Out and About – Week of December 8th

Two weeks from this Thursday is Christmas. The next couple of weeks will be filled with the usual Christmas parties. My wife and I will attend our share. We’re both retired, so she’ll not be attending any school parties, and I won’t be attending any company gatherings. We will attend several Christmas parties hosted by various Lions Clubs in our district. These are always a lot of fun.

I’m fascinated by almost any kind of party, especially when it comes to how the party-goers greet each other upon arrival. They might spend eight hours working with each other during the day and then attend a party that evening. When this happens to guys, they shake hands as though they haven’t seen each other in months. The gals don’t shake hands, but they usually hug and give those fake “Hollywood Kisses” to each other. You know those side-face kisses, where their lips never touch the other person’s face.

Christmas parties are the best, because a male and female can exchange a Christmas kiss without fear of getting their face slapped. I have yet to see a guy slap a woman after she kissed him. Anyway, it’s been said that kissing reduces anxiety and stops the “noise” in your mind. It also increases the levels of oxytocin, an extremely calming hormone that produces a feeling of peace. Perhaps some of our world leaders should kiss more often.

With the Christmas season comes the wintry weather. They sort of balance each other out. You have the happiness of the season, and then you have the sadness of dealing with the snowy conditions. Now I’m fully aware that there are plenty of folks who love a winter blizzard. I’m married to one of the snow-lovers. Whenever I feel depressed because of the weather, my wife reminds me that we do live in Pure Michigan, so I should just deal with it. We could be living in Buffalo, New York. They really have their share of snow.

This is the season to remember those individuals that we sometimes forget: law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and all those people who are on-call 24/7. They must go to work without any regard as to what the weather is like out there. They are out and about when the rest of us are warm and cozy at home. Remember your postal employees during their busiest time of the year. Clear your sidewalks and steps. As Mailman Mike says, “No trail…..no mail.” If you are planning to mail parcels to those loved ones far away, please don’t wait until the last minute to take those packages to the post office. If you get your parcels to the post office early, there’s a good chance they’ll arrive on time and in better condition.

If you notice, I’ve referred to this season as Christmas. I have friends who are Jewish and they celebrate Hanukkah. I have friends of many different faiths, and they all are a very important part of my life. I love them because of who they are, not because of their religion or political affiliation. I respect them, and I’m pretty sure they respect me. I wish there were more of this in our world today. That is my Christmas wish.

If you’re planning to attend a holiday party, here’s some information that might come in handy, in case you need an ice breaker:
The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $16,400.00
The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000.\
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers have in common?
Answer: All were invented by women.
See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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