Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pout, cry and watch out!; Santa understands

(From today's Times and News-Star; I'll try harder next time!)

It bothers me that Santa sees me when I’m sleeping and knows when I’m awake.

Does he see me in the shower? Does he know when I have gas? If he does and I do, will that make him go away?

I guess it is a small price to pay, though, this constant surveillance, as long as the presents keep rolling in. It’s a Yuletide hazard. Like fruitcake.

Christmas commercialization does not come without its downside. For every plus, there is a minus. It’s almost like real life!

Consider that in sports they tell you to “keep your eye on the ball.” They coach you not to “drop the ball.”

Yet at the same time, we’re supposed to “have a ball.”


The holiday season is especially pressurized, ball-wise. Opportunities for disaster lurk in the form of festive balls nearly everywhere you turn. Lurkers. Lurking. Doing what lurkers do.

I hate lurking holiday disaster. But, in a fallen world with a lot of round things, it’s inevitable. We’ve got to be “on the ball!”

You’ve got your ball that involves dancing and dip and parties. Christmas Balls. Galas. Will I dress appropriately? Get caught in Yuletide chit-chat? (“I don’t mind ordinary conversation, but I hate chit-chat.” – Bernard P. Fife) Have an olive stuck in my teeth? Ask the host when the baby is due, even though she’s not pregnant?

It happens.

You’ve got your holiday bowl games, or ball games, and the potential for slips there are obvious. Drop the ball, lose the bowl.

There are ornamental balls to drop when you trim the tree. One of those breaks and it’s like breaking a light bulb. They haven’t invented something harder to sweep up than broken light bulbs or broken Christmas balls.

There’s the bell ball that hangs on your door and drives you crazy when the festive tingling wears off, which is quickly. There’s the jelly and crème cheese ball that lures the unsuspecting in like mosquito bulbs lure moths. Zap!

And there’s the most beloved Christmas ball of all, the cheese ball, which I eat until I get my bloat on. Who thought to put cheese into a ball and sprinkle nuts on it? How much time did THAT guy have on his hands that day? Regardless, God bless him. Yet there are hazards even in the good things, so my cheese ball holiday limit is two. (“No officer, I had just a couple of cheese balls is all. I was at a party!”)

Shopping is another holiday hazard, though it’s not so bad if you enjoy human bumper cars. I try to avoid mixing it up with a few thousand people whenever I can, so most of my Christmas shopping is online. Or, if I have to “go out there,” I try to do it in June.

Driving? During the holidays? Just because that person has a wreath tied above his bumper doesn’t mean he won’t pick you off in the parking lot.

There is the hazard of light hanging. Lights are hazardous enough, but when you go to hanging them, I mean, that’s like jumping into a hip hop contest with Ghostface Killa: you are asking to get “lit up.” Those old days were magical, but I have hung off my last house eve.

Hey, Santa knows the Christmas pathway is dicey. But most woe comes through pilot error. So take it easy. Relax. You’re supposed to have a ball, not break one.