Tag Archives: happy holidays

Hopeful for the Holidays

I am not a strong person, nor am I a violent one – but if I were, this year would not stand a chance.  It just happens that I am a staunch believer in just punishment…so can one hang a year in effigy?  Give it a little Guy Fawkes taste?   Perhaps there is someone I can talk to about this.

So if I am so disgusted, why do I even bother celebrating the holidays this blighted year?  Because I must – to ignore the celebrations would be despair’s definitive high-five of victory.  The erasure of joy is the key that locks the door and, my friend, just guess which side of that door you’ll be on.

Therefore we must be happy.  Find a way to lift our spirits.  Secure a remedy for petty annoyances. No matter what, there is still so much to welcome and embrace.  For instance, I will be going to a holiday dinner tonight, and I fully intend on wearing my Christmas tree earrings – tannen-baubles – and getting spectacularly drunk.  You see, sometimes it is just the small things that can keep us hopeful.

Is anyone up for a group hug?  Let me know.

Happy holidays, my little ones.


The Christmas Book

When I was around ten years old, I wanted a book for Christmas.  Now, this would not have been unusual – what was unusual was the title that I wanted.  I don’t know in what obscure catalogue or commercial I first saw it; I don’t know in what forgotten library shelf I first noticed it, beyond the reach of my pining, prying hands.  In short, I have no idea when or where I first desired “Audubon’s Birds of America (Popular Edition)”.

There was something in the evocative life of the illustrations:  they went beyond scientific exploration, Latin phraseology and charts of migratory behavior.  What I saw were the clear oceans full of ice; snakes and lizards under attack from angry parental beaks; disemboweled mollusks; empty shells scattered across beaches like chilly jewels.  Every plate invited the type of reflection that only a 10-year-old story-teller would appreciate.  I wanted to look into the sepia horizons, to absorb them, to drink in their heady secrets.

I coveted this book.  And yet…I did not tell anyone about my Christmas desire.

Now, in those days, my brother and I had our own Christmas trees in addition to the family tree, waiting our Christmas attack with glittering trepidation, needles shaking to the floor in fear.  Whether our little trees were true, false or flocked, I don’t recall – but I do remember the Christmas Eve from this particular year.

It was late.  The light in my room had dimmed to charcoal, and through my eyelashes the tree and surrounding furniture showed mountainous and black.

And then I heard them.  Footsteps.  Surely my chance had some – surely I could even now hear the boots on the floor?  Smell the cookies and snow?  Why could I not finally see the Saint himself – and the lovely tiny reindeer stamping impatiently outside?

But I was so scared.  I shut my eyes.  And seconds later – or so it seemed, as it does to every child – I was awake, joyous in the bright morning.

I ran to my tree and there, amongst all the other – now forgotten – gifts…was my book.

I have the book in front of me now, and while not looking particularly spectral or ethereal, it does have the decades-old cache of being steeped in magic.

Its cover is a fey design of interlocking feathers.  Inside is my signature – aggressively curvilinear – and a yellowing book-plate with the eternal declaration, “A book is a new adventure”.  Its edges are soft and frayed, and the pages smell dense and delicious.

I had no explanation for its delivery.  Nor did I really want one.  The drama and wonder of that morning remains a splendid memory; and when I turn the pages of my book – the Great Auk is a particular favorite – the glorious confusion seeps into my bones once more.  Further explanations would be gratuitous.

I do hope that your holidays are filled with such gentle mysteries.  And should time or chance force you to leave them behind, may they still live in your mind, to keep you as warm and content as mine have.

Santa’s Gonna Be Okay

Once again I find suitable Christmas greetings from one of my favorite television series, ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’.  Its premise is a simple one:  three robots (Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, Gypsy)  and a human (Joel – then Mike) are lost in space, destined to a singular punishment:  watching extraordinarily bad movies.  They make the best of this situation with commentary which more often than not sublimely sarcastic.  The dialogue below accompanied the terrifying classic: ‘Santa Claus Conquers The Martians’:


“Tom: It’s quiet in the cold of our own little orbit, starless and bible black. And as I look down on the big blue bean we would call home I think it so near, yet… oh, I wish on that star and I hope that in a little snow-covered house with a warm hearth and a loving family, maybe some kid is looking up tonight and wishing upon us. Oh, and how I hope sweet Santa will fly by tonight, because if he does I’m gonna reach right out and hug that big guy. Oh, for the sound of hooves against the steel hull of the ship. Oh, to see the rosy face of Santa in the porthole, offering me a Coke and a smile… (gradually becoming upset) …of course, his cheeks WOULD be rosy because it’s a VACUUM out there! I mean, Santa’s HEART would explode! (becoming hysterical) But HE wouldn’t feel it because the capillaries in his brain would pop like little firecrackers (Joel tries to calm him down) due to the blood boiling away in his face like pudding in a copper…OH THE HUMANITY!! (Now both Joel and Crow are trying to calm him down.) And his jolly old belly would start bubbling like a roasted marshmallow, eyes bulging and popping out… AND THE REINDEER–OH THE REINDEER!!!–keep floating like holiday floats and in turn exploding in a hail of blood and entrails! Prancer–BOOM! Dancer–BOOM!…

Joel: HEY!

