Holiday Mashup

Deck the halls with balls and balls

It’s that time of year again. Greetings from family and friends, tidings of joy wishing our days to be merry and bright, anticipating the coming year sure to be filled with triumphs that exceed our great expectations. This season of wonder and innocence, reindeer sightings, sounds of sleigh bells makes us believe in magic. It fills us with hope, with love and generosity of sprite. No, not sprite; spirit, generosity of spirit.

Oh, I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I’d like to buy the world a coke and keep it company. ♫ ♫

peace out

Advertisers have ruined every Christmas song for me; advertisers and celebrities who should never sing, but for some reason get together with other celebrities for the holidays and carol their tone-deaf asses off record Christmas songs. I used to love the holiday classic “Carol of the Bells.” It beat out “Jingle Bells” and “Silver Bells” as my all time favorite Christmas carol, but those bastards over at Garmin.com totally destroyed it. DESTROYED it. Even if I was in the market for one of their stupid devices, I would not buy one for myself or anyone else just because those bastards bastardized that song.

Yes, I know ‘tis the season to be jolly and joyous fa la la. ♫ ♫ To spread the news about peace and to keep love alive fa la la. ♫ ♫

nut cracker

For years I was the gift wrapper, package shipper, tree trimmer, cookie baker, dinner maker, holiday ho ho ho. My house was the place to be for the party sequence; the family party, the co-worker party, the kid party. I kept every holiday greeting card anyone ever sent to me, unless you really pissed me off or used holiday greetings to solicit customers like lawyers and insurance salesmen do. I used Christmas cards to decorate table tops and doorways all around the house, and after several years, placing all cards with angles together, all cards with snowmen together, all of the Santas, or wildlife or carolers or tannenbaums or doves or nativity scenes or…you get the picture.

Yeah, it used get really festive at our house in December.

help I've fallen and I can't get up

For many years I only used red velvet bows and white lights. That was my standard tree decor until the cherished handmade ornaments started coming home from school. You know the construction paper chains, the holly leaves cut outs, glittered and glued in the shape of a wreath with snaggle-toothed school photos in the center. I love those. I didn’t want to do the whole Santa Claus thing with my son, but I caved in to pressure not to take the lies pure lies fun out of it for him. I firmly refused to lie if ever confronted about the toys in the hall closet.

Luckily he figured it all out on his own without any trauma that I’m aware of.

big fat liar's not so big and fat anymore

Once when I was a little girl, when it was just me and one brother, we were running around and around the Christmas tree and knocked it over. Well, I don’t need to tell you the fear that Santa wasn’t coming struck us both and while the glass ornaments were being swept up, we went straight to our rooms crying. Of course, a Barbie and a Big Wheel sat under that lopsided tree the next morning. Santa was an old softy back in those days.

After that my memories of Christmas are mostly of Charlie Brown trees and disappointment. Moves to new houses during the Christmas break, new schools, new disappointments. Dolly Parton sings about a hard candy Christmas. I know about those. When you get one of those stockings they sell at the drug store that are plastic mesh filled with hard candy, a whistle, a coloring book and wax colors that are NOT Crayola crayons, that’s a hard candy Christmas.

new tree topper?

The first time I was ever aware of feeling embarrassment was because of something I wrote on a Christmas wish list at school. The teacher needed a smoke break or something and to keep us busy for five minutes while he stepped out behind the boiler room he told us to write down what we wanted for Christmas. The girl sitting next to me leaned over and read that I wanted a nightgown. She laughed and said, “You’re asking for a nightgown for Christmas? Don’t you have a nightgown?”  Stupid, I know, but I remember realizing for the first time that there is a difference between want and need.

get me out of here, this sucks

There are worse situations than wanting a nightgown and getting fake Crayons instead. Like the kid who lives with strangers and has his name on an angel at the Wal Mart, who wants a DVD player, DVDs, an iPod, and iTunes gift cards, but needs his parents to get out of jail and stop cooking meth for good. Yeah, that’s a fact of life for some kids this holiday season. I’m not a Grinch or a Scrooge. I just feel like something’s missing.

It’s almost like zombies have stolen the joy of Christmas.

happy zombie days

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25 Responses to Holiday Mashup

  1. Impower You says:

    Thanks for the nod to foster kids. To say it’s a rough time of year for them would be an understatement. I hope it inspires someone to volunteer in the foster system. I love volunteering with local foster youth organizations.

    PS. I just bought your soft cover book. It is a gift for my sister and hopefully she will let me read it afterwards.

  2. artsifrtsy says:

    Man – I am so with you on the hijacking of carols – I hate that too. My Pop always managed to be out of a job at Christmastime – the first year he was gainfully employed during the holidays I was 25 years old. My mom alway pulled something out of a hat – she was a wonder. If you got a snickers bar in your stocking it meant that she needed to spend another quarter on you to make things even.

  3. Something tells me the holidays at your house are a real hoot, Honie.

    • Honie Briggs says:

      Hootenanny actually. Honie’s Holiday Hootenanny this year will include a trip to the Chinese Lantern Festival followed by reindeer games like Blackjack and a rousing tournament of Spades. (everybody wants to be my partner) Menu items for all festivities will be lovingly prepared and delicious. Broken cookies, as always, are calorie free. Guests choosing to partake of libations will find that wine flows freely from all of our faucets. (water is for bathing) Snacks, sodas and assorted treats for overnight guests are first come first serve and self-serve. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. I wouldn’t have it any other way. :)
      Madame, I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a prosperous New Year.

