Tis the Yuletide Spirit

November 28, 2014

This last few days at the plantation have been so busy as we were preparing for Thanksgiving Dinner with our family and friends. We had guests booked almost every day this week. The only day we didn’t have guests was Wednesday. It turned out to be a rain and cold day with even our first snow flurry. Thankfully, no snow on the ground. After last years snow, I think I am pretty good not to have any at the plantation this year. Here is hoping though I don’t think it will happen.

Because I knew the Wednesday was going to be cold and wet, I decided to do all my shopping on Monday and Tuesday. You know, just in case we got a freak snow storm that socked us in for the day. Don’t laugh, it would be my luck. On Monday, I spent take looking for some things we need for our Christmas decorating here at the plantation. I needed mostly to find some LED light strings that were battery operated and had a timer on them. Our power outlets are limited here and I know I didn’t want to run around turning on and off Christmas lights this year. I also need some small black lanterns with shepherd hooks to line the entry lane. I thought my best bet would be to hit “And That”, a discount store in Fredericksburg that carries just about anything.

As normal, I was pushed for time on Monday and I debated going or not. But I knew if I didn’t, I would find them there later and they would be almost sold out. So I thought, “I will just run in and see if they have it or not.” You know to rule them out later if I needed to look elsewhere. So in I rushed, knowing I had only 30 minutes to get in and out. We had guests arriving between 4pm and 6pm and I needed to get back.

I did find the lights I needed there, but as always when you need lots of them, they only had two. I pulled a sale person aside and asked if they might have more in the back. She said no, but she thought we could order them. Order them? I didn’t know you could do that at this store! Big question was, when would I get them? This week? Really? Let’s do it! Of course they didn’t have the black lanterns that I needed. But at least one thing can be marked off the list.

I decided not to leave without taking the two lights I found. You never know if you might need them. When I went to get in line, the customer service line had two ladies with carts overflowing with items. I walked down to the two cashier lines that were open only to see both had two customers in each line with their carts overflowing. This wasn’t good. I had just ten minutes to get out and on the way. So I walked back to the customer service line and ask the cashier if they had an express line. She replied, “This is the express line, but it doesn’t always work that way.” While she was telling me this, the lady in front of me, looked at me and my two items and turned her back on me.

I looked at the first lady in line and saw that the cashier was only half way through her cart of items. So I stood there for a minute or two thinking, “Should I wait or should I ask them to hold these until I returned for the others? Or should I just put them down and go.”

Then it struck me. The lady in front of me knows I have only two items, yet she turned her back on me as if not to care. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect special treatment. I believe in waiting my turn like everyone else. But had this been any time expect before Thanksgiving and Christmas, the lady ahead of me with ten thousand items in her cart would have offered to allow me to go ahead of her. Yet because it was before the holidays, she turned her back on me.

“Tis the Yuletide Spirit”

You know what I am talking about. That time during the holiday when the sweetest old lady turns into an aggressive monster that pushes and shoves her way through the store to get that last Christmas item before you. That kindly gentleman that turns into an angry ogre as he cuts you off to get that one parking spaces that you had been waiting on as the previous person pulled out.

This morning I woke to read about the Black Friday Shoppers that started on Thursday during the Thanksgiving Day specials. Violent skirmishes fighting over bargains on televisions, tablets and even Barbie dolls! In one location two women started pushing each other over $5 Barbie dolls! In another store, a woman was arguing with a man over a Sony subwoofer speaker while a store employee in a safety vest tries to mediate the situation.

Really?

Whatever happened to this time of the year being about love, hope and giving? In the past years, I have come to avoid stores and malls at this time because frankly, people have lost their minds! I have come to hate the commercial side of Christmas. Why is it so important that we get that last “Tickle me Elmo”? Remember that one? I bet you can’t even remember that toy is today that you spent four days camped out in line at Walmart for? So what do you have to show for it?

Well, lucky for me, another cashier came along and took me out of line so I could get out on time. She was so nice and I think she could see the stress in my face and I pondered over what to do. So despite that “Yuletide Spirit” that others may show at this time of year, I know that is hope. There are those out there that feel and live the true meaning of Christmas.

I know I want to make sure I am one of them.

With this thought, today I will be spending the day doing tours of Belle Grove from 1pm to 4pm and then greeting our overnight guests between 4pm and 6pm. In between, I will be working out our Christmas decorations. We will be working on getting things in placed for our December Candlelight Tours starting on December 4th to December 21st. Our Candlelight Tours will be from 7pm to 9pm Thursday – Sunday.

We are excited that we have two florist, Mason King George Florist from King George and The Flower Guy Bron from Richmond helping us with the interior decorations. Dawn with Mason Florist is decorating the Formal Dining Room and Bron from The Flower Guy is decorating the Ladies Parlor.

If you are crafty and would like to volunteer helping us decorate the outside of Belle Grove or the interior Grand Hall way, please let me know. We will be working on getting the fresh greenery cuttings this weekend and will be decorating this weekend until Thursday morning. We would love any help that we can get! The more the merrier! Just contact me at 540-621-7340 or email us at information@bellegroveplantation.com.