Since I sing along at the mall with the Salvation Army (They aren't allowed to sing anymore. Did you know that? I guess it interferes with the endlessly blasting ads on the overhead televisions. So I ask what their favorite carol is and I belt it out with my shopping bags in hand. Let Mall Security mess with a paying customer and see what happens, Baby!), I figured I might as well make a buck or two at it as well. Every year I look like Mary Todd Lincoln as I waddle through various nursing homes, office parties, and "town strolls" and help the locals get into the spirit. I tell you this now because I've already started receiving assignments so I'm getting excited.
Now under that huge, flowing skirt is a petticoat with a wire hoop sewn in. I am required to arrive at the scene "in costume" which is a tad challenging since I drive a standard shift car. You know those "pop up tents" the kids have? It's a lot like that, except I have to shove fifty yards of fabric out of my way without wrinkling it too badly and so it stays out of the way of my gear shift. There is a growing suspicion that some people hire us year after year to watch me explode out of my car. I also can't wear a coat, so the outdoor assignments are an adventure in layer dressing. All nursing homes are kept at 102 degrees Fahrenheit and all outdoor assignments occur in sub-Arctic weather. It's a challenge.
Sometimes we have little surprises. Steven Tyler came to the tree lighting in his town and sang a song with us. It was the very first time my younger son (that's he in the top hat) had joined me, and he thought this sort of thing happened all the time. Uh. No. Older brother was not happy about that one. Not happy at all.
Anyway, although I'm not ready to go shopping yet and I refuse to do so until after Thanksgiving, I'm starting to get that "nip on the end of your nose" buzz from the weather and the prospect of helping people remember the reason for the season is pleasant. Plus, I'm still unemployed and let's face it, a buck is a buck.