  4. iRuniBreathe says:

    Great post. I think we should all have zombie christmases til we remember what christmas is supposed to mean to each of us. Fabulous decorations, btw.

    • Honie Briggs says:

      Thanks, I hired the Undead Design Group, LLC based out of Dallas.
      I’m not sure what Christmas is supposed to mean. To me, generosity, charity, peace, hope and love aren’t seasonal ideals. I’m no Mother Teresa, but my heart is in the right place throughout the year and it makes me mad as hell that the magic has been bastardized ad nauseum until I feel like we’ve been drugged and mugged by the disgruntled elves, who in their bitterness for having to stay late to edit Santa’s naughty list while his favorites got to paint fire trucks, build easy bake ovens and go out for egg nog after work, have decided to make us all fruitcakes and nuts for the holidays.
      Happy Zombie Days! btw, what does Christmas mean to you?

      • iRuniBreathe says:

        It’s true that our ‘ideals’ at christmas time are not just seasonal ideas.
        I like a low key christmas, with just family and be doing what I want. It can be hard, as so much of it is ‘busy.’ No matter what you want to do, it takes time, to create that space and place. I guess the enjoyment is in the doing.

        I’m like the Undead Design Group. They must put on a great New Year’s party.

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    We do a lot with Christmas because of the kids, but someday I would really like to simplify the process. It’s hard not to get caught up in the glamour of Christmas, but it’s easy to forget what it’s really about. Wonderful post and great decorations! The zombies give them an extra special something. :)

    • Honie Briggs says:

      Kids make Christmas magical, don’t they? What’s more fun than building a fire and curling up all together on the sofa to watch classic holiday shows or singing and dancing the jingle bell way?
      Getting the tree to fit through the front door was always exciting. My husband played percussion with an orchestra for a few years. The holiday glam and glitz of that was terrific. Our kids shopped for toy drives, we volunteered as a family for community service events, and hosted lots of parties – all great ways to share our comfort and joy. The zombies though…I can do without. ;) Happy Holidays to you and yours!

      • Carrie Rubin says:

        Thanks! You too. And thanks for reminding me–I need to pick up stuff for my son’s school’s annual food drive. I think about it in the morning, and by afternoon, it’s out of my head. I shall go write it down now…

  6. runoffwriter says:

    FINALLY. Someone who feels the way I do about the Santa conspiracy. Great post all the way round!!

  7. Mrs. P says:

    You kinda took me down memory lane on this one…all the way through the part about the kid with the meth parents.

    It’s hard to say whether zombies destroyed Christmas or if every once in a while we wake up for a moment and see the “imaginary” aspect of all things material. It happened to me about ten or so years ago when I thought of what I was celebrating on Christmas day while soldiers were far away from home at war. Since that day, I have no longer been interested in anything having to do with material gift giving. Instead I try to do something that creates warm fuzzies for those I care about. Great for creating relationships (old and new) and still allows for the spontaneous act of kindness to a stranger or charity to the less fortunate. Rather than celebrating certain days as special above all else, we celebrate just any old day and do nice things…just because. Still, I do break down and continue the tradition (lies) with my grandson…and love it! Does that make me a hypocrite? Oh, well….

    • Honie Briggs says:

      Not a hypocrite. A loving, involved, caring influence in a young person’s life. It’s great that you love sharing traditions with your grandchildren. Teaching your grandson the importance of kindness and charity. Believing in magic will make all the difference in his life. What a wonderful gift to give a child.
      Health and Happiness to you now and always!

  8. susan1gb says:

    Thank you for explaining the twisting sensation that happens in my gut every year. You are so original. Passing this on.

    • Honie Briggs says:

      It does take some effort to get untwisted, but it is possible. When I was created the mould wasn’t broken; some mold was mixed with spit, spackle and a little glitter. Viola another unexpected original masterpiece tossed into the ocean without a flotation device. It was sink or swim.
      Tidings of great joy to you and your gut during this most wonderful time of the year!
      Swimmingly Yours,
      Honie

  9. Very funny commentary on the holidays! As usual, you hit all the high points!

  10. Hala J. says:

    I agree with onthehomefrontandbeyond. Also, I’ll have to agree a million percent with your feelings of the bastardization of Christmas carols. If there’s one thing I’m happy about, it’s that I don’t live in the US or Canada during the holiday season because I’m not bombarded with badly sung carols two months early. (Lebanon’s a little more sane with Christmas, though it’s not exactly uncommercialized either). Speaking of Christmas, I have a “Secret Santa” gift-exchange thing at the office where I work today. I suck so much at general gift-giving. I like to give someone something personalized, but I had no idea who was gonna end up with my gift. So a bunch of people suggested chocolates, so I made my way to the little store across the street from my uni and bought four or five chocolate bars and a couple of candy canes. Hope whoever ends up with it likes it. I’m likely gonna get chocolate in return too, so I’m not complaining.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
    :-D

    • Honie Briggs says:

      You can’t go wrong with chocolate Hala J. It’s funny you mention not being bombarded with Christmas carols. A couple of years ago I was in Thailand for the three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It didn’t even occur to me that the holidays season was in full swing until one day I returned from the beach to find hotel staff decorating trees in the lobby, holiday standards, sung in Thai, blaring from stereo speakers.
      I watched as grounds keepers tried to make their way to the center of a pond balanced on a make shift raft, which they fell from repeatedly, finally giving up and wading into the pond to install a flashing red and green sign that said “Happy Holidays”. Comic doesn’t even begin to describe the scene.
      Merry Christmas to you too Hala J. Peace, good will and chocolate. Lots of chocolate!

  11. magic and hard realities–an uncomfortable combo

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