The Nutcracker in white

He doesn’t care it’s after Labor Day.

While October was peaceful, November so far has been a whole ‘nother story.

The job offer I was hoping would come in late October didn’t come, in spite of the numerous interviews and work I had to do on my end. The recruiter told me I was the second-choice candidate, and I can confirm there is something worse than being rejected outright.

I’m still job searching and the communication from October has been replaced with radio silence, which is frustrating and now frightening. I opened the packet the insurance provider from Old Job sent me about COBRA benefits. Imagine my surprise to discover the monthly premium to extend health insurance coverage would be more than my rent.

In addition to unemployment stress, Covid fatigue has set in. It’s gotten to the point that if I never hear the governor speak again I’d be thrilled …. and you are welcome to interpret that statement however you please. I’m glad the powers that be didn’t actually shut anything down, such as the gym or restaurants, but the fact aforementioned powers are even bringing this up in the first place is still exasperating.

I finally had some good news later on this past week, but frankly, November has been disappointing and emotionally draining. The desire to keep some parts of my life carrying on “business as usual” is waning, and that battle in my own head has left me exhausted.

I decided to dig out some Christmas decorations. Usually I’ll start Christmas decorating in early November, since it’s not like I’m going to host Thanksgiving in my apartment and a little holly jolly never hurt anybody. My heart was not in Christmas decorating at all this past Monday when I decided to start digging, but I needed to do something to get my mind off myself.

There’s three storage bins under my bed, and in one of them I found a few Christmas decorations, including the Nutcracker I got at Hobby Lobby a year or two ago. Mr. Nutcracker is silver and white, with blue eyes and a silver sword. I put him on the counter with some decorative trees, letting him keep guard over the living room while I got frustrated and dropped some cusswords at the mess that was my storage closet (it’s since been cleaned, by the way.)

Mr. Nutcracker continued to keep watch over the living room throughout this past week, which included frustrated tears and phone calls to my mom to blow off steam and get some clarity. Eventually I got over myself and got a grip, and decided Christmas decorating baby step #1 should be putting away my pumpkins on the media center/book cubbies. I know I’m a basic white chick, and part of the BWC modus operandi is an overpowering love of pumpkins in the fall. But I didn’t realize how many little decorative pumpkins I actually own until I had them arranged on the dining room table.

I still haven’t tried the Starbucks pumpkin space latte though. The tea is pretty good and if I could do it without them going straight to my thighs, I’d probably live off the lemon pound cake. I’m digressing today. Anyways …

I had all the pumpkins out and the boxes to put them away in. I also had some of my Christmas decorations on the counter and pictures moved all over the place to rearrange the cubbies. My place was a mess of stuff in transit, and for once it wasn’t stressing me out. Once I got the fall stuff off the top of the center and had dusted everything off, I was trying to remember how I had arranged my little trees in years past. For the life of me I couldn’t remember any of it, and then I looked over at Mr. Nutcracker.

Nutcracker dolls originated in Germany, being crafted in the Erzebirge mountain regions. German folklore says nutcrackers are given as keepsakes to bring luck to the family and protect the home from malevolent spirits. The teeth on the dolls are barred to scare off any evilness trying to find its way inside.

I was looking at my nutcracker, the way he stood in front of the trees. I felt something within me say that he needed to be on the media center front and center, not on the side table where I usually put him. I moved him over to the left side of the center, which is closer to the hallway and can see all around the apartment, with the trees and my Christmas bouquet.

I wasn’t much for superstitions prior to this year, mostly because the people I knew who were incredibly superstitious were just plain weird, and because from a Christian standpoint, it seemed wrong to put faith in folklore and not God. However, being in this apartment for much of the year and social distancing has started to change that. I still believe in God first and always will, but maybe a little extra protection wouldn’t be a bad thing.

And God knows I don’t need anymore unhappiness or malevolence in my home.

The great Christmas decorating isn’t quite done yet, but Mr. Nutcracker is firmly staying in place, protecting his home and the people who live in it. Which happens to be a mildly crazy lady, her boyfriend who comes over to visit, and the spoiled cat.

I hope you all are able to enjoy the changing of the season and the coming of the holidays. Have a wonderful weekend friends.

Yours in reading,

Allison

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