Unleash the Reindeer !

 Today’s post is courtesy of  Kassie Ritman!

Ed’s note: This post originally appeared at Bishop Chatard Trinity Club blog.

Ten days, people!  Are you ready?

I’m not.  Mom is woefully behind the curve this year.

When I think back to all the years that I spent Black Friday out on the driveway climbing all over my SUV and wrapping it with lights, garlands, a jolly old elf and eight tiny reindeer…it makes me wonder about my sanity. A lot.

Worse yet, I kinda miss doing it.  At first it was just a way to perform a little bit of good natured mom teasing (social torture) directed at my kids.  But after the first couple of years, they started liking it.  I loved it for many reasons~

*It was always easier to find my car in the mall parking lot

*It kept my sister in law guessing about the true state of my mental health

*It “brought out the kid”  in all the “kids” in my carpool (even the surly 8th graders)

But mostly, it truly brought out the best in the otherwise grumpy people who saw it. Consider this:  If you are driving around smiling in a ridiculously large gas guzzler, decked out in all sorts of Christmas garb (oh, and did I mention I had a custom horn set installed one year that played carols?) people can’t help but smile back at you.  There was lots of waving, pointing, laughing, notes left on the car, and even crowds gathered around it.  I know there are hundreds of photos out there of the “Santa Car.”

Alas, youngest is a Junior now, and he would not take kindly to Mom decorating his cool little race car.  Besides, when our basement was flooded a few years ago, all of my car decor was slogged up with some very un-merry sludge. Mom’s Merry Sleigh is no more

*All gone.*

Nowadays, there are no more carpools to mortify or delight.  And I’m not at the mall much, I do an awful lot of my shopping online.  Even so,  I wish that I still had all that stuff.  Especially today. When the world is all too sad.

I would squish it together, compress my design scheme and make it fit on the Volvo (a much smaller sleigh).  I would then don my fancy Mrs. Santa Hat and drive circles around the Castleton Mall just to add a bit of cheer to this very sad day.  Countless Christmas celebrations this year will be less than merry for so many families, it would be nice to serve as a distraction, if but for a fleeting moment, from the tragedies that bombard us too often these days.

Since my stuff is all gone, I guess I will have to be extra nice to all sales clerks, park farther out in the lot with gratitude that I am healthy enough to walk the extra distance, wave another on at a four-way stop, and try my best to smile and help someone out, whenever I can, to have a little better day.

It’s not exactly the Santa Car, but I guess it will do.

Maybe it’s a habit that can stick beyond Christmas.

Won’t you join me?

Be very nice to one and another as we await the birth of the One who heals all hurts



About KarlErickson

Karl Erickson resides in Salem, Oregon with his wife and children. He considers himself primarily a fiction author. Tristan's Travels was published by Rafka Press in late 2010. Kimberly Erickson is its wonderful illustrator. Toupee Mice is currently available for pre-order. In addition to writing fiction, his articles have appeared in America, The National Catholic Weekly, Catholic Answers' This Rock, Church Music Association of America’s Musica Sacra, Catholicmom.com, Episcopal Church News, Seattle Pacific University's Response, TiberRiver Catholic Book Reviews, as well as a guest opinion writer for both the Portland Tribune and Statesman Journal. In Karl’s "spare time," he works as a number cruncher for the State of Oregon. He has recently started work on a mystery novel, which is set primarily between Seattle and Friday Harbor. The book should be unveiled within a couple years, or so. Earlier this year, Karl begun a blog entitled The Singing in the Wood. In addition to blog essays on a variety of timely themes and topics, he enjoys sharing interviews of interesting and inspiring personalities--from Sean Astin to Raymond Arroyo and (the "Catholic Guy") Lino Rulli. For a taste of the zany, check out Karl's other (very silly) blog, The Restless Auditor!
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