 'n' Roll, the baby that rocks in the cradle and Wedding Barbie."
West Middle School sixth-grader Kyle Bates: "I want SEGA game gear, a new boom box and some tapes, a Chicago Bulls starter hat, Guess jeans, new books and a basketball."
Kyle's sister, Ali, a third-grader at Friendship Valley Elementary: "I want a basketball, some new games for my Nintendo, a camera and maybe a little photo album for the pictures I take with my camera."
Christian Wagner, 11, a fifth-grader at William Winchester: "I want Legos, Nintendo games, Aliens and books."
His brother, 6-year-old Bryan, who is in first grade at William Winchester: "I want a new binder for school, Legos, Aliens, Batman, a Nintendo game and a Rocketeer comic book."
Here's hoping all your Christmas wishes come true.