The week has come upon me, and with no election, new TV shows or new sports seasons to be overly concerned about, I've come to a basic realization that I have nothing to write about. I know my loyal tens of readers are saying, "And when has that ever stopped you before?"
Point taken. And with that, it's time for Kevin's Holiday Hints, built from years of my personal holiday failures:
- Should you be pulled over by a friendly police officer on your out-of-town travels, and you're given the option to contest the citation, your best option is to say, "I will pay the ticket," and think, "Hmmm, let's see; do I want to come back to this small town on purpose and lose a day of work, only to find out the judge lives across the street from you and decides to tack on a few court costs?" Don't think the first and do the second.
- While we're at it, if you get stopped at one of those automatic checkpoints, be it police, border patrol or otherwise, the best greeting is not, "Afternoon, boys, how's the fishing?" The best thing that can happen is they won't get it and they'll look at you funny. The worst thing that can happen is they will get it.
- Add a new Christmas ornament every year, and make sure there's a good story behind it. Every year of good stories make the decorating go quicker.
- No matter how funny those musical stuffed toys are in the stores, never, ever, ever, ever buy them. Those toys go from, "Awww, that's so cute," in the stores, to, "If you play that again, I will punch you in the face," about 30 minutes after you get it home.
- Concerned about all those privacy policies you have to sign? Print them out, and read them as holiday stories. "And all through the house, third-party claims are dismissed with extreme prejudice."
- Fill out rebate cards the day you make the purchase, or the day the gift is opened. Every minute you don't is more opportunity to pass a deadline or lose a necessary form/bar code/packing slip.
- You have 11 months out of the year to argue about stuff that doesn't matter, and you can do that stuff over phone and email. Don't let it take up the time that you do see family and friends in person.
- Value the friends and family you have, because you never know when they'll be gone. My friend said he was forever changed last month when the girl in front of him at Subway got a phone call. Her dad died, and she didn't see it coming. He didn't know her name, but he knew right then to value who's still around because he doesn't know when that phone call is coming either.
- Everybody can argue about the right day to take down the tree, but it shouldn't be a New Year's resolution.
- When you're taking down the tree later this year, don't just gorge on all of those candy canes. Take the food processor somebody gave you for the holidays, and grind the canes down into a nice peppermint powder. It's great with hot cocoa or sprinkled on ice cream, or it's a really cruel prank to put it in the showerhead for a roommate.
Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Clovis Media Inc. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org