Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Christmas Miracle

Caracas, December, 1999. I’d just been hijacked and robbed. I sat in the back of a cab, my two assailants in front, nattering together in Spanish. I saw the dim lights of a smoky barrio high above. Not there, I thought. I don’t want to end up there. Or in a ditch. It was pissing down rain—I’d never be found. We entered the city. Why didn’t they stop? I saw a sign, a bright festive sign. “Feliz Navidad,” I read, thinking I was dead. Both of them turned at the sound of my voice. “Navidad?” one asked, incongruously grinning.

Image: Levoniust

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Carol at the Office Party

Come they told me,
     pa rum-pum pum pum
It is compulsory,
     pa rum-pum pum pum
And Secret Santa too,
     pa rum-pum pum pum
Will need a gift from you,
     pa rum-pum pum pum,
     rum-pum pum pum,
     rum-pum pum pum,

And so to keep my job,
     pa rum-pum pum pum,
I will come.

     pa rum-pum pum pum
The drinks are watered down,
     pa rum-pum pum pum
And now they’re carolling!
     pa rum-pum pum pum
I cannot stand this thing,
     pa rum-pum pum pum,
     rum-pum pum pum,
     rum-pum pum pum,

Then she smiles at me,
     pa rum-pum pum pum,
I succumb.

Photo from dreamstime.

Monday, December 15, 2014

While Shepherds Watched (and stewed)

In a gobsmacking move of miscasting, Mrs. Desjardins chose Christine to be Mary for our grade seven Christmas play. Having always demurred at necking parties, I was patently more virginal, and with my goaty black hair and unibrow, fit the Zeffirelli Madonna ideal far more than she, with her long blonde tresses and grey eyes. Instead, I got the Rice-a-roni job of shepherd, me and the other Pike Creek kids. So I refused to join in with the communal “Blessed be the Baby Jesus”, opting instead to grind my teeth to the pa rum pum pum pum of righteous indignation.

Photo from OnlyTreasures on Etsy.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Little Lord Jesus No Crying Doth Make

My friend Mary’s baby won’t cry. His pediatrician got him a referral to this psychiatrist who says little LJ could be autistic, but they can’t tell till he’s three months old so for now he’s just “unresponsive”. Mary’s doctor sent her to a just regular psychologist who thinks little LJ won’t express his feelings because Mary won’t express hers. And it’s true, Mary has been kind of a mess after getting pregnant by another of her invisible narcissist exes, this one a real fruitcake who’d hold animal “sacrifices” on his patio, but she talks about him like he was God.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Pudding

Gorged on bird and carbs, the palate requires a light cleansing. Something healthy, fruity, with a hint of summer. Perhaps something with plums?
     I agreed enthusiastically. English future-Dad-in-law disappeared into the kitchen for what seemed like ages. There were curses. There was clanging. Others were called in for whispered consultations. My glass was filled repeatedly. Silly me—colonial me!—my mouth watered for pie. Finally the lights dimmed, a hush fell. Family members leaned forward expectantly. Then Paterfamilias reappeared, balancing a shimmering blue blob of glutinous suet.
     That night I joined their Christmas tradition. Years later, I still crave pie.

Image: Moel Faban Suppers

Thursday, December 11, 2014

So, maybe it is the thought that counts.

I get little pleasure these days just shopping for gifts, but I’m not so far gone I can’t still get a kick from making an otherwise pedestrian present just a little bit awesome.
     And so, the young science-fiction fan gets his copy of The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but it comes wrapped in a towel. The wife gets that matching set of mugs, but they come filled with Hershey’s kisses and gummi-bear hugs.
     And the neighbour who voted Rob Ford for mayor gets his Robbie Bobbie bobblehead, but it comes with the cutest little hammer you ever did see.

Monday, December 8, 2014

It’s all sabot the chocolate

For years, thanks to our German neighbours, we’ve awakened on December 6th to find that St. Nicolas visited overnight and stuffed our shoes with candy. It was lovely: A quaint and restrained practice during such a Walmarty season. And the treats this Nick character brought were superior to our usual stocking fodder. Yet, it’s curious that both customs use footwear of a kind, and those less greedy for Oma-packed chocolate might question the wisdom of ingesting food stored in something that’s been on a teenager’s foot. Not us, though; and our haul increased each year as Dan’s feet grew.
Image from the St. Nicholas Center.

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