It’s beginning to look a lot like….O.K., who left the Clint Eastwood glam pin-ups on the fridge?  Get them down right now and put them with the Chuck Klamer voodoo figurine…the one with the pins in it.  Put a red bow on the top; it’ll work.

Yes, Virginia, there IS a Christmas Walk and it’s coming this way.  NOW!

The outside of the house gave a bow to Halloween on the thirty-first( Nearly two hundred trick-or-treaters–the most we’ve had for a while; it was a great night for it), but the inside is Christmas with a capital X.  I figure it will be until next Christmas before I find all of the stuff that has been banished to the basement or attic or garage or  random drawers and cupboards and closets ( There’s actually only one of those–in the whole house!).  The rule is that as soon as I go out and buy a replacement, the lost will be found and  there will be two items to lose next time(Yeah, like that’s going to be soon!).

Bob, the Landscaper Dude will be returning to tidy up leaves, replace plants that couldn’t  stand up to the public scrutiny, comb the mulch…or whatever you do to “groom” the outside features–which are pretty cool, if I do say so myself.  The water feature will be lovely if it doesn’t freeze,  Folks driving down Center Street of an evening have already been scratching their heads and muttering, “ What in Tarnation is that bunch of lights over ‘crost the creek?  Wonder if it’s a new Tons-O-Buns?  Maybe we’ll stop sometime for lunch.”

We’ll see how well the solar lights perform as the hours of sunlight get shorter and shorter.  Sunburst Environmental Services will find me being their very best customer this week;  there’s trash with a great big T just waiting to head for the Last Round-up.  Styrofoam–extruded polystyrene–is just a bugger to dispose of.  Left whole, it takes up plenty of space in odd shapes designed to fit odd pieces and parts inside cardboard boxes.  Try to break it into smaller pieces and little-bitty bubbles of the stuff–and larger chunks , too, on windy days–go blowing off into the neighborhood.  Park Ave. may have drifts for the Christmas Walk even if it’s in the upper 40’s, temperature-wise.

Inside, Stan Hywet is trembling in its (antique) boots.  Just as in politics, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know that makes all of the difference.  If you’re ever tempted (Watch out for snakes and apples) to be a part of the Christmas Walk, make sure that you have friends, acquaintances, family members, people who owe you money, who can be tapped for the loan of minor items.  You know, things like ornaments, stools, bows,  drapes, pillows, chairs, tree-toppers, classic automobiles–the detail pieces.  You want to fill in the empty spots so that people don’t realize that your usual decorating regime consists of bringing home a package of candy canes(which promptly get lost under the Sunday paper)   and making up boxes for Operation Christmas Child on the day before they’re due to be shipped.  It’s called “going commando” Christmas.

I’ve been trying to alert the neighbors to the coming onslaught of visitors.  People will be walking up and down the street. People will be parking in driveways where they oughtn’t and maybe short-cutting across the grass or through the rhododendrons; try to keep a stiff upper lip and a charitable outlook through it all.  The Intermediate School up the street may have some congestion around the time that buses are rolling in.  Bus drivers should stay vigilant that they don’t wind up with some  silver-haired group who hops on looking for a ride to the   “Over the River and Through the Woods” house.  This group may sit down nicely in their seats but they will not be quiet.

The docents–rhymes with low-rent, pup tent, hell-bent–in this establishment will be instructed to be very firm about not allowing visitors to go wandering(That is to say, snooping) off the beaten path; too many piles of things around corners and behind closed doors.  Not Christmas-y at all.  In fact, anyone who, unbidden, opens doors or peeks under furniture may be struck with an ancient Middle Eastern curse : May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits.   Those Wise Men brought more than gold, frankincense and myrrh .

Rudolph’s nose is charged up.  Mrs. Claus has taken most of the wash off the line in back.    The reindeer Welcome Packages are prepared. The Sugarplum Fairies are finishing rehearsals on their dance number–step-kick, step-kick, shimmy, shimmy, shimmy, flash hands, wave.

Its’ SHOWTIME!   See you there!