Wrapping Packages -- 12/23/02

For many years, no matter how early or late I finished my shopping, I always seemed to find myself having to stay up late on Christmas Eve to wrap Christmas presents. I guess perhaps I am getting better organized in my old age -- or more likely it is just Nancy's influence -- but I seem to have just about everything wrapped. Nancy and I were wrapping Sean's and Jennifer's presents this morning, plus the present that we decided that Santa Clause was going to give to us. (It's a digital camera but -- shhhhh, keep it quiet -- don't tell us what it is -- we want to be surprised *grin*.)

All I have left to do is wrap packages that I'm giving to Nancy. (Well, we agreed that the digital camera would be our present to ourselves, but there have to be two or three little personal gifts, too, right?) I have two packages cleverly hidden beneath my desk but I had thought I would have two other gifts but Amazon.com is giving me some concern over that. I'd placed an order for two books for her early in the day on the 16th and since they were both listed as "usually ships within 24 hours" I figured they would be here by Friday. Everything else I ordered on the 16th and the 17th has been delivered, some on Friday and the rest today. A few days ago I received an email telling me that they were splitting that two book order into two shipments. Their shipment tracking shows one as having shipped early on the 20th but the most recent update is on the 21st showing it in transit to someplace in Connecticut (two days in limbo? picturing a box in with thousands of other packages stuffed into an eighteen-wheeler, zipping along the interstate highway system from somewhere in the mid-west) but the other book still doesn't show as even having shipped yet, although it still has Dec 24th as an estimated delivery date. What's up with that? System overload?

The weather forecast says that much of New England may have a white Christmas... but it is still in question for my town. The last I heard was that towns on the other side of I-95 were pretty sure to mostly have snow (mental picture of snowfall stopping at the edge of the highway). It's that usual coastal phenomenon (especially still this early in winter) where the ocean moderates the temperature just enough so that where other areas get all snow, we get a mix of rain and snow. I'm kind of hoping that we will get the white stuff. According to our weather history, about one Christmas in every five will be a white Christmas (defined as at least an inch of snow cover on the ground) and this might be one of those five. Last year was a very mild (and dry) winter... the snow we got so far this year during Thanksgiving week and in the first week of December meant that before winter even officially began this year we had received more snow than during the entire winter last year. Any traces of that snow that might have been left after milder temperatures last week was washed away by torrential rains this past Friday. (If Friday had been about twenty-five degrees colder we could have had at least a foot of snow, perhaps more.)

Jennifer is having a few of her friends over for a Christmas gathering tonight and to exchange presents -- I was about to say that they were a nice bunch of "kids" but they are mostly all twenty years old now -- friendships that for Jennifer go back to freshman year of high school or even back to mid-eighth grade when we moved to Rhode Island seven years ago. And I've rented Minority Report to watch with Nancy, so I had better stop typing now and get dinner started and get this posted, etc.

Happy Holidays!

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