By BILL SHARKEY III
Martinez News-Gazette Columnist
TODAY IS IT!!! If the shopping is not done for all those family, relatives or friends, and Fido, the crunch is really on. Tomorrow, the 24th, will be available for those ‘last minute items’ (which people really don’t need, but we must get them SOMETHING!). But the pick’ins will be slim, and not the right size or color. The parking will be tough. The lines at the check-out counter will be long, including those buyers who have realized that they got the wrong size and need to return or exchange the gift. Oh, yes, and the buyers who have misplaced or lost their sales slip, will be there trying to convince the clerks that they really do have a sales slip, but left it home on the kitchen counter. Honest!!
The early exchange (on the 24th) is always interesting, too. While the line grows longer at the check-out desk, the numbers of which seem to have been a thing of the past in some stores, the lucky customer who made it to the front of the line is being asked to sign forms which will attest to the return transaction, as well as getting the return (and, maybe a replacement purchase!) off of your credit card and onto your credit card for the new purchase. All of which no one is really certain that all is going well for either the store or the customer.
At this point, the frazzled customer, usually the burden is on the ‘Mother’ of the family because Dad does not do this well, (no patience!!), grabs the shopping bags, (and, maybe a stroller!), and heads for the next checkout clerk’s station. If all has gone well (whatever the hell well means) at that point, ‘Mother’ heads home in time to fix dinner for the hungry family which has been hanging out waiting for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
After dinner is served and scarfed by a hungry family, Mother can then get going on wrapping the gifts hidden in her closet. Sleep after that is either very deep…or not at all as Mother thinks about Christmas dinner for her family and the umpteen family and friends who will be coming to share Christmas.
To all our Mothers of the world, Merry Christmas. More importantly, Bless You All for what you do for all of us every day of the year. After this exhausting week or two, we ask a Happy New Year, and a ‘time out’
You have earned a ‘time out’, a nap and a great night’s sleep.
Oh!! What about good Old Dad who discovers that some of the gifts need to have ‘some assembly required’, or some batteries which are not included! The scene now is a sweating father straining to read instructions. A sweaty father, we might add. And, some words utter4ed which the children are best in bed not to hear. Good Old Dad!
THEN there is Christmas at the White House, or Trump Tower, as the family decides is appropriate. We are certain that both places are well decorated and suited to the Christmas season, for any of the religious groups they feel necessary to acknowledge. In our nation, and with our concern for being appropriate, recognizing all faiths is necessary.
The White House family does have some ‘gifts’ which most of us do not have. That is the burden of so many allegations of wrong-doing. To have those in such numbers would tend to dampen the enthusiasm for most families. However, when the family ‘dad’ is the president of the United States, and he assures all that he is OK, and all the news is ‘fake’, it might help. However, when there are now 17 different investigations underway, several of which could lead to some jail time for good old daddy down the road, it is a serious concern. Perhaps the news is not fake. Time will tell. And the clock is running, and the circle is drawing tighter.
Most Americans need to take care of the post-Christmas bills which will show up in the mail box. White House occupants, and the ‘kids’, will have some heavy bills to deal with. The ‘shopping’ over the past years using the Trump Foundation funds, allegedly illegally, will be one item to deal with. All the indictments of the ‘close and really great friends’ will be looming big in the future. Not a fun future is one is in the focus of the law. When your close and dedicated ‘buddies’ start heading off to incarceration, the friendships tend to sour. But, the Big Man will nominate some others (who won’t want the jobs) and the chaos in the administration will continue to spiral downward as the nation’s business slows or stalls..
As the year 2018 grinds to a halt on the calendar, what can we expect to happen next? Will it be exciting? Or, will it be nerve-wracking to those who have behaved themselves and just endured the erratic whims of the Oval Office?
What will the Occupant do or say to cause another ‘crisis’? Stand by.
MEANWHILE, much more really important stuff than fraud and lies and cheating at the national level are the football championships and the Super Bowl coming in a few weeks. And, there are the college basketball standings to consider. How about the Sharks in hockey? How about those Warriors and Stephen Curry’s 15,000 points in his career? Then, there is Nick Mullens, the current 49’ers star who is making the games fun to watch.
Then we have the opportunity to watch some 41 bowl games, many of which have already been played. Imagine? How many hours on the couch or in your favorite chair? Wonderful? The caliber of the play will determine whether the time was well-spent. Probably not!
CHEERS to all the family Santas and Ms. Claus who will do their best to make the Christmas merry for their families and others. The task will not be simple for so many who can’t afford to take part in the material aspect with presents, etc. The important part of this holiday season is the love and respect passed around and enjoyed, not the presents. Peace and Love are what will sustain us.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!