I forgot to set the alarm this morning and got up later than I planned. I barely had enough time for breakfast and to watch Little Drummer Boy, Book II. This late-70's follow-up to the original has Aaron and his animals aiding a bell-maker who created silver bells to herald the arrival of the newborn baby Jesus. This may not happen when a group of greedy Roman tax collectors (Zero Mostel voices their captain) steal the bells for taxes. Aaron helps retrieve them, but at a very high cost for him...
Work was exactly the same as yesterday - quiet when I came in and when I left, busy during rush hour. It's still a little early for most people to start thinking of Christmas baking and party food, and we're getting past the beginning of the month. There were a few cranky or just plain rude customers. Otherwise, there were no major problems, and my relief was on time. In fact, I spent a lot of the first hour doing returns.
It was such a nice day, I took the long way home down Nicholson Road. I got off at 3, a lot earlier than I have been lately. It was a little busy down there, but not nearly as bad as usual. The weather was wonderful. The sky was blue, there was barely any wind, and it was chilly but not freezing, perfect weather for early December in Southern New Jersey.
There was a package waiting for me when I got home. Linda and James Young sent their annual box of Christmas gifts. Most were listed as "do not open until Christmas" (including one intriguing flat package), but there was one I could open now. It was a Christmas-themed cookbook by Susan Branch. I looked over it a little later in the evening and will go over it more thoroughly later this week and next week when I go into the holiday baking.
Went into writing next. Re-wrote the previous sequence so that Betty says she can't go out with Scott now, but might be willing to attend the Christmas Festival with him. Scott is walking on air, until a jealous Pruitt Barnaby reminds him that he should be working at the Toyland Toy Factory. He asks him how he got his job when he's a former pig thief and scoundrel. Scott explains he was given the job by his friend Victor Be Nimble before he was lost at sea.
I tried to watch Descendants as I made meatloaf, a baked sweet potato, and leftover green beans and almonds for dinner. I got half-way through the tale of the offspring of Disney villains who are supposed to wreck havoc on a school for Disney heroes when they're invited to attend when the DVD started skipping so badly, it wouldn't play. Turns out the library's copy was already scratched rather badly, despite the movie not having been out that long!
I finally gave up and put on A Charlie Brown Christmas instead. That also skipped, though not as much as Descendants. In the first and most popular of the Peanuts holiday specials, Charlie Brown is tired of the grab, grab around him. He finally agrees to help Lucy direct their Christmas pageant, but even that doesn't help. He finally brings back a tree...but this is the mid-60's, and tiny, real holiday tress are not fashionable. When Chuck wails that he just wants to know what Christmas means, his best friend Linus' heart-felt answer finally proves, to him and the others, that there's a lot more to the holiday season than jazz, real estate, and pink aluminum Christmas trees.
Did this year's Christmas cards while Descendants and Charlie Brown were on. Any cards that need to go out in the mail and aren't being sent in packages will go out tomorrow. Cards that go out in packages that are going out of state will hopefully be out by Saturday or Monday at the latest. Cards that will be included with in-state packages probably won't go out until the weekend before Christmas or that Monday. Cards for people who live within biking distance or whom I will probably see during the holiday season will mostly be delivered the week of Christmas.