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Guest column

Making A List Checking It Twice

December 16, 2009 - We all know that during this last week before Christmas, Santa is checking his list to determine who has been naughty and who has been nice. There certainly are a lot of candidates for the naughty list but Tiger Woods probably heads it up!

As one of Santa's helpers, I reviewed the list and noticed that all the readers of The Lake Orion Review were on the "nice" list except of course for those few scoundrels who take the weekly paper without paying. Santa knows who you are!

During the last couple of weeks, I suspect that Santa and Mrs. Claus are also making sure that all is in preparation for the upcoming Holidays. There are millions of addresses to load into their data base the reindeer have to be groomed and ready for their long trip and all the elves have to complete the wrapping of the toys and then get ready for the recognition banquet that Santa conducts every year. Santa, being the altruistic guy he is often invites The Grinch Who Stole Christmas to the banquet although two or three of the elves well versed in pugilistic activities are often assigned to keep the Grinch under control. Likewise, I am reviewing our list of Holiday preparations to make sure we have not forgotten something. So here goes:

- Christmas tree is up and decorated actually our artificial tree is now twenty years old and it may be time to transport it to the Christmas tree cemetery! Once it is fully decorated it resembles a Currier and Ives scene and would also make Martha Stewart proud.

- Cement goose on porch is wearing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer costume the goose welcomes all visitors to our home and changes wardrobe to match the season.

- Outdoor Christmas lights are twinkling I won't win any outdoor Christmas decorations contest this year but at least all the lights are working!

- Eggnog is in the refrigerator guess I am the only one in the family that enjoys this Holiday drink. What is Christmas without eggnog!

- Moose mugs ala "Christmas Vacation" movie, are clean our son and I are huge fans of the Chevy Chase "Christmas Vacation" movie and thus we each have our own moose mug. Clark Griswold and Cousin Eddie have nothing on us!

- Christmas cards and Hanukkah cards have been mailed as is our custom Christmas and Hanukkah cards are mailed the day before Thanksgiving.

- Determine the Christmas Mass schedule we used to attend midnight Mass when we were younger but those days are long gone!

- Ham and turkey breast are thawing in refrigerator somehow we have a coupon for a free turkey that we won in a contest. Gotta love those contests! Not everyone in the family though likes ham and some don't enjoy turkey so we have both.

- Dinner reservations for New Year's Eve have been made this is not our year to host the extravaganza so we only have to show up. Been with the same two other couples for close to fifty years to welcome in the New Year! Friendships such as this are priceless!

- Driveway markers are in place awaiting snowplow now that I am retired there are certain activities that I disdain and shoveling snow is one of them. But the 4:00AM arrival of the truck to clear the driveway can sometimes be disconcerting to us and the neighbors!

- Driving route to St. Louis to visit grandchildren has been confirmed and a stop at The Cracker Barrel restaurant is always on our schedule.

- Camera batteries are fresh seems like we never have enough batteries. Our new camera takes pictures and movies. If only I knew how to work it!

- Sufficient supply of wood for fireplace is on hand and if we exhaust the supply I noticed that our neighbors have piles of wood in stockpile.

- Make sure my elf hat and shirt are laundered besides the elf outfit, I have dress pants embroidered with small Christmas trees. We used to live in Grosse Pointe so that should answer the question you posed, which is "why are there Christmas trees on your pants"?

- Locate "Night Before Christmas" poem to read to grandchildren a tradition in our home. I always read this classic to the grandchildren on Christmas Eve. I think it gives more joy to me than it does for them!

- Recheck luncheon reservations for week after Christmas with friends just when you thought Christmas dinner wasn't enough, the week after the Holiday affords the opportunity to chow down again!

- Call out of town friends and wish all a Happy Holiday yes, we send out cards but a personal call is always appreciated. I know we like to receive a call from friends in other states.

- Prepare handout for Santa we used to leave cookies and milk what with the economy Santa now wants cash!

So that should cover it. I've checked it once and rechecked it twice. Hope your list is complete and it includes lots of activities with family and friends. And if you are like us, there will be an ample amount of food and of course loads of laughter. Let me know if you want to borrow my Christmas tree pants! That should provide lots of laughter!

Bill is a guest columnist for The Review. He is from Lake Orion.
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