The day after Thanksgiving, it was like magic. Wreaths tacked onto walls, fake poinsettia trees set out, garlands hung, then falling, then hung again....
For the love of it all, please wait until at least December before hanging anything!
The one decoration I do greet with open arms every year is what replaces our little pebble bowl.
The pebble bowl is...hard to describe. (lemme go find a pic I think I have on facebook) Ok, here you go:
Kinda small, I know, but the best I could do. It is a green leaf shaped dish with little gray/black polished pebbles in it. Kind of attractive in a quirky sort of way.
When Christmas comes, the pebble dish is replaced by the bowl of small ornaments. It looks similar to this ... though the ornaments are smaller than these.
Here's what happens:
Person walks by. Little bowl of bright red things catches their eye. There's that little hitch in their stride as they pause to see if they are....edible.
Yup, that's right.
They look surprisingly like little chocolates. Upon occasion, someone will actually pick one up. It's rather hilarious.
Conversation heard today:
Man: (exhibits action described above) Oh! I thought they were chocolates!
Daughter: Me too! Every time I walk by, I think they are and I check....
Me: (Smiles while thinking success!!)
When one of the owners was in putting all the decorations up, she was going to put the little bowl of multi-colored bead strings on the table in front of reception, but I convinced her to put the ornaments there instead--leaving out personal gratification (and downright glee) as a justifiable reason. Instead, I used the following example:
There I was, MMOB** and a mother and her daughter were passing through the lobby. The daughter proceeds to pick up the little ornaments and begin hanging them by their little wires on her backpack. "Ma'am?" I say, polite in that little way I have, "Ma'am? Your daughter seems to be taking the little ornaments."
She turns and gets a load of little Jenny decimating the ornament population. "Jenny!" she says, with mild enthusiasm, "Don't take those!" She turns back to the desk in time to miss completely Jenny's absolute rejection of her words evidenced by the theft of another ornament. "She's still taking them" I say apologetically to the mother who's child obviously never listens.
MOJ (mother of Jenny) goes and drags Jenny away from the temptations. She makes as if to leave.
One problem though.
"M'am?" I say, "I'll need those back." I point to the 6 or so ornaments dangling from the mesh pocket of her backpack. MOJ bend to try to take them off, but Jenny has crimped those wire hanger-thingys down pretty good. She manages to get one of them off, then looks up at me. "They're stuck. Can't she just..."
Me: Let me see what I can do (I start prying them off. I know what she wanted me to say: Oh, she can just keep them. U-uh)
I finally get them all off and back in their dish where they belong. About 10 minutes later, Jenny comes back. She saunters over to the dish, and then turns to check if I'm watching her. She sees that I am, but still starts to take one. I walk over. "You can't take that" I say. "Why not?" she asks. She honestly seems to have no idea. "They're not yours. It would be stealing." She looks at me uncomprehendingly (she's about 6 or 7) and starts to reach for it again. "No." I say. She puts it back and leaves.
And just to finish this off, I (just now!!) saw some guy do the walk-by...and then actually pick one up and then almost trip over his own feet in an effort to return it when he realized it wasn't chocolate.
Then the quick look to see if anybody noticed.
This is a message for all of you. Ready?
Someone always notices.
And they're laughing at you.
**Minding My Own Business