I have started to hear rumors of Christmas in the air. It began with the playing of Christmas music the day after Halloween. Then, five minutes ago I discovered one of my friends has finished putting up Christmas decorations in every room of her house, complete with color scheme and all. My first instinct was to say, "Wow. Early." But then I glanced behind me and had to sheepishly acknowledge the wrapped Christmas gifts I taped and ribboned-up just last night.
These presents are simple--kazoos, chocolates, a clip-on tie--and are getting sent to Australia tomorrow, to make sure little brother going there for his missionary service gets the package in time. The postal worker told me last week (with a frantic look in his eyes): "To Australia?! Send it as soon as possible! You never know with customs!" So pre-Halloween Christmas shopping began. Jerry had the idea of sending a clip-on tie, because he feels indebted to his clip-on for its habit of helping him be punctual. A regular tie, he has explained, is nearly impossible to don while driving down the road. A clip-on, in contrast, can be snapped with ease while the steering wheel gets briefly managed by some body part other than the hands.
Second Admission of Christmas Planning: A few weeks ago for a Family Home Evening activity, Jerry and I assembled Christmas boxes to send to soldiers. We donated them through a campus-wide service project. We felt cheery while we wrote Christmas greetings to unknown faces far across the world. We included small games, craft kits, toys, candies and clipped stories to send from past issues of the December Ensign. We kept our costs low, but got creative and overall felt pleased by our humble contribution. Project Uplift occurs every October at BYU, so keep an eye out next year if it sounds like something you'd like to do!
Forgive the lack of Halloween posting. Christmas, here we come!