Merry Christmas …

Santa’s come and gone and hopefully, he and the missus, the elves, Rudolph, Donner, Comet, Prancer, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Blitzen and Vixen — well-sated from all the milk and cookies — are now safely back home and enjoying a well-deserved rest. As for the rest of us, here’s my Christmas wish:

Peace on earth, good will to men. 

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It’s been two years since I wrote Santa and the world’s still in a sorry state …

This past weekend, as I ruminated over what I’d write today, I remembered a post I wrote exactly two years ago. calendarIt was a time of hostage-takings and beheadings, hatred and brutality, lost lives and shattered hopes and dreams.

Despite it not being “my” holiday, I’ve always enjoyed Christmas, or at least the “spirit” of it. The sound of children laughing and the joyful feeling in the air. The sight of houses draped in twinkling lights; and bejeweled and bedecked Christmas trees placed prominently in front of living room windows, so even passers-by can admire and enjoy them … the scent of freshly-baked cookies and pine cones … toasty fires and hot chocolate.

But in December of 2014, I was having a really hard time getting into it. When so many people, the world over, were struggling and suffering and in so much Continue reading

Dear Santa …

(sigh).  Yes, I know.  It’s probably way too late in the game to be writing you — Christmas is just days away now.  But I’m hoping mailboxthat, somehow, you’ve still got a miracle or two up your fur-trimmed sleeve.  We sure could use one.

You’re probably surprised to hear from me anyway, me being Jewish and all.  But honestly, if ever there was a time to put religion aside and start thinking as ‘one’, this has to be it.

Relax, Santa, it’s not gifts I’m after.  Not the usual kind, anyway.  So there’s no last-minute shopping for you, Mrs. Claus or the elves to do.  No wrapping either.  On the Continue reading

Day 130. In Moderation

Seeing as how we’re right into the thick of Christmas shopping season, I thought I’d ask. What kind of ‘gifter’ are you? Do you buy something for yourself every time you buy a gift for someone else? Or almost every time?

I was never that extreme, but I have been known to indulge. To see something that caught my fancy. Something I hadn’t planned on, or even thought of. Which, in case you haven’t giftsfigured it out yet, meant I didn’t need it. But when did that stop anyone? Retailers love spontaneous shoppers. And, quick as a bunny, I’d snatch it up. Almost guiltily, mind you. Because I was supposed to be shopping for others.

Now I see folks literally staggering under the weight of all the gifts they’ve bought and I think they’re nuts. Especially in these times. I’m reformed, you see. Those days are behind me. Happily, too.

To be totally honest when it comes to Christmas gifts, in particular, I’ve become a bit of a scrooge. For years, now. First of all, most of my friends and family need another sweater, bathrobe, pair of pyjamas, scarf, book, kitchen gadget, magazine subscription or wallet like they need a third eye.

Same goes for perfume, cologne, after-shave, bath oil, bath salts, bubble bath, scented candles, bath pillows,

Continue reading

Day 122. Party Pooper

Hope this doesn’t make me sound like Scrooge or anything, but I’ve got to be honest.  ‘Tis the season for parties and I’d rather stick a fork in my eye.  Don’t get me santawrong.  I really like the Christmas season.  I can handle shortbread and mince tarts just fine.  Veggies and dips are good.  I’m even okay with fruit cake, especially the West Indian version, which is called rum cake.  For good reason, because the fruit steeps in it for a year.

Egg nog makes me gag, but I can usually get out of drinking that.

I’m fine with getting together with friends and family.  It’s company parties I’m referring to.  Oh, those are painful.  When I worked full time I used to DREAD the agency Christmas blow-outs!  To begin with, there could never just be a party.  There was always ‘business’ to attend to first.  The endless speeches and presentations.  The year-end business results.  The ‘highlights’ from the last twelve months.  As if we couldn’t remember them.

By the time it was done, you were in a coma (if you were lucky), and in desperate need of a drink. Because Management knew the only Continue reading