Behold the approach of the seven warning signs of Christmas

For the past several weeks I should have looked out for them. But today was when it really hit. I am talking about the seven warning signs of Christmas.

Now I’m not sure what all the signs are. But here I am on “Black Friday” — Really a horrible name for a day that is supposed gold for merchants who may finally get their books back in “black” — and here I was walking in Kroger earlier only to hear:

“Just hear those sleigh bells jingling,
Ring ting tingling too
Come on, it’s lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you … “

Such a wonderful song to hear where it has been cold enough to wear a sweater and a coat the last few days, only to get the shorts ready for another day or so.

Other signs abound. Commercials with Christmas music on TV. Santa Claus appears, though not ready for his IFR ride across the planet, at least the jolly fat man gets his lists together and gives them an initial once-over. Fat f***, I bet he doesn’t have Type II diabetes either. Ho, ho, ho.

Folks are out, shopping ahead of the crowd for their fake Christmas tree. As if the supply of faux spruces and firs will disappear, just as, did the old growth longleaf pines that once majestically stood over our deep pineywood lands in East Texas.

I can’t remember ever having anything but a real tree for Christmas when I was growing up in a small town in the boonies of Southeast Texas. Back in the day, property wasn’t all posted off to keep everyone away. The way things worked was that you went on the big forest tracts, most owned by the big timber companies, and you found a little tree to cut. It was the same as going hunting for squirrel, rabbit and even deer, when I was a kid. I’m not sure when it began, that the timber companies began leasing their land to sportsmen. That is, the land where they didn’t cut trees. And you just didn’t want to go on the timber company land for a tree anymore. You started worrying about things like trespassing. Or being hassled by a range rider, a private dick for large landowners who normally would just shoo you off the property on which you were trespassing. Some would hold you for the law. Some nuts would even shoot you.

My Daddy never had a chain saw. He always cut a tree with an ax, or a hatchet. I imagine if I went for a real Christmas tree, I would fell it with a chain saw. I’m too damn old and achy to cut down a tree with a hatchet

I am sure I will have to make a trek to some of the area shopping cities for work. But I have no interest in doing such for my own fun.

Anyway, the tell-tale signs are here. Can hear what I hear? Can you see what I see? Oh yes.

I had fun that one time I got to play Santa in a mall for a newspaper story. You know, a first-hand account, behind the scenes, an undercover account, the man behind the suit. But in the end, I had to go back and write a story about it. Ah, the damned quid pro quo again, taking me on a ride.

Oh well, ho ho ho. We’ll see more of these warning signs. Get ready for them. Have a good time. While you can