Crow: Tom!

Joel: Tom, take it easy! Santa’s gonna be okay, buddy.

Tom: You sure?

Joel: Yeah, give him a little credit, okay?

Tom: Phew, what a relief!”

And worst-case scenario, Tom, Santa will be committed to a few weeks of physical therapy.  Maybe I’ll meet him there as I get my vertebrae wacked into line – and it will be such a lovely way to start the new year.

Happy holidays, darlings.

Help Aubrey

At the end of each year lies the holiday trifecta – a three-tiered crown we reach for, stretching our fingers across the vapid expanses of Spring and Summer.

They are familiar dates.  But this year they were different.

Halloween:  Threw my back out.

Thanksgiving:  Severe back spasms – the worst I’ve ever had – possibly brought on by pulled and angry muscles (see above) set in as soon as we set down to dinner.  Dinner cancelled.

Christmas:  Less than two weeks before Christmas, I’m diagnosed with sciatica. Am given anti-inflammatory pills and a recommendation for bed rest.  Bed rest which gave me the second-most severe bout of back spasms I’ve ever experienced (see above)

Aubrey Is Ailing

Aubrey Is Ailing

So, my holiday season – my tri-fold multiplication of celebration – has instead of being about anticipation and rustling and planning and baking and decorating – has been all about the pain.   Today, I’m on the mend, but weak, with a nagging, tugging pain between knee and ankle.  Sitting and typing this post for more than 5 minutes is a major victory.  Putting up 3-4 tree decorations between rests, brewing a pot of coffee – these all require jumps for joy (if I could).

Now, another problem is that I can’t believe that those tiny pills and something as mild as bed rest are all that were needed to solve all this anguish.  I know that to solve a physical ailment, one looks to the physical things – medicines, therapy, etc.  But I haven’t taken into consideration the intellect; the mentality.   I’m concerned that I lack belief.  Without faith, I’m afraid that I will not become healthy again.

And I need to be well for New Year’s Eve in Catalina!

So, I turn to you, my ethereal invisible.  Aubrey needs some good words from her darling friends.  If you find yourself moved to do so – if you the idea appeals to you – could you send some helpful thoughts?  In other words…Help Aubrey

Aubrey Needs A Fainting Couch

Aubrey Needs A Fainting Couch

Santa And Me…

Like the picture?  Of course you do.  But perhaps a little explanation is necessary:

In December, 2004, Santa was good enough to set up his Workshop at the Grove, outside of Farmer's Market.  For a couple of days he encouraged children to bring their pets along, to have their picture taken with him.

Well, I don't have a pet.  But I did have this…toy plush bunny.  It was given to my boyfriend by my niece, then 11-12 years old, and it quickly became one of his most prized possessions.  One weekend I 'borrowed'  the bun on some pretext, brought it – all trussed up in red ribbons – to his Workshop and had our picture taken, No Questions Asked.

And the charming result you can see above.

Now, if this doesn't put you in the spirit – or at least drive you to drinking some – I offer you one of my favorite songs from MST3K:

Let us all now sing
Our praises to the Lord today
Although you may not share
Our belief system
Which is perfectly O.K.

CROW: Maybe you worship an abstract being
That is kind of vague.
Or maybe you just
Worship a guy
Who's name is Greg.

TOM: Perhaps your religion doesn't
Include a time called Lent,
But whatever your religion
Is, we support you one hundred percent.

MIKE: So sit around the fire
And have a chestnut roast,
Or raise a glass in toast
To "Happy Days" Donny Most.

TOM: But if you prefer to eat
Indian food on Christmas day
I can only shrug my shoulders
And say "Namaste"

[spoken] Namaste!

CROW: Personally I prefer,
Turkey, gravy and salad
But lets never forget
All cultures are valid.

MIKE: So let's have peace on earth
And cut out all the bull.
Let's have a holiday season
That's multi-cultural.

CROW: If there's one point
We'd like to make
With this festive holiday song,

TOM: It's that Christmas comes just once a year
So for a few days
For crying out loud

ALL: Can't we all just get along?

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