Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

There, I said it. I’ll utter those ultra-PC words “Happy Holidays” only because I don’t like to assume the religion or preferences of any person. But generally speaking, “Merry Christmas” is what I’m going to say. I’m Christian (though I will never be accused of being the greatest Christian ever), so that is what I should be able to say and feel no guilt about it.

Oh, the holidays. The most wonderful time of the year. Riiiiggghht… Let us count the ways, shall we? Let’s start with Black Friday, when people are tackling each other for another freaking Tickle Me Elmo or PS 3. Yep, wonderful. “My kid must have the “in” toy of the year or somebody’s going down.” That hustle and bustle BS rolls right on through the month, and will eventually tack a little stress onto the Adams household. What can we afford? What are we getting for (insert name here)? For that matter, what do you want?

Now let’s consider the various municipalities. In Briarcliff Manor, for instance, a rift came about because a local man wanted to buy and donate a cresh to the town’s display of a Christmas tree and a Menorah. His argument being that a Christmas tree is not a true symbol of Christmas, while a Menorah is a symbol of Hanukkah. Briarcliff resisted; the man took them to court and won. Briarcliff then said, “We’ll take our toys and go home.” Now there is no holiday display in Briarcliff Manor at all.

Fa la la la la…la la la la!

Then the big question comes along – where to spend not just Christmas, but Christmas Eve as well!!?? My in-laws, generally speaking, are not an option on Christmas Eve, since they go to church. If there is one thing that The Wife and I are consistent on, it’s that we don’t like making the yearly appearance at church (whether it be Easter or Christmas). There are many who do that, and we choose to not be like that. Some do it to shut their parents/families up. Others do it out of guilt. Different strokes, y’all.

So that means we’re either on our own for Christmas Eve, or it’s likely to be with my family. That would be the case this year. Tomorrow, we get to go to my in-laws. I find myself conflicted on this issue. I’m happy to spend any holiday with my in-laws, who have taken me in as their own. But I finally own a home, and I’d like to spend the holidays there, instead of somewhere else, with X number of relatives/friends/hanger-on that either The Wife or I don’t want to see. I’ve spent one holiday since 1988 in my own home – this past Thanksgiving, and I almost felt like I was in somebody else’s house, since I was off calling Greenwich and Staples that morning.

Oh yeah, gotta love the holidays!! If it wasn’t for The Son, I think I would pretty much tell The Wife to do as she wishes, and I’ll stay home, watch a few movies, order some Chinese Food, and hang with Fred the Cat.

Speaking of movies, don’t forget – 24 hours of “A Christmas Story” on TBS. The house on Cleveland Street, the store window at Higbees, the flag pole and Flick (who’s now a porn star), the Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle, and that most timeless of lines – no, not “you’ll shoot your eye out!” but of course, “Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.” Among the other great lines are “In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.” “Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian.” and “Oooh fuuudge!”

All the lines are great. Put it this way – when Aunt Clarabell grabs your cheeks (the ones on your FACE, silly) and insists on kissing you while smelling of mothballs, get to the nearest TV and laugh yourself silly. Once again, that’s my game plan for this year. Then repeat after me:

“Sons of bitches! Bumpuses! Naddafinga!”

Hopefully, this last bit has made you laugh enough to think that I am not some angry, near-suicidal Grinch of an SOB. That is the impression that I’m getting from some around me lately. OK, so I’m not “Mr. Happy” all the time, but at least I’m entertaining.

Oh, before I run to my brothers for the Christmas Eve drill, let me say what we should say everyday. Too many times at this time of year we see and hear images and sounds of the brave souls protecting our country. Yes, let’s think about them tonight and tomorrow, but how about the day after that, and so on? Let’s keep them close. Whether you agree or disagree with what’s going on, these people – somebody’s son, brother, niece, daughter, husband, wife, and so on – would happily trade with us for that kiss from Aunt Clarabell – so long as they feel like they’ve done their job.

Here’s a picture for you to think about as we prepare to say so long. My sister-in-law sent it to me, and normally I treat these things with a grain of salt. But she doesn’t send things like this often, so that made me take notice. While it’s a few weeks old (from Pearl Harbor Day – that’s December 7, kids) it’s still an emotionally charged photograph. Only those with no soul aren’t touched by it. Click on the picture for a closer view, and to read the caption. Incidentally, I would give proper attribution (I am a journalist, after all) but I don't know where it's from. If anyone knows, then let me know.

May God bless the soldiers, and all of you as well. And to all a good night.

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