3

“Merry Christmas”: FAQ

From the New Yorker, by Mark Remy:

Hello, and welcome to the official Web page of the Holiday Enforcement Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Jesus.

Due to the overwhelming number of queries we’ve received since the passage of the Compulsory Acknowledgment of Christ Act, we ask that you browse our F.A.Q. before contacting us. It’s possible that we’ve already answered your question!

Thank you, and Merry Christmas.

What is the Compulsory Acknowledgment of Christ Act, and when did it become law?

The Compulsory Acknowledgment of Christ Act (caca) prohibits the use of the phrase “happy holidays” while mandating the use of “Merry Christmas.” It was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on October 31, 2017. Merry Christmas.

Some of my best friends are Jewish/Muslim/Hindu/atheist/coastal élites. Must they say “Merry Christmas” as well?

Yes.

Even if they’re alone? Like, in an otherwise empty elevator?

Yes.

What happens if they refuse?

We hope it won’t come to that.

I’ve heard that Jesus is “the reason for the season.” Is this true?

Yes. That phrase actually originated with Christ himself and is a testament to His knack for catchy rhymes.

If Jesus were alive today, would he insist that everyone say “Merry Christmas”?

Yes. Scripture is very clear on this matter.

What is the origin of the word “Christmas”?

The word itself is Spanish, meaning “more Christ.”

That reminds me—what was the deal with Trump and that taco bowl?

For questions regarding President Trump’s appreciation for Mexican food, please see the official Web page of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Bureau of Hispanic Love.

I’ve been saying “Merry Christmas” for years, and no one has ever complained or tried to stop me. Have I been doing it wrong?

Yes. Probably you aren’t being heard properly. A bullhorn is a simple and effective way to amplify your message, particularly in a large crowd—e.g., cocktail party, music concert, packed courtroom. (A bullhorn also makes a great Christmas present—our special-edition caca model, seventy-nine dollars, delivers fifty watts of joyous sound, in Voice or Siren Mode, and comes swaddled in a padded carrying case.)

Someone recently said “Happy Christmas” to me and I didn’t know how to react. Can you help?

The correct phrase is “Merry Christmas.” “Happy Christmas,” a British bastardization, is not an acceptable substitute. Make that clear by giving the offender a gag “ticket” from our online store (twelve dollars for a pad of fifty). Then report him or her to us via this confidential form. We will take it from there!

What should I do if I wish someone a Merry Christmas and they fail to wish me a Merry Christmas in return?

See above.

I enjoy saying “Merry Christmas” but wish I could employ the phrase more relentlessly. Any tips?

There are many ways you can incorporate “Merry Christmas” into your day-to-day life. Try answering the phone with “Merry Christmas” instead of “hello.” Rather than saying “I’m sorry” or “Huh?” or “Oh, my God! Are you O.K.?” say “Merry Christmas.” In lieu of a tip, offer your server or barista a loud and proud “merry christmas!” on your way out, and watch their faces light up.

By the way, don’t feel as if you need a reason to wish someone Merry Christmas—there’s nothing wrong with just opening a window and shouting it, or mouthing the phrase to fellow motorists during rush hour. Remember, too, that every day except Sunday you have an opportunity to wish your mailman a Merry Christmas.

You mean “letter carrier,” right? Ours is a woman.

No. We are saying “mailman” again.

I find the phrase “Merry Christmas” insufficiently pious. How can I ramp up the religiosity?

Many people are warming to the phrase “Merry Jesuschristmas.”

Isn’t this whole thing a non-issue? A manufactured “controversy” designed to deepen divides, feed false notions of victimhood, and distract from the plethora of real scandals, failures, and ethical lapses that have plagued this Administration from Day One?

Merry Christmas!

But—

We said, merry christmas.

Jesus.

Exactly.

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6

Idle Hands Are The Trumps’ Playground

So. I’ve been trying these past few weeks to wrap my head around the outcome of the presidential election. I haven’t been very successful at it. I take a lot of deep breaths and tell myself to calm down, it can’t possibly be as bad as I imagine it will be.

But as it turns out—it already is.

Der Führer went on a “victory tour” yesterday and exulted in his crushing defeat of his foe (nevermind those 3 million more votes she got, which weren’t illegally gained, by the way.) He railed against the “dishonest” media, yet again, and continued his call for flag burning to be cause for loss of one’s citizenship, despite the fact that that has been proven to be un-Constitutional.

Hey, no biggie. Or bigly. Der Führer is calling the shots and when he says throw out the Constitution, we will respond by saying “How far?”

Anyhoo. I am tired of waking up in a cold sweat at 3:00 in the morning. During menopause I used to wake up in a hot sweat. I’ll take that over this any day.

So I’ve been pushing myself to get crafty (not Trump crafty, but actual craft-making crafty) and make some Christmas decorations. Since my maternal great-grandparents were from Norway, I used to have several of those red and white paper woven heart baskets that I had made when my son was a baby—50 years ago now.

But, cue the violins, all of my Christmas decorations were stolen from a storage unit a couple of years ago by a Grinch-like thief, so I decided to make some more.

This time out of felt.

