Christmas in July
Walking 50-60 miles per day, while awesome and completely worth it, begins to feel monotonous around day 58. In an effort to increase motivation and break up the summer, Central Walk decided to celebrate Christmas in July.
Preparations for Christmas in July began (of course) with Advent in July. A few weeks before 7/25, the walkers drew names out of a hat for a secret Santa gift exchange. The rules of the exchange were simple: each person was to acquire two gifts for the person whose name they drew. The first gift had to be found (or assembled from things found) on the side of the road. The second gift was to be purchased for no more than $5, preferably from a sketchy-looking truck stop. Unlike my family’s gift exchange, no prohibition on live animals was enacted. Fortunately (and also unlike my family’s gift exchange), no gerbil incidents made such a rule necessary.
On the day of the Christmas celebration, the environment was rife with anticipation. The assorted broken car parts, filthy clothing items, and McDonald’s toys suddenly disappeared from the floors of the support vehicles, people’s duffel bags bulged with oddly-shaped, grocery-sack-wrapped parcels, and it snowed (in the YouTube video of “Let It Go” that we watched).
Some of the Central Walkers originally planned to make a Christmas cooking video while preparing the evening’s feast. The video would have featured a domestic dame from Alabama, cutout cookies baked on the blacktop, and a walk leader whose hair is on fire. Due to the fact that the Central Walk RV is engineless on the west side of the Rockies, cooking was not possible, so the walkers patronized a local eatery of Rushville, OH.
After dinner, the walkers returned to their rooms (turns out there was room at the Comfort Inn) to decorate for the Christmas party.
Should you ever need a Christmas tree very urgently and out of season, note that one can be assembled from pillowcases and a lamp. Festively colored coffee stirrers and charger cords make excellent trimmings.
Once the room was ready, the walkers reminded themselves of the reason for the season by holding a Christmas pageant in the hallway.
In an effort to be liturgically correct, the walkers sang modified Christmas classics, like, “Si-lent Night, Ord-inary Time…”
Mary presided over the distribution of gifts, which included a flashlight with no insides, soap, a recliner handle, fast food toys, candy, a grill brush, a wallet, a putter, and other gems.
Many inside jokes were enjoyed. (Click to watch a video of Alex opening his gifts)
To finish off the night, the walkers took a memorable selfie.
After the festivities, the walkers climbed into bed, where visions of sugarplums danced in their heads until just before sunrise.
From Central Walk to each and every one of you, Merry Christmas in July and a Happy Ordinary Time!
Lauren Mach, Central Walk 2014