Counting down the 21 days to Christmas

Ah, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Here at the Lassen County Times, the ladies in the front office have begun their annual decoration to help us all get in the Christmas spirit. Many thanks to one of our readers who likes to play Johnny Christmas Tree every year. He again cut a few Christmas trees on his property just outside Susanville and dropped them off for the office and employees to enjoy. Frankly, the front office looks great.

The mischievous little elves in the newsroom took the opportunity to cover my desk with Christmas decorations and a big sign that reads, “Bah-Humbug” while I was out at an appointment last week. If your sweet tooth is calling, I’ve got enough candy canes to last me several Christmases! I’m happy to share.

Out at the old homestead, my wife Cindie has already decorated not one but two trees for the neighbors and passersby to view (one at the front of the house and one at the back), and she’s fighting off the cats (Chaos and Scandal) while busily working on the Christmas tree in the living room. Boxes of lights and ornaments (including some old ones that belonged to my mother) scatter across the dining room table. Yes, she’s trying to drag me into the joyous festivities.

And whoa, Susanville has really got it goin’ on with the Nutcracker, The Susanville City Kickettes’ Christmas Extraordinaire, the Susanville Choral Society’s concert and caroling event, the Lassen County Chamber of Commerce’s Magical Country Christmas, Westwood’s Christmas in the Mountains, the Susanville Symphony’s Christmas concert, the Friends in Art Show and Sale at Artisan Coffee in Janesville, a host of other craft fairs and art shows and many, many more. If all these events and happenings can’t get you in the Christmas spirit, I don’t know what could.

Procrastinator’s update
I am the self-appointed and duly recognized King of Christmas Procrastinators, but this year I’m trying to break that bad habit for once.

I’m sure I can never compete with my younger sister Karma (a surgical nurse who lives on a cul-de-sac uphill from the Big Tujunga Wash on the edge of the Los Angeles megalopolis). Every year, believe it or not, on the Friday after Thanksgiving her Christmas card lands in my mailbox. And, yep, it happened again this year.

Cindie and I have not made a decision about Christmas cards yet this year, so we need to move fast if we’re going to do that. In years past we’ve often taken a family photo of our critters and us and printed them out on photo card stock, but I fear we may be running out of time for that this year.

I’ve made a couple of contributions to help ensure children in Lassen County have a Merry Christmas, too. My family was poor when I was growing up, but my parents always found a way for us to celebrate Christmas. I just can’t imagine a child not having Christmas, so I’ve decided to do something about it. The Susanville Fire Department is collecting donations and there are Angel Trees around town if you have a desire and the means to make a little one’s Christmas a little better this year. I hope you’ll join me in helping out.

I’ll also be ringing the bell again for the Salvation Army at Susanville Supermarket. My grandmother was a major in the Salvation Army, and I just can’t walk past a bell ringer without making a donation.

The presents to the grandkids scattered across the country are already in the mail, so thankfully that annual crisis has been averted.

But hey, let me remind you — it’s time to get serious, folks. Three weeks, only 21 days to go, and then it will be too late. Don’t be an infamous Christmas procrastinator like me!

Despite the holiday rush, I’m pausing to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas.

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