arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas The Day Before Christmas 2010...

...and I’m not in the mood to rhyme! The big day is nearly upon us, and the rush and stress of the past six weeks will result in a few moments of “Oh, boy, look at what Santa brought me!” joy. Then, in a flash, it’s over! The sun will set on the 25th and with it all the sentiments of Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men.

Despite my personal challenges this holiday season, I have tried my best to keep the spirit of the holiday in my thoughts and actions. Members of my family have already expressed their understanding that I don’t have to give them anything this year. The idea is nice and practical, but for reasons that I want to maintain whatever is left of my mental well being, I prefer to give gifts anyway. It’ll help me feel better knowing that I am still able to contribute something to society, even if it isn’t in the form of hard work in a 9-to-5 situation.

To that end, I have baked cookies once again to give to family and friends. It is my usual chocolate chips, but with a few twists. For one thing, I baked the cookies without brown sugar, but I did add chopped walnuts. The brown sugar deletion was due to our not having any in the house and a reluctance to buy a full bag when all I need is perhaps 1/8th of a bag. What would I do with the rest? Bake more cookies, of course, but that would be way more cookies than I, my wife, and my family and friends could eat within a reasonable amount of time.

In past years, the leftover brown sugar would harden and become unusable. I suppose I could toss the little hard crumbs under the bird feeder, where undoubtedly the local squirrel population would consume it. Still, this leads to more complications like squirrels chipping their little teeth on stone-hard brown sugar, and if they really got bored, they’d toss the sugar bricks at their other little squirrel friends. This could cause any number of serious injuries in our local squirrel community.

Naturally, I’m not afraid of squirrels suffering bumps and bruises. After all, this is just one more disadvantage of survival in the animal kingdom. Actually, I’m more fearful of the lawyers the squirrels might hire if they are hurt by sugar projectiles which may or may not be traced back to me. Trust me, squirrels know very good lawyers. So no brown sugar this year...

The season also brings the usual crop of Christmas cards to the house. This year the cards have been trickling in one or two a day, which makes me wonder how far along this quaint practice is from becoming extinct altogether. Yet some are fighting the trend and continue to send cards with more than just a greeting and a few cursory lines about what’s new in their lives. Yes, of course, I’m referring to the annual Christmas letter, in which some families type up entire essays about their activities throughout the year. In cases where you don’t hear from them the rest of the year, the letters can run the gamut from informative to nauseatingly cutesy.

One of my cousins detailed all of his children’s activities and their shared adventures as a family. One of his adventures this year was driving down to North Carolina on the pretext of seeing the Biltmore mansion. Now this is something I’ve always wanted to visit, but I understand how his children could have a hard time getting up the enthusiasm for such a trip. My cousin noted their apathy about the trip, but away they went any way.

Lo and behold, the Biltmore story was a ruse to disguise the real reason for the trip: adopting a beagle puppy that is a close relation to a Westminster champion. In the end, the family returned with two beagle puppies, one of which could never be shown at Westminster due to an undescended testicle. Horrors! So his children were delighted at the two new family additions and probably relived that they were spared the idea of touring a musty, old shack on the historical registry.

Now if I were able to give gifts to a wider circle of my relations, then I might consider giving my cousin’s children a clothing gift. Yes, a gift they could wear with pride, something along the lines of tee shirts that read, I went to North Carolina to see the Biltmore, and all I got was a defective puppy! Oh, well, perhaps next year...

As for myself, I’m trying my best to get the joy of the season this year, but it is a challenge. No amount of Bing Crosby longing for a White Christmas or even John Lennon’s just-out-of-humanity’s-grasp vision that War Is Over has lifted my mood for an extended period this year. All the sentiments have been bouncing off me and landing with a thud on the ground.

This forces me to open myself up a bit, and look deep inside for what I truly have this holiday season. I still have a roof over my head, a family that loves me, a wide circle of friends that are supportive of my aspirations for the coming year, and, most importantly, a number of opportunities ahead in my future just waiting for me to reach out and take for my own. Any joy I experience this year will spring from my gratitude from the blessings I can see and those that are yet to present themselves.

Look out world! I may be down now, but next year I’m kicking ass!

(Thank you for reading. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Janey said...

You GO, RTG!!! I applaud your humorous and positive outlook for the coming year, and wish you and yours ALL THE BEST in 2011!!!

Love,
Janey

December 24, 2010 at 8:05 AM  

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