Thursday, 19 December 2013

‘Tis the Season

    Christmas ain’t what it used to be but maybe never was. I’m settling into the Maine version which promises to be, more often than not, white. My native Oregon, at least in the Willamette valley, is a place to dream of a white Christmas. Every forty or so years the dream comes true. Kids there start writing to Santa when the fall rains begin. Forget the ten years I spent in Arizona, a dream of a snowflake anytime is more likely to be fulfilled.

    Here, Over the Hill and through the Woods to Grandmother’s House is a nice thought. So many times in the past, in other places, it was like booking a room in the Bates Motel, after seeing the movie. Grandmother equaled Mother in Law. I got her a nice present the first year; a brand new cauldron. Things went downhill despite my effort. My new mother-in-law-to-be is in heaven with the rest of the angels. She left a daughter cast from her mold.

   And that twelve days of Christmas stuff  …. NIGHTMARE. You’ll spend more than more than you’ll redeem from the 60 golden rings for enlarging the house to accommodate and feed the rest of the gifts. The key word is ‘golden’ instead of ‘gold’. The cheap plated things you’ll get from the idiot playing out the song will probably be tin filled. If you want to find out where they come from, just check out your list of living ex-Mother’s-in-Law. No wonder boxing day comes the day after Christmas.

   Santa Claus can be another disappointment, ranging from the unshaven drunk who crawled out of the gutter to take advantage of his hygienic habits to  … well, me. It’s the one time of the year you might rather sit on my lap than his. That move is still not recommended by the good judgment fairy.

   When I look in the mirror I see Santa. There is never a winter day when I am unstrapped and allowed out in public that I don’t find myself identified as Jolly old St Nick. There is nothing that feels quite as rewarding as seeing a little jaw drop, followed by a questioning look aimed at Mom or Dad. It’s not like the rest of the year when the see my candy van and have that reaction. I generally crouch down to their level and admit that I am not Santa, but am his brother, Fred. I tell them I see him from time to time and will pass on a message to him if they want me to.

   After seeing the movie, I am going to have to find a name other than Fred.

   I get the same look from adults, hear similar comments. I ignore them. They are addled idiots.

   I do wish more people would follow the ‘Tis the Season to be Jolly’ hint though. It seems a bit removed from what I suspect the Christmas spirit to be when women draw weapons to determine who gets the best spot to see the tree lighting ceremony. Of course that happened in the same city where they boo Santa Claus, not Maine.

   Christmas decoration replacing Halloween candy on store shelves stretches out the parking problem season a bit longer than I like. While Black Friday may have been named with reference to the stores’ balance sheets, the color takes on more significant meaning as December 25th looms closer. This is a blog, rather than a police ledger, so I won’t get real specific about that. Suffice it to say we need a few more genuine holiday smiles than the more threatening ones I see so often, usually from people acquainted with me. I used to like to watch professional wrestling matches. I think Christmas has ruined that for me.

   At last though, I am in Maine where, perhaps, Santa Claus really lives. The North Pole is a subterfuge designed to keep the elves caged and working, the paparazzi occupied. People don’t come up here by accident. It’s not on the way to anywhere except Canada, and who wants to go there? The Christmases are usually white, the people are a little more laid back, and the relatives don’t wear gang colors. That, and I am now with the future Mrs. Claus.