Honey, guess what we're doing next weekend?"
My wife's words pierced the noise of whatever NFL football game we were watching on TV like a bullet pass last Sunday.
Sherri always accuses me of never listening to her, but I heard her this time.
Loud and clear.
It was a rhetorical question, actually.
If it's the weekend after Thanksgiving, then we are going to be putting up our Christmas decorations!
Can I get an amen, fellas?
Think I'm in good company when it comes to getting around to this annual pre-holiday exercise.
Down come all the boxes, bins and plastic tubs from the garage attic, and only Sherri knows exactly what's what and what's where up there.
The ready-to-assemble tree.
All the tree ornaments, balls and bulbs individually wrapped.
The outside lights that always get strung up first.
We've got some catching up to do in that department.
One of the coolest things about this time of year is seeing whose homes get decorated earliest.
A new neighbor down our street already has their Christmas lights up, an all-white display that's striking.
Another neighbor on the opposite side of the lake in our subdivision has theirs up, too, a multi-colored combination that makes a pretty reflection across the pond.
Then there's the rancher up on nearby Prospect Road whose fences and brick home are all done in lights.
Yes, we've got some catching up to do.
During my woebegone bachelorhood, Christmas decorations were nonexistent. Maybe a wreath my sister sent me every year from Oregon to hang on my front door and that's all.
Then when I met Sherri and we began dating, she gave me a small Christmas tree with some decorations that included a Santa in a Hawaiian shirt.
Still got him, too, though he's merely part of a much, much bigger collection of treasured ornaments now.
Sherri's got radar for finding holiday decorations.
You're familiar with those year-round Christmas stores?
It's uncanny how she'll find them when we're on the road for spring, summer or fall vacation, whether it's on the way to Biloxi, Miss., or Gatlinburg, Tenn., or Beech Mountain, N.C., and points in between.
That goes for scoring ornaments in little shops and craft fairs in places like:
Ocean Springs, Miss.
Blowing Rock, N.C.
Surf City, N.J.
That doesn't include decorations her folks have given us from their travels to Alaska and Canada and the Caribbean.
Yes, they'll all be brought down and put up this weekend.
If not, we'll just have to finish next weekend.
Still got football to watch, right?
Mannix About Manatee, by columnist Vin Mannix, is about people and issues in Manatee County. Call Vin at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix