My visiting teacher and best friend (one of hundreds, some of you are in that category :), Jackie, who, at 67 is still going strong as a greeter at Wal-Mart, is the coolest, funniest, most honest person.  I love her because I can tell her anything without shocking her and she’s sharp, this woman.  She takes peoples’ measure and she lays it on the line to me just like she sees it.

 She makes fun of me all the time.  For instance, because of my death wish, I’m constantly planning my funeral–and I have to re-plan when somebody gets on my bad side and they are off the program.   At one Relief Society dinner, I mentioned to my friends that I’d changed my funeral plans.  I told my friend, Dayna, that I no longer wanted her to speak, I wanted her to sing a duet with her husband (The Lord’s Prayer).

She said, “Oh no, I’ve had that talk written for a long time!”

 And I protested, “But Dayna, I’ve changed!”

And we all laughed for a minute, then Jackie cut in and said, “heck Arlene, we aren’t going to give you no funeral.  We’re going to put you in the compost heap and recycle you!”

And that brought the house down.

 I forgot where I was going with this.

Oh, yeah.  So Jackie’s husband, Mike is 20 years older than she and ailing.  She came over the other day and complimented me on my tree and I said, “I wasn’t going to have a tree.  I’m so tired I didn’t want to decorate.”

 She said, “Me, neither.  Then I thought, ‘wait a minute, it’s Jesus’ birthday.  I ain’t gonna be no grinch!’ and I put up that tree and decorated.  I’m celebrating the birth of Christ!”

And for a brief second, I got it.  I’ve changed my attitude and I’m “Merry Christmas!” -ing everybody and their dog.

So these are my plans:

 I wrote five page Christmas letters (who among here is surprised, probably also slightly nauseated, to hear that?), I’ve fixed a great family picture (perhaps I shall post it here, that’s a good idea), my house is so Christmasy and the outside is just the right combination of taste and holiday.

The second I finish cleaning up this office (so I can find said Christmas letter and picture), I’m getting started on:

divinity (I’m famous for it)

fudge (old chocolate chip one, easy, you know)

caramels (my friend, Jennifer, is famous for it LOL)

popcorn balls

sugar cookies (the pillsbury kind you buy next to the hot dogs)

and cinnamon rolls  (my best friend, Lauri, gave me the recipe and people just drool over them)

Oh, and I hope to make my crust from scratch this year, pumpkin, coconut cream (my fave), and perhaps, pecan pie!

I’m partying!  All I need is you guys here to karaoke with!

I do a killer, “Hey girl” (Temptations).

Happy Holidays to all of you terrific people!

(PS, I am not on steroids or any other drugs, I’m high on life, thank you very much:)