READY: After Christmas thoughts from a confessed grump

Published: Friday, December 27, 2013 at 17:07 PM.

Like my mother, I’m often glad when Christmas is over. Because I’m over-cooked, over-gift wrapped, over-card sent, over-shopped, over-tired, and over-spent. This year I didn’t cook that much, didn’t send cards, and ordered modest gifts on-line from Amazon.

I still enjoyed Christmas on the smaller scale.  And this season, with Frank so ill, I was blessed by an outpouring of kindness from Destin’s special Christmas angels. After my column appeared in the Log, the one about my down-sized holiday, I received offers to stay with my husband while I attended to Christmas preparations. One reader, whom I didn’t even know, came to my house with a big box of homemade goodies. Church members from Safe Harbor and First Baptist brought food and flowers.  

A friend I haven't seen in several years, after reading that column, brought me a homemade Red Velvet cake, a turkey, and a poinsettia. I got Christmas cards from two readers including their phone numbers if I needed to call them for help. It was this unexpected, but sweet-spirited response that epitomizes the ORIGINAL reason why we celebrate Christmas. If it weren’t for the generosity such as I’ve experienced this year, it would be all too easy to get caught up in the frenzy of the season and forget Who it is that we celebrate.

In previous years, when I actually shopped, I wore a button on my festive Christmas sweater proclaiming: “It’s OK to wish me MERRY CHRISTMAS. I won’t be offended,” I cringe when store clerks wish me “Happy Holiday,” but I’ve noticed some local stores, even the chain retailers, have lately returned to that greeting in spite of whether or not it may offend someone.   

And as long as I’m in a grumpy mood, something else I dislike is store clerks, etc. referring to me as “young lady.” I am NOT a young lady. And I do not fall into that teenage to 29 category that is more accurate for a “young lady” label.

But I’m also not ready to hear people my age being referred to as “little old lady” or “elderly,” or “senior citizen.” In my mind, I’m around thirty or so.

 In television or newspaper reports, I often hear of some 50ish or 60ish individual in accounts such as “The life guard who rescued the elderly man from the undertow and gave him CPR said of Joe Smith, 57, of Madison, Wisconsin, ‘I’m always having to be on the look-out for the older tourists who don’t realize how dangerous our waters can be.’”  In my opinion, the fellow may have been naïve, uniformed, or down-right stupid to be in the water on a red flag day, but why call him elderly?



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