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Jack Frost Roasting On An Open Fire
11.29.2003 by Dan, every Monday.

Well, it's once again that time of year. A time where the weather is colder, the leaves have fallen, and everything on the air, including static, contains a Christmas carol. It's The Holiday Season.

Yes, the last sixth of the calendar is devoted to The Holidays, a nebulously defined season of Goodwill, Family Togetherness and The Maxing Out Of Up To Eight Credit Cards. In the States, there's a little warm-up Holiday called Thanksgiving, but as anyone who watches TV between September and January knows, it doesn't count.

Yes, the Holidays are a magical time, what with the festive music and the family togetherness and the drinking of eggnog by the fire and the rosy-cheeked children and the basking in the mysterious substance known as “yuletide” and the reindeer and the True Meaning of Christmas. We experience all of this while watching Holiday Specials on TV, because I know of no one who actually does this stuff. The people I know are either whiny spoiled snot-nosed kids begging for the entire contents of several Christmas catalogs including whatever device us used to number the pages, or a neurotic adult who is stressing out over such important things as Christmas shopping and holiday bonuses and oh God I hope it doesn't damn fucking snow AGAIN and what the HELL Mildred bought me a present now I HAVE to buy HER something and it's all so terribly inconvenient and I wish Mom would stop nagging me and go home already!! WHERE ARE MY TUMS, GODDAMMIT!?! Both of these types tend to get exponentially more entertaining as The Holidays approach so long as you're not related to them.

Another fun part of the Holiday Season is Christmas Cards. These are essentially booby prizes sent to people that are either not close enough to you to warrant a gift, someone who is close enough but you're just damn cheap, or relatives you can't be bothered to visit. They always have a badly airbrushed wreath on the front and have a charming verse such as:

A Heart Full of Thoughts;
And Holiday Cheer;
I Think of You;
And Wish You Were Near;
My Stockings Are Hung;
By The Chimney With Care;
Too Bad You're Canadian;
And Were Devoured By A Bear.

Also popular are fruitcake-related death threats.

A part of the Holidays popular Down South where I live is Christmas Lights. People here adorn every inch of their houses with brightly colored lights, and fill their yards with such classy items as a motorized glowing Santa that gets stuck in a motorized glowing chimney and his motorized glowing pants fall down, revealing his motorized glowing butt. I have absolutely no idea what any of this has to do with Christmas. None. Make no mistake, it makes for a lovely display, driving slowly through residential neighborhoods where neighbors, in the true spirit of Christmas, get into lighting competitions to the point where day and night become meaningless for miles around; the cheery red glow of the fire engine's lights; the majestic glow of a detonating breaker box; the festive throngs of people going from house to house, looking for a warm place sleep since their house is now a charcoal briquet; etc. “I may not have lit up my house this year, but at least it's not a smoldering crater” is an increasingly common Holiday greeting. And dear readers, I ask you, is this strange house-lighting tradition widespread? Do you Canadians festoon your igloos with garlands of glowing orbs? Do you New Yorkers squeeze a tiny light bulb into the minute window of your tiny, overpriced apartment? Do you folks in the Pacific Northwest put out lights in the hopes of attracting curious Sasquatch? Do you Las Vegas-ers (Las Vegans?) even notice? Please, use the comment box below and represent your part of the world. Give me hope.

As for me, I've learned the perfect Holiday Ritual: Hibernation. G'night, folks.

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