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December 19, 2013: How do other People do it?

How do other people do it? I mean, tend to all the holiday stuff? Like shop, attend innumerable parties, string up lights, purchase and/or cut down trees, bake cookies, and the like? “The like” involves setting up nativity scenes in their yards. I asked Pete this question, and inserted particulars. His answer was “well, they don’t have horses.” Wait. Many people do have horses, and they spend as much if not more time with them than I spend with my horses. Add to this – some busy people take other busy people for sleigh rides.

Unlike most, Pete and I don’t do much, if any of the above. Rather, we keep things simple. But even simple takes time. Maybe what’s simpler can be simplified even more. But then again, too simple is meaningless.

Ryder's graduation from puppy foundation class

On-line holiday shopping is (at least in my mind) too simple. Dealing with stores, crowds, and clerks is time consuming and stressful. But deliberating about what objects to purchase, and then selecting the right thing, seems to me to be important, if one is inclined to go this route. The same goes for selecting and sending cards to people.

It is possible to avoid the holiday ho ha completely. But that’s not right either. How we do it – it just evolved over time. Now, during the darkest and coldest time of the year – I attempt to reconnect with people I care about. I come up with a personalized card, and write family and friends lengthy notes.

This year, I drew a card which has a series of images of Mr. Siggi, racing around amongst the stars. I then entitled it “Stardust Memories,” because his last name is Stardust. The note inside the card reads “When I look up at the stars, I’m reminded of how wonderful life can be.” This is in reference to my going outside and seeing the stars, and thinking that Stardust is now in another dimension. Those who knew what happened this summer will be reminded of this when they get their card.

Pete did the computer formatting and printing. It took the better part of the day to write the cards. But in between I took the horses and dogs out for some exercise. I felt good about how I spent my inside time because past memories of friends and friendships came back to mind.

I also put together a package for my sister, Eleanor. When we were kids, we had contests as to who could hold their breath the longest? Or, who could spit the farthest? This odd sense of competitiveness still prevails. She said to me the other night that she was sending Pete and me something practical, to which I said that I was sending her something even more practical. And so, the contest was on.

So I say, what’s more practical than sending someone their old Brooks bicycle seat, a handful of retro bicycle repair books (she has a very old Raleigh Super Course), and other bicycling paraphernalia? I also put together a package for my friend Rae, which included some of our honey. And Pete packaged up honey for people we met this past summer.

That’s about it holiday wise for us. No tree (it brings me great joy to see them in their natural state), no house lights, no bake-fests, no hurrying to the store to buy someone this or that. And no nativity scene. Actually, the nativity scene idea is somewhat tempting, since we have of the stuff for one on hand. Dogs, horses, goats, chickens, all would love to hang out around a manger, especially if there was something to eat on hand. The problem is that we are lacking in a key item, and that is a Baby Jesus. You can’t have a nativity scene without a swaddled infant. It would also be a stretch, for Pete to be Joseph, and me to be Mary, but we could do it. And wise men are easy to find.

It’s probably more realistic for us, next year, to have sleigh rides. Signy would like this. We just have to get her trained, and get a sleigh. If we hooked up Raudi to a sleigh, she’d take the sleigh occupants to the moon. On Prancer, on Dancer, on Donner, and Vixen . . . and Raudi. It wouldn’t work.

I must admit – I really did simplify this year. My mother is getting gloves and they are from REI. And so, for all our dictates, there are exceptions.

Next: 279: 12/20/13: The Horses Speak