Sunday, December 25, 2011

Are you sitting down?


The wreckage all around is the result of having survived another Christmas. Sure the kids and the cats have tracked wrapping paper, bows and tinsel all over the house. It will be March at least before all of the hidden spaces yield up their icicles and paper scraps.

The mountain of dishes and all of that strange stuff on the counters, that will go away later today when you recover enough to use a dishrag or better still get someone off the couch and into the kitchen to do the clean up. (You did all of the cooking so someone else better damn well do the clean up.)

The phone has finally stopped ringing, you’ve talked to everyone you know and a whole bunch of people you haven’t a clue who they were, but they called and said they were friends or family and rather than be rude, or get caught up in lengthy explanations, you played along and talked to them about things you wouldn’t mention to your shrink or priest. (Ever think about confession? Anything that you should confess to get right with a higher power has to be something that you would not talk to a priest about even if they were as kindly as Pat O’Brien or saintly as Spencer Tracy, which of course they never were and so the whole confession thing has to be base on you squirming around saying anything which might reveal just how kinky you are or how close to the top of the Naughty List you really were.)

And now you are sitting on the only clear, flat space in the whole house, the floor and looking out at the damage and wondering why it was that you thought having a family was such a good idea. Take a breath, cause I have news, it’s time to start preparing for next year.

Stop that screaming, it upsets the neighbors and won’t even slow down the children. Yes, once Christmas is over you have to start again and Monday morning the stores and the television and the radio will make sure you know it. They’ll hit you with sales, they’ll ply you with easy returns, which is a big, fat lie, cause just getting in the Service Counter line will show you, right quick that maybe it’s going to be easier to keep that lousy espresso machine than it would be to take it back, and besides if you were careful and kept track of who gave what to whom you can probably re-gift the silly thing to Aunt Minnie from Boise who doesn’t really drink coffee, but won’t squawk and lives too far away to send it back to you, so if nothing else you finally got it out of the house. Back to Monday, you should have scheduled a dentist’s appointment so that all of the media machine’s efforts will be wasted when you see how much pain you are in and how much the dentists charged you and you will go home and get back in bed and might not move again until February, which would be a big mistake because then you’ll be behind on Valentine’s and right back on the Naughty List.

No, you just have to such it up and face the stores and the crowds and think about who is responsible for all of this.

Me, I blame Prince Albert and Coca Cola. That’s right all of this woe is the work of the two most nefarious, underhanded villains ever to darken the Winter Solstice. Which makes me think that some of the blame has to lie with the church, cause they were the ones who stuck us with all of this in December.

You do know that no one knows when exactly the holiday we celebrate in December really happened. Some say its right where it should be and some think it should be over in the first two weeks of January. Way back in the fourth century the Church decided that pagans shouldn’t have all of the fun and they figured if they co-opted the big Winter Solstice celebration they could get a leg up on those rotten, hard-partying pagans. And that’s what they did. They picked a date close to the Winter Solstice and not all that far from the Roman Saturnalia and they plunked Christmas down right there and its been there ever since.

Now I don’t mind sharing with the pagans, most artists are pagan in spirit and they do have all of the good vices, the stuff your neighbors and preacher would not approve of, even a little bit, so why not move in on their holiday and maybe get some of that old time pagan fun, fun, fun.

Then there’s Prince Albert. Now I told you already, but it won’t hurt to repeat myself, Prince Albert was German even though he was married to Queen Victoria and sort of an Englishman so you might want to skip over Prince Albert and blame the Germans. They get all of the ticket for starting the two World Wars, why not Christmas too?

Prince Albert brought along all of the traditions which we as English speaking descendants hold so dear, Christmas trees, Yule logs and fruit cake which really started out as plum pudding, and lights on the tree which were originally candles which made the fire department hate Christmas even more than they would for all of the lost cats and locked doors and stray kids, cause stray kids don’t cause as many fires as sticking a candle on a dried out fir tree.

Thanks a bunch Princester!

And last but certainly not least, Coca Cola. Now you may think Coke is just a drink or maybe even a generic term for soda which Coca Cola would fight you tooth and nail over cause it is a trademarked name and not a generic anything and they spend thousands every year insuring that the Trademark does not fall into the public domain which might be justice for inflicting the worst of the Christmas horrors on us, Santa Claus.

Yep, it was Coke which made Santa a fixture. He really started out as a hard working churchman way back in the fourth century somewhere around what is now Turkey. And for a whole bunch of years he was happy with his church gig and then something happened and he got shifted as these legends sometimes do and he became a Christmas elf. Yeah, one of the little guys, he probably was a Brownie, no not the cookie selling kind, but the shoe mending kind. They have access to the house anyway so it wouldn’t take too much of a stretch to shift them from shoemaking which is a useful talent to toy making which keeps the kids out of your hair, but doesn’t really contribute to the economy.

He was again happy as a toy-making elf for several hundred years, shifting happily from the forests of Bavaria to the sands of Syria where he became a camel, one of the three wise men’s caravan and allegedly the smallest, but still working the toy trade and making kids happy even in the world’s largest beach. Hey just because they don’t have an ocean handy is no reason to discriminate against all of that sand.

But after years of hard work establishing himself as the head elf and toy-maker, in 1931 Coca Cola decided he’d be just the pitchman they needed. But an elf isn’t the sort of thing you can bring into the family home, who knows where they’ve been or if they’re legally in this country and you don’t want to get cross-ways with Homeland Security so once again Santa transformed into a Norman Rockwell jolly ole fat man. (Of course now there’s a certain stigma attached to any old man who wants to bounce children on his knee, bearded or not, but I don’t think Coke wants us to dwell on that image or at least they haven’t mentioned it in any of their adds that I’ve seen.)

So Santa got a red suit and a sleigh full of toys and Coke and went to work for Atlanta’s finest where he is still employed to this very day.

And that is why I blame these guys for the annual blood letting which comes on December the 25th.

Hate Christmas, not me, I have a closet where I can roll my tree in without taking a single light off or even taking the Father Christmas off the top of the tree. I’d leave my Christmas lights on on the front porch all year long except the Long Suffering won’t allow it, and now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to bed. I have to hit the store bright and early tomorrow morning.

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