The lull before the storm. Andrea and Benji are on their way here from Nashville as are loads of other folks heading home for Christmas. As a result, I have done my usual "blanket prayer" to cover anyone traveling by air, car, boat, 4-wheeler, or anyone brave (crazy) enough to go to a mall. Heaven protect you.
As I stroll down memory lane this morning, I'm thinking of all those near and dear to me and now departed--specifically Wiggles Felix Francis Harris, man dog extraordinaire. I'm remembering the Christmas BS (before Sis) when I bought him a regal, royal looking velvet neck doo-dad (think joker collar with the pointy ends) with jingle bells on each pointy end. He was in the kitchen with all of us when I put it on him, amidst shreiks of laughter. Each step made him jingle-- and as hard as he tried to get away from himself and the infernal jingling, he simply could not. Ohhh, the pain....the agony. The embarrassment. He liketa died. And we loved it. ((This will give you the idea but now remember...his was purple velvet.)
Quickly, off it came, but every year, out came the Christmas Torture, to at least don for a moment of hilarity, at a great sports expense. You have never seen a more relieved dog than when that purple jingle thing went back into the drawer for another year. I don't know what happened to it but it's g-o-n-e. (I bet he took it with him to Dog Town when he died, as proof of what he'd endured. Sort of like extra credit.)
I'm remembering all the years we tied the left over package ribbons on all of our animals and how Muffin (cat) liked to hide out in all the boxes and play. When we all left the room to go get ready for lunch, Muff could be heard playing Christmas Cat Polo with box lids, wads of tissue paper, or wrapping paper, swatting it all over the hardwoods and enjoying himself to the max. If you walked by, he was not averse to launching straight out of a box at you, after hunkering down waiting for "prey". A little fresh Christmas catnip and he was off in his own little "cat world". I still maintain catnip is merely cat weed and boy, did he love it. He used to roll in it-- as well as eat it. I guess a stoned cat is a happy cat.
In short, I cannot imagine a Christmas without animals. It just wouldn't be right.