We knew it was coming, so why are we so surprised? Yep, we’re in December, which means Christmas is upon us. We were warned. Start your shopping. Address those holiday cards. Plan your dinner. Make your travel plans. Well, other than The Today Show’s Al Roker, nobody listened. I know I didn’t. My house is not decorated, although the chamber is, thanks to Connie Lesko of the Retired Officers Corporation and our volunteer extraordinaire, Kim Bower.
I missed shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So now what? In desperation, I googled interesting gifts to buy and wound up with bizarre ideas I will not be buying. Consider these: Adopt a maple tree in upstate New York. You will get a couple bottles of syrup from your tree. But if you want to visit your tree, you have to schedule an appointment. Seriously? How busy is your tree that you actually need an appointment to stop by and say, “Thanks for the syrup”? Then there was the unzipped glass zipper bag. Even looking at the picture, I don’t understand.
And those garden ducks with boots. I like ducks and boots, but maybe not together. The golf ball ice cube tray was interesting, possibly for a golfer. And then the little flannel shirts to keep your beer cold. Who really wants to dress their beer cans? Seems like too much effort.
So I have a better idea. Many of our local nonprofits are hosting their holiday fundraisers. I started December by attending quite a few last weekend. It’s always fun helping them with their fundraising needs in a festive setting. And you can win some great prizes for re-gifting!
Our Toys for Tots box is gone. Thanks to all who participated – with a big shout out to the Sawdust Engineers. The Toys for Tots Elves had to struggle with me to get those last two wooden airplanes out of my hands. And now the chamber has moved on to our annual Giving Tree to help local seniors during the holiday.
And if nothing else, just be kind to others. It doesn’t cost anything but can mean so much. I need to thank that very kind gentleman who helped me out in the Walmart parking lot. I had just purchased all the beverages for the chamber’s golf classic. Everything was loaded into my car, except the two cases of water. Water is heavier than it looks. If he had not come along to help put those pallets into my car, I would still be sitting in the parking lot drinking the water. And thanks to the lovely lady in St. Petersburg who was nice enough to give my husband a call when someone threw his empty wallet onto her driveway. We appreciate it. I do have to say I don’t appreciate the person who stole my husband’s wallet in the first place, though. Just take some time out and enjoy the holiday season and those special people in your lives. It is the most wonderful time of year. But don’t believe your furbabies. The Christmas Tree didn’t faint. Just leave it down for the count.
Lynne Conlan is executive director of the South Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce. Call her at 813-634-5111, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.