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Wrapping up a very good year

By Paul Viau | Dec 14, 2013
Photo by: Paul Viau SARGE'S WRAP PARTY — Now through Dec. 24, Sarge's 'elves' will be on hand at Mast General Store to wrap  Christmas presents. Pictured, from left, are volunteers, Cynthia Morris and Rosa Allomong.

Christmas is a season of joy and reflection, and it’s one of my favorite times of the year — with the exception of a few seasonal chores that always bring out my inner ‘Scrooge.’

Take, for instance, the tedious chore of hauling tub after tub of decorations upstairs from their 11-month hiding place in the basement; waiting for my wife to unload and play with all the decorations; then carrying all the empty tubs back downstairs where I found them.

Then, after a scant month or so, all the empties go back upstairs — again —everything gets packed up, and stowed — again — and returned to the basement.

Yes, the Viau Christmas definitely has its ups and downs. And with all that packing and unpacking, it’s amazing we have any whole ornaments.

Then there’s the tedious process of going through all of the Christmas lights and identifying temperamental strands. Every year we experience what I call “The Grinch Factor” — where random strands of lights have blown a fuse — and I, too, blow a fuse.

LEDs were supposed to make this a simpler process, but I have learned that L.E.D. really stands for — (choose one)

(a) Lame. Electrical. Discharge.

(b) Light. Emitting. Disappointment.

(c) Lift. Exchange. Dispose.

(d) Ladder. Expletive. Destroy.

(e) Lifetime. Expectation. Don’t count on it.

All this ranting being said and done, I have found, that handling and stringing Christmas lights (both regular and LED) goes better with a little ‘Shine.’ Enough said.

Last, but not least of my Christmas joys, is the festive all-night session when my wife and I wrap all the gifts.

I’m good at wrapping — very good at mitering corners and invisibly taping seams. As a matter of fact, I’m a regular Edward Scissorhands, but I don’t do bows. My wife, Carol, does all the bows and gift tags — beautifully.

Lately, however, we have been using — and reusing — gift bags. They are indeed a “slam dunk.” But this year we discovered the absolute bliss of outsourcing the gift-wrapping to a good cause — in fact, a great cause — Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation.

Now through Christmas Eve, elves (volunteers) from Sarge’s have set-up a gift-wrapping station just inside the front entrance to Mast General Store in Waynesville.

You can drop off your unwrapped gifts, stroll along Main Street for a short time, and then pick up your beautifully wrapped presents. Or you can wait while Sarge’s elves do their Holiday wrap, but keep in mind, those complimentary Mast rocking chairs are in high demand this time of year.

Of course, the volunteers from Sarge’s hope that you will be generous with your gift-wrapping donations — 100 percent of the proceeds go to Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation.

This has been a great year for Sarge’s — with record numbers of both cat and dog adoptions — but all those rescued animal’s mean higher veterinary costs — so bring in your unwrapped presents and help support Sarge's mission to save Haywood County dogs and cats.

With your help, all of us, including Sarge’s, can all wrap up a good year.

Also, if you are an Edward Scissorhands (and not a Jay-Z) kind of gift wrapper, consider helping out with Sarge’s gift wrapping project. To sign up to wrap, call 400-4713 or visit www.sargeandfriends.org/giftwrap. Sarge's Animal Rescue Foundation can be reached at 246-9050.

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