ARE WE THERE YET

Beginning to feel a lot like Christmas? No!

LORI CLINCH

‘W ell, the weather outside is frightful.”

At least that’s what our Little Charlie was singing as he poured himself a glass of juice last month. At the time the sun was shining and the temperature was no less than 70 degrees.

“It’s not frightful, Charlie,” I corrected, as I poured myself a glass of lemonade. “Do you not see the sunshine?”

“Well, it will be frightful Mom,” he responded. Then he said the words that evoke fear in the hearts of mothers worldwide: “It’s almost Christmas.”

“It is not almost Christmas. It’s fall, we’re surrounded by pumpkins and scarecrows.”

“I know,” he said in disgust. “When are you going to take all of that down and put up the tree?”

That said, he then broke into a lovely rendition of “Little Drummer Boy’’ and pa rum pum pummed himself out of the kitchen.

Christmas in October, can you imagine? As I tried to still my beating heart, I swore to myself that if I heard that dang dog barking out “Jingle Bells’’ on the radio that I’d cover myself with faux fall leaves and bury my head in the candy corn.

“Should we talk about what we’re getting Dad for Christmas?” he asked the next day after school as he climbed into the car.

“Charlie! I’m still wearing flip-flops!”

“You should switch to Uggs, dig out the winter coats! Say! I wonder if Dad would like one of those Russian style fur hats. You

know, it’s never too early to start thinking of the Big Day!”

“Oh, it’s too early, little mister,” I said, as I pulled into traffic and turned on the air-conditioning to ward off the heat.

Not much time had passed before he presented me with his Christmas wish list that he was able to transfer from a sheet of notebook paper onto my cell phone via his brother’s Blue Tooth device.

Never too early for that!

It was mid-October when he fa-la-la-la’d his way into the kitchen, set out 3 pounds of butter and stood ready with a mixer in hand. “Don’t you think it’s time we get started on the Christmas cookies?” he asked. He had already dug out his Santa hat, donned a festive apron and was mentally preparing to whip up a baker’s dozen.

With an emphatic eye roll, I ignored how cute he was and headed outside to water my potted pansies.

Then Christmas began to creep in around the corners. In a blatant attempt to help Charlie with his Christmasing, the department stores are displaying boughs of holly. The Christmas catalogs are arriving in droves, and even the Glade Co. is getting on board with their evergreen-scented room deodorizers.

“It’s Christmas,” Charlie said, as I wandered into the kitchen last week at zero-darkthirty in search of a hot cup of Joe.

“It’s the end of October,” I replied as I poured cream into my coffee and realized too late that the packaging was adorned with a wreath and had “Happy Holidays!” scrawled across the front.

“It’s still Christmas,” Charlie continued. “I know because I just saw Santa coming over a snow-covered hill riding an electric razor on ESPN. That means you need to hang our stockings and soon.”

So there I stood on a sunny day, wondering if I should still cover the outside plants to ward off the freeze for another week as some bamboozler on TV blatantly proclaimed that there are only so many days left until the Big Day and that we should act now, as supplies are limited.

Suddenly, it’s all around us and picking up speed as it goes. The commercials are screaming jolly and showing families sipping cocoa as they ward off the chill from cutting down their Christmas trees.

On our way home yesterday, Charlie scanned the radio stations, and when he heard that dang dog barking out his favorite Christmas song, he turned and looked at me with a big smile.

If you needme, I’ll be in a corner with the bowl of candy corn. Meanwhile, if Charlie isn’t careful, he’s gonna find himself singing that he’s getting nuttin’ for Christmas.

Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her at loriclinch2010@gmail.com.