Saturday, January 5, 2013


I've been rather busy and somehow have managed not to write anything here for almost a month.  I know some of you were probably anxiously awaiting my post on Christmas, so even though it's come and gone, here you go:

Christmas: I like Christmas a lot.  A lot a lot.  More than any other four holidays put together.  Nevertheless, I can appreciate that it's a holiday chock full of weirdness.  if you take a step outside of your cultural niche and look at Christmas traditions as an outsider [1] and there are some real head scratchers.  So here are a few of the things about Christmas that when you take a closer look at them are really quite strange.

1) Christmas Trees: We have spent a lot of time, effort and money to keep our houses secure.  In essence to keep what's inside our houses in and to keep the outside world out.  Nevertheless, once a year we go out and chop down a perfectly healthy tree and drag it inside.  There we cover it in pretty glass balls, lights and other decorations until it dies.

Then we throw it away.

Why?  Because it's tradition.

Of course, for various reasons some people don't want a real tree, so we invented an entire industry in which businesses make fake trees out of plastic for us.

2) Santa Claus: Those same houses that we built to keep nature out are also supposed to keep unwanted guests out.  However, once a year we wait in anticipation for a complete stranger to invade our houses while we sleep.  He eats our food and then leaves us gifts.

If this were to happen on any other day of the year, you would call the cops and you would eye with a lot of suspicion and such "presents" that were left.  And if those presents were food in any way shape or form, there is no way we would eat them.

However in this case, we allow our children [2] to gobble down anything left behind by this midnight invader.

But wait you say, he's not a stranger.  He's Santa Claus!

Really, what do you actually know about him?  Let's start with looks.  What does he look like?  Have you ever actually seen him yourself?  His modus operandi is that you don't ever see him.  He could actually be a 10' tall Chinese woman and you wouldn't know.  All that we supposedly know about Santa is 100% stuff other people told us.  The kind of testimony that every court in the country would throw out as hearsay.  [3]

Another darker side to the Jolly Old Elf is that he's the ultimate stalker.  Whatever it is that you are doing, he knows!  He's sees you when you're sleeping!  He knows when you're awake!

I've seen this movie, it was called Sliver and it didn't go so well.

3) Fruitcake: I think I've met two people in my life who actually claim to like this stuff.  However, I don't think that I have actually ever seen a fruitcake in my life.  So for all of its purported ubiquitousness, it's quite possible these are about as real as #2 above.

Christmas: A+++
Christmas Behind the Curtain: C-

[1] - An alien from Alpha Centauri say.
[2] - Who it is our duty to protect.
[3] - In the end, I'm not sure if it speaks volumes about our kids gullibility or faith in us that they believe any of this stuff at all.  Last year when we were explaining it to the Bear, I swear the look he gave us was more akin to, "Do you really expect me to believe that?" than anything else.

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