Are there Any Takers This Season of Giving?

BY MAGGIE BEAMGUARD || Editor, Seven Lakes Insider

The holidays have arrived with all the accompanying merriment and peril. Yes, I said peril. It’s risky business.

Those beautiful lights twinkling from the eaves were likely hung there by a foolhardy man with no business being up on a rickety ladder. Somewhere, someone hobbles around with a crooked back after maneuvering the live tree into the stand — all under the watchful eye of their spouse. “No, no. A little to the left. No! Too far.” 

On somebody’s table sits a basket of cornbread, the unassuming prize of a catfight in the aisle of the Harris Teeter over the last box of Jiffy. Under the table one knee nudges another, urging the biting of the tongue in the name of family peace. 

Around the tree are the gifts. Yes, the biggest holiday hazard of all is the gifts. And not just because they push the credit limit. 

Each box or bag contains the potential to bring joy or disappointment. 

Take, for example, your sister-in-law who said once-upon-a-time that she loves flamingos. Twenty years on and every nook and cranny of her home contains flashes of pink fowl. As she opens a pretty package on Christmas morning she already guesses what it could be. Grasping the mug by its flamingo-necked handle to pull it out, she dies a little inside. 

Meanwhile what she really would love is a gift certificate for a house-cleaning service and a wine-of-the month club membership. 

What would make your heart sing this Christmas?

Years ago they started singing about an ideal Christmas. The earliest mention of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and all its feathered creatures (no flamingos though) and dancing and music appears in a children’s book in 1780. At least that’s what the Wikipedia page says. 

I mean, talk about the dangers of Christmas. Who wants six laying geese? Six geese plus five eggs per clutch, and by the end of January you are cleaning up after 30 birds. And then there is all the noise. 

So if you end up with singing socks this Christmas or a tie that lights up, just remember things could be worse. 

After all, we live in Seven Lakes, with its brilliant sunsets, clear skies and pine-fresh air. Even with all its foibles, it’s a gift in itself to live here. 

This Christmas, I’ll be humming the “Twelve Days of Christmas” with different words in mind: 

Every day I love Seven Lakes, ‘cause it gives to me: 

Twelve golfers golfing,

Eleven pine cones plunging,

Ten deer a-bounding,

Nine peaches picking,

Eight blowers a-blowing,

Seven lakes a-lapping,

Six geese a-messing,

Five golden skies,

Four chugging trains, 

Three lost parcels,

Two turtle docks and a

paratrooper in a pine tree. 

Last year, the PNC Christmas Price Index estimated the cost of the original, pre-industrial, classic Christmas gifts to run up a tab of $41,205.58. The price for the gifts of Seven Lakes? Incalculable.

Contact Maggie Beamguard at