I am one of those fortunate workers who have an office at home.
Usually, that's comfy as far as the short commute and occasional option to work in my pajamas.
But they've taken it over, those Christmas elves.
With my daughter and two grandchildren residing with us as she seeks to find work, the house is at high mess of cram-ness. That was OK until we decided there was no place to wrap presents out of the eyes of the youngsters.
In a moment of mental lapse, I volunteered my office.
Now I am working with a table filled with gift tags and ribbons on my left elbow, another table of present tops on my right, and rolls of paper, boxes of odd things and stacks of bows just in back of me. There are M&M plastic Christmas figures hanging on my pencil rack, and gold glittered tiny churches lurking beside little drummer boy drums on my bookshelves.
Oh, and the joy of solitude I once enjoyed here is ruptured by the constant presence of a wife or daughter wrapping in high warp behind me.
The other day someone came in the door behind me and, assuming was my spouse who writes for Western Farmer-Stockman, I asked "Honey, how is your column coming?"
"Just great, sweetie," came my daughter's voice.
Things like that happen a lot.
Nevertheless, I have declared the immediate desk in front me as no-Santa's land, and so far little has compromised my restricted cave space. I wonder how long before I'll be turning Reporter Notebook pages and finding bits of plastic holly or little paper Santas.
My advent calendar has an entirely different goal than most do. I just want the stuff outta here!
Meanwhile, I suppose I am enjoying the ambiance of the season as I grumble and write.
Just don't tell them that.
Speaking of the big holiday pending, we're wondering what the new monster dog will do with the tree. She's 50 pounds of pup now, and chews all things big and small, so the tree remains an iffy. I went to the Depot the other day and priced those outdoor dog runs made of metal fencing and wondered if I could put one around the tree. It has a door, after all, so we could get in and out to place gifts, and the dog wouldn't be able to eat them at night.
I don't think my wife really appreciates this solution.
Barbed wire is another option, but my daughter is concerned the five-year-old may fall into harm's way.
Same reaction when I suggested those electric dog shocker fences to her.
I am still enjoying a remark by a very high ranking farm official at a meeting I covered last week who came to my table with this comment: "I love everything in your magazine, and we will do anything you need!"
That makes my month!
After all, with the yule congestion in my office and the dog from Hades ruining my home, I need all the kind encouragement I can get!