I have been doing Christmas for thirty-three years now and I can do it in my sleep. I have the routine down. However, this year there was a marked difference. My brain picked this year to take a vacation. I wish I knew where it was so I could have gone too.
I became aware of it when I wrote the traditional Christmas letter. I always read the letter to the family before I send it in case they have any strenuous objections on my take of their activities for the year; like it would really matter.
“Mom,” Garret said after I read the first line. “Don’t you think you have a minor detail wrong?”
I read the first line again. “Dear friends and family, in case you haven’t noticed, 2012 is right around the corner. What’s wrong with that?”
Rick shook his head. “Honey did you go this whole year thinking it was 2011 or are you trying to rewrite history? I'm getting worried about you.”
OK, so I accidentally left out a year. It’s only a number after all. Are people going to take my word on what year it is and cause an international incident? My family worries about the most trivial things.
The next day I took some packages around to a couple of friends. At the first house, I forgot my umbrella. The next house I left my coat. Then I went to the grocery store and the cashier chased me out to the parking lot rattling my keys.
Alright, I’ll admit it. I’m a little forgetful but I am busy doing Christmas in my sleep. Besides, people enjoy babysitting my brain. It makes them feel better about themselves.
Later that night I went to do the final grocery shopping with Ariana. She was going to fill up with gas then pick me up out front of the store.
Inside Safeway, I saw my friend Melanee. We chatted for a second then I picked up all the groceries, without forgetting a thing I might add. Proving I can still remember important things. Like my friends names and anything having to do with food.
I checked out my grocerie and headed outside into the rain. I was excited to see Ariana’s van pulled right up to the curb. I grabbed the bags out of the grocery cart and headed her way.
Suddenly I heard a horn honk and honk a bunch of little beeps, like a melody. I paused. It was coming from a white van in to the side of me.
Who was honking at me? Maybe it was Melanee just honking a goodbye and Merry Christmas ditty. No Melanee doesn’t drive a van. Hmm, I wondered who it was.
I ignored the horn and headed to Ariana’s van. I pulled the door open, threw the bags onto the floor and pulled myself into the seat before I turned to see an old man in the driver’s seat. He was staring at me with a strange look on his face.
“Oh my gosh, I’m sorry.” I stammered. “I’m in the wrong van.”
I grabbed my bags and headed to the van that was honking again. Ariana was sitting in it with her mouth stretched like a hyena laughing it’s head off.
"Mom, that van looks nothing like mine." She said when she was finally able to speak.
"It's white, thats all I know."
All I can say is the holidays are crowding a lot of important details out of my brain. Thank goodness, they are almost over and I can get back to normal. I will get back to normal, right.