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Category Archives: Holidays

Salvation Army Bell-Ringing at its Finest

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h/t Sasha

My Growing Pet Peeve: “Having Christmas”

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And it seems there is no shortage of people willing to feed my pet.

“What are your plans for the holidays?” I ask.

“Oh, we’re gonna go to my daughter’s house on Saturday the 20th,” comes the reply, “and we’ll have Christmas with them.”

“Then,” continues the offender, “we’re a-goin’ over to my wife’s uncle’s place the weekend after Christmas and we’ll have Christmas with them.”  By then I want it to end–but, no sir–I asked for it.

“The weekend after New Year’s, we got our in-laws swingin’ by on their way back from their trip to South America, and we’ll have some Christmas with them too, I expect.”

“And,” I dare to ask, “what will you do on Christmas Day?”

“Oh, not too much, just stay home, be quiet, watch some TV, pop somethin’ in the microwave.  Or maybe me and the missus will go out.”

Aaarrrrghhhh!  “Having Christmas?!”  The image inspired by the phrase is not pretty.  Open up a large, brightly colored can.  Out pops greenery and lights along with slick, overproduced music from Bing Crosby and Andy Williams, maybe Nat King Cole too, since after all, he was such a well-behaved member of his race.  Maybe Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Reba McEntire.  Whatever.  They’re all crooning Christmas songs in the background on some Wal-Mart 3-in-1 combo stereo, while someone puts on a cheap, fake-fur Santa hat, so as to distribute presents from under the 5 ft. fir tree that should have been watered big-time a week before.  Designated Santa stumbles a bit as he grasps for the power drill wrapped in cheap penguin paper.  Shouldn’t have taken Cousin Ike up on the offer for that Sloe Gin Fizz refill.  The new Hallmark ornament for ’08 falls to the floor and bounces, since like everything else in life, it’s plastic.  Dried needles shower the tree skirt as Santa hands the package to Cousin Ike, who has to feign surprise, given the reality that it’s near the end of the month and he’s already seen the credit card statement.  But he does it well, and everybody agrees that, by golly, they’ve had themselves some goood Christmas.

Once upon a time, there was this great feast day in the church.  They called it Christ Mass and observed it as a sacred occasion for reasons that seem ever more lost in the distance of our collective memory.

And, Up Yours, Bill O’Reilly!  You’re as bad as the rest of them.

Thank you for lending your time to hear from my inner curmudgeon.    Let the Season continue…..

Twas the Night Before Krampus…

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And all through the house,

Every creature was fearful,

Even the mouse.

The children were all cowering under their beds,

Sure that by morning they all would be dead.

Austria, the place that produced this painterthis closet-Nazi, and of course Ahnold, now brings you:


"You've been very, very, VERY NAUGHTY!

On the night of December 5, the eve of St. Nicholas Day, a 7-foot-tall hairy creature with horns and cloven hooves, wearing chains and carrying a switch, pays visits to  the naughty children of Austria.

Speigel Online reports that this tradition, begun in Early Christianity but with  pre-Christian pagan roots, is making a comeback.    In his Medieval heyday, this dark sided doppelganger of St. Nick would go knocking door to door throughout villages and towns in advance of St. Nicholas’ arrival bearing gifts.  Upon opening the door, children would see Krampus–or someone dressed like him–waving a whupping stick and ringing a cowbell.  In some villages children have had to run a gauntlet of Krampuses while dodging swats from tree branches.  The Krampus tradition has had its ups and downs over the centuries.  It was ended temporarily during the Inquisition, when dressing up as a demon was made a crime punishable by execution.  These days, the coming of Krampus (which comes from the German word for claw) is observed mainly as a mid-winter party, with people dressing up with the primary goal of consuming mass quantities.

How many Austrian children have heard the threat of Krampus because of their misbehavior?  Probably more than you can shake a stick at.

And Dad, if you’re looking for a way to deal with your ornery kids, here might be a costume to go with your Santa Claus suit:

“You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I’m tellin’ you why…..

Happy Thanksgiving!

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May your stuffing be tasty, may your turkey be plump.

May your potatoes ‘n’ gravy have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious, may your pies take a prize.

May your Thanksgiving dinner stay off of your thighs.