Our Christmas 2018 started clear back on Aug. 17. (I know… we were about two months behind most department stores.) We didn’t know we would be celebrating Christmas back then, but it just very serendipitously happened.
On the third weekend in August, Bowling Green hosts one of the loudest, stinky-est, four-day events involving tractors and pulling. As much as we appreciate the economic benefits it has for our town, living a half-mile away inspires us to leave the county. Well, not just the county, but the country!
For the past three years we have traveled to Canada with a dear lady friend who owns a cabin on a remote lake called Nipissing.
“I am so looking forward to several days of complete quiet and relaxation,” I said to our friend. “I just want to read, relax and nap.”
“How is that different from any other day?” the wife asked.
“Hey! Retirement is stressful.”
“If you were any more relaxed, you’d be in a coma.”
Hoping to defuse the conversation, the dear friend said, “Don’t you think Justin Trudeau is the cutest Canadian Prime Minister ever? And here’s a fun fact, he was born on Christmas Day in 1971.” Little did we know there was some irony in that fun fact.
At this point in the column I should probably explain that right across a small inlet from our dear friend’s cabin is a huge rustic lodge. It is usually very quiet where people come to read, relax and nap just like me.
But as we drove up the dirt road to her cabin, we were met with a plethora of Yuletide activity at the resort. (Again, this is August, and the temps were in the 90s.) Christmas lights were everywhere; tall pines were adorned with huge ornaments, and snow covered everything.
The three of us stood in awe of the holiday spectacle before us as we looked across the inlet.
“Whoa!” I said, “I knew this was a long drive to Canada, but seriously, how many times did we stop to pee? It certainly didn’t take us four months to get up here.”
“Oh honey, how would you know?” the wife said. “You napped most of the way in the back seat.”
“I was just relaxing.”
“You were in a coma.”
Changing the subject, our friend said, “I am going to check this out. Maybe Justin Trudeau is here to celebrate an early birthday. Why else would everything be decorated for Christmas in August? Oh, I hope he’s here, he’s just so cute!”
As it turns out, the champion of “happily ever after movies,” Hallmark, was making a Christmas movie right next door. Movie cameras and lights were everywhere. Sound and makeup people were tweaking mics and dabbing lipstick. And the director was shouting “Action … and cut!” over and over again. It was a Christmas miracle in mid-August. And in between takes, fresh snow was blown all over the set.
We all had a new appreciation for the work that goes into a romantic movie like that. For example, the actors spent four hours filming one kiss on the dock. One kiss. Talk about your chapped lips.
“Wow!” I said to the wife. “You’ve never kissed me for that long.”
“Not without a breath mint, dear. Oh, I’m so happy we happened to be here for this!”
“Christmas in August,” the friend said, “and with my favorite ending … happily ever after.”
From my family to yours, may all of my readers have a happily ever after Hallmark Christmas and a very merry new year.
Raul Ascunce is a columnist for the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, a sister paper of The Lima News within AIM Media.