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Then, figuring I’m on a roll (and hoping my fingers will last a little longer before going numb from the exertion), I found some designs on the interwebs for a Dala horse and a bird. These two are pretty small, around two to three inches in length, but my artificial Christmas tree is pretty small too, so they should work just fine.

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Then, my daughter saw them and requested a little larger Dala horse in slightly retro colors to go with her decor.

Et voilà!

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And lastly, in an “idle hands are the Trumps’ playground” fervor, I souped up a standard gingerbread house my grandkids sold to raise money for their school. It came pre-assembled with a kind of puny pack of candy and a bag of white royal icing.

I, however, had biglier plans.

I went to Walmart and bought a couple packages of pre-made cake decorations in the shape of Christmas lights and also a bag of red cookie icing. Then, being on a felt “bender,” I made a 3-D Snoopy.

The decorating process was somewhat excruciating—the royal icing was too watery at first and then too dry and kept oozing out of the zip-lock bag they provided. I always say “Next year I make my own!” and this time I mean it. If Alton Brown can do it, so can I.

The results were pretty satisfying, even though I was a wreck by the time I finished.

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So, that’s what I’ve been doing to try to retain my sanity. How about you?

How are you coping in the post-Trumpian Apocalypse?

4

A Happy Holiday Tale

Courtesy of The Daily Kos and Bill in Maine:

Twas the night before Christmas and in his penthouse

Martin Shkreli was relishing his life as a louse

His millions were stacked to the ceiling with care

In bundles of Franklins thirty feet in the air

The pharma CEO slept smug in his bed;

While visions of price-gouging danced in his head;

Like the price of an AIDS drug he’d recently sent

Soaring to the heavens by five thousand percent

When over on Twitter there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my porn Bible lesson to see what was the matter.

Away to the home page I flew like a flash,

“BREAKING: Turing CEO’s career is headed for a crash!”

The moon over midtown made the Big Apple glow,

As if in a spotlight for a really big show,

When what to our wondering eyes did appear,

But a team of G-Men in full G-men gear

With a warrant for arrest and list of charges so thick,

I knew in a moment they’d be cuffing this prick

More rapid than eagles through his foyer they came,

And they read him Miranda, then his transgressions by name:

“You fraudster! You stealer! You vulture! You cheat!

You swindler, you schemer, you freaking deadbeat!

To the back of the car! To your waiting jail walls!

Now come this way! Come this way! We gotcha by the balls!”

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on Late Edition

That Shkreli had been fired from his corporate position

As I turned my head and was scratching my duff,

I saw perp-walking Martin, all bound up in cuffs.

He was smarmy and pale, a narcissistic little shit,

And America convulsed in a schadenfreudic fit;

The fear in his eye—oh, yes, it was there,

Soon gave me to know this guy had no prayer

He spoke not a word, but soon lost his smirk,

As prosecutors drooled over nailing this jerk,

And the whole world exclaimed as he disappeared with a snort

“Karma’s a bitch, pharma bro, and we’ll see you in court.”

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 17:  Martin Shkreli (C), CEO of Turing Pharmaceutical, is brought out of 26 Federal Plaza by law enforcement officials after being arrested for securities fraud on December 17, 2015 in New York City. Shkreli gained notoriety earlie

8

“It’s Not Your Mother’s Oldsmobile” Revisited

Back in 2013 I wrote a post about receiving a sign from my deceased parents letting me know they were okay, entitled “It’s Not Your Mother’s Oldsmobile.”

Today I found myself back in that same gift shop. I had decided to walk around in town and soak up the Christmas spirit before things got too crazy with tourists crowding the sidewalks. We’d had rain and colder temperatures earlier in the week but today was sunny and around 60 degrees. A perfect day for poking around in the stores.

I must confess that I was more than a little hopeful that I would have some kind of reprise of my last experience in that shop. I was already in a very nostalgic mood after gawking at a large collection of Shiny Brite ornaments in another store.  They reminded me of the ones I’d lost to the storage locker thief.

And here, again, were my old friends, the Christmas stockings with the 50’s Santa on them, propelling me back in time to when I was a kid, lying under our Christmas tree at night, gazing up at the lights and breathing in the wonderful scent.

I went over to the card rack just to see if they still had that same card with the Oldsmobile on it, but they didn’t. Of course not. It’s been a couple of years and they had put new cards in its place. Kind of silly, really, to expect the same experience, wasn’t it?

As I made my way around to the front of the store, I stopped at a table with some interesting small books on display. One set was called “The Little Book of Saints.” I’m not Catholic, nor were my parents, but the cover intrigued me. It looked like (and was) a copy of a vintage holy card. I love artwork like that, so I picked up one of the books out of several in the stack. It had a padded cover that felt smooth and soothing in my hand.

I noticed it had a pale blue satin bookmark attached at the top. It was marking one of the pages that was not quite in the middle of the book. I opened the book to see what saint it was and found that it was St. Jeanne of Valois.

The patron saint of those who lose their parents.

Oh…my.

I picked up a couple of the other books and found only one other one had a specific page marked with the satin ribbon. Most had the bookmark pulled down just inside the front cover.

Why did I pick that particular book and not the others?

Because I needed it, I guess.

 

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