Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Tale

I’ve been working on a little Christmas gift for you. No it isn’t Jennifer Aniston or George Clooney. Although if any of you know how to arrange that please do so and I’ll happily test the product and write a review for you.

No, I’ve posted on one of my other sites a Christmas story I wrote a few years back.

I guess every writer has to take a crack at writing a Christmas story. It is one of those things that mark the difference between someone who writes for fun and a professional. Now I don’t claim my story is professional, (And I have the rejection letters to prove my point), but I think it does capture the nature of the holiday and will make for a few happy minutes in this week of frantic franticing.

Oh come on you know you are. It’s less than a week before Christmas and you’ve still got shopping and cooking and wrapping and guesting and cleaning, not to mention the Christmas cards. (Did you remember to pick up a coupla hannukkah cards for your Jewish friends?) There’s always too much to do and not enough time to do it in, and don’t count on that thing on the sofa, if you ask it will claim it’s too tired from work and too frazzled from the kids, oh no, the kids, have you gotten then out of their rooms and off the Iphone and set in front of a table with cards and writing implements?

And there’s the cooking, for friends and family and the parties. You know there’ll be a bunch of parties and they’ll all expect you to bring something and Louise will try to one up everyone with the latest receipt she found in Gourmet magazine, so you’ll have to do more than buy a tin of Baker’s shortbread cookies even though there is just no occasion when Baker’s shortbread cookies don’t fit the bill, so while you are trying to stay informed by listening to CNN you’ll have to drag out the cookie sheets and start baking.

Have you laid in all of the supplies for Christmas dinner? Or have you done the smart thing and made plans to skip the cooking and make that thing on the couch take you out for Christmas dinner? Why not you know it spent at least a hundred bucks on presents for itself and will try to pass them off as gifts from whichever one of the kids can’t make it home this year or say that it was a Secret Santa gift from work.

Did the light go up? You haven’t got much time to get them up before they have to come down even though you could just leave them up all year long and be like a country song and if you cleverly weave them in and out of the hedge or tree they won’t be seen by the neighbors or from the street and no one will know that you haven’t taken them down until next year when you try to lit them and only half of them work because they suffered moisture damage from being out in the wet the whole long year.

And you know someone is going to show up at the last minute for dinner or with a huge package for you when you didn’t get them anything and you have no choice but to ask them to stay for dinner or wrap up the broom or plumber’s helper and claim that you thought of them back in February and have been hiding this all year so that you’d be ready when they got here?

The holidays are a big hassle.

But then they only come once a year so it really isn’t all that much of a pain, you can maintain until New Years.

Except the way the year is laid out, it’s doomsday for the next three months. You know there’s Christmas followed almost immediately by new years and just when you think you can take a break there’s President’s Day which is a silly thing to call it because no one in their right mind really believes you are going to go to all that trouble for Millard Filmore or Daniel D. Tompkins who wasn’t a president at all but was the vice president under John Quincy Adams and I’ll bet your Mr. Sawyer doesn’t know that but I’ve gotten off track, which is really all about Washington and Lincoln and wasn’t it better when we celebrated two birthdays for those guys instead of just one generic day for the whole lot of guys most of whom we didn’t vote for and wouldn’t if we had an chance.

And then there’s Valentines Day. Now if you are living under a rock or by yourself you can ignore this, but if you live with someone and they happen to be a female sort of person, you’d better remember this one or you’ll wind up like John Wayne Bobbit.

And then along comes St Patrick’s Day which is supposed to be an Irish holiday, but somewhere along the road everyone got to be Irish on March 17th so you’ll have to get with the program or listen to the jeers and catcalls all the whole rest of the year.

So really it will be April before you can take a break, unless you earn money and then you’ll have to deal with the tax man so you won’t even get break there and before you know it it’s Mother’s Day and graduation and you’ll hear from relatives you didn’t even know you had because they ponied up for all the other graduations and now they are damned sure going to get theirs cause you wouldn’t expect them to give away graduation gifts out of the goodness of their hearts, now would you?

So ya see, it will be June before you really get to a take a deep breath.

Why not go ahead and take a minute now and see if a little Christmas story can’t make all of the rushing and fighting worth it. And if you like the story, you can come back from time to time and see what else might be there.

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