December is busting out all over and so is my credit limit.

We’re only about three weeks from Christmas and a lot of us are still trying to figure out what gifts, and for whom, we’ll be spending money on, or rather putting on a little piece of plastic. From a previous high of five, I’ve finally narrowed my cards down to three, one of which is the good card. I wonder if anybody else has a “good card.”

Once again my seasonal gift-giving is limited to family this year. Notice I am not using the trendy “gifting” because, one, I’m not sure if it’s a proper verb, and two, it sounds too close to “grifting” to me.

I’ll never forget my first foray into the universe of usury; it was the day my first credit card came in the mail. It’s one of those moments you tell yourself you’ve finally grown up, like when you got your driver’s license or voted for the first time. The first time I voted it was just after they let 18-year-olds vote and I voted for Richard Nixon over Hubert Humphrey. I never met either one so I wasn’t able to look them in the eye to glean their honesty.

So anyway, my first credit card was a BankAmericard, the forerunner of Visa. It was my goose that laid the golden egg with a credit limit of a whopping $200. That was when gas was 25 cents a gallon and my rent was $80, the same as my weekly paycheck. It was the early seventies and I was driving a cool 1966 Mustang and I was married. And as you can guess, the next time I felt really grown-up was when I started trying to pay off that stupid card. The Aesop’s fable about killing the goose that laid the golden egg began to ring true.

But I guess having a little credit out there is not a bad thing. I mean, it’s the patriotic thing, right? It was Cicero who said back in something-something B.C., “Nothing so cements and holds together all the parts of a society as faith or credit, which can never be kept up unless men are under some force or necessity of honestly paying what they owe to one another.”

And look at us now, over 2,000 years later still feeling the wont of honesty (except possibly at income tax time).

Even though there may be a little turkey left in the fridge you can still look forward to this Saturday for the Matanza put on by the Socorro Fire Department, and there’ll be luminarias all around. Or is it farolitos? When I lived up in Santa Fe years ago if you said luminaria, people would give you a sideways look at you as if to say, “Huh? You mean farolito.”

I would then proceed to tell them I thought the terms were interchangeable, as one meant little light and the other meant illumination, but my words fell on deaf ears, for it appears there is a hard and fast rule on what those bag candles are called, depending on where you are living.

Regardless, the luminarias all around the plaza are quite picturesque and it’s a great photo op, but try as I might, most of my night shots come out all fuzzy looking.

Oh, and don’t miss the big electric light parade down California Street. It’s a real hoot, with floats and Santa and, I guess, really long extension cords.

Seeing as coronavirus germs may still be hovering in the air, don’t forget to mask up, and remember that social-distancing thing. Six feet is a good rule, but yes, I know, we tend to misjudge how far six feet is and things always go awry at the post-Black Friday crush at the checkout.

What that being said, like The Police song, “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” we have our own “personal space” preferences already.

I was reading in Psychology Today that the intimate space for our closest relationships is zero-18 inches apart, the personal space for family and friends is 18 inches to 4 feet of distance, the social space for casual and professional relationships is 4-10 feet, and the public space for strangers is over 10 feet.

All that is perfectly reasonable and works nicely into the social-distancing principle, although you occasionally run into some who have decidedly different theories on how to avoid viral infections.

Us being us, we all have our own opinions on everything between heaven and earth, so in the spirit of finding common ground, I have racked my brain and come up with at least four things we can all agree on:

  • Mosquitoes are horrible.
  • Wet socks are the worst.
  • Cereal then milk.
  • No one enjoys being wet unless they want to be wet.