It’s time for another incredibly useful and absolutely essential and indubitably indispensable how-to!
If you’ve had a twelvemonth anything like mine, Christmas has sneaked up on you this year. That day of merry-making, mistletoe, and gift-giving is only seven days away!! The radio has been attempting to drill that fact into my head for the past month, but I have successfully avoided that ploy by boycotting all stations that play, have played, or are planning to play the song “Christmas Shoes.” I have avoided decorating; I try not to do too much shopping, and the only movie I have been to was the midnight premiere of The Hobbit. In fact, due to my Grinch-like behavior, it seems that I have almost forgotten the holidays altogether!
To remedy this perilous situation, and to prevent my offending of the poor little Whos of Whovillle, I have determined to bring myself to have sympathy for those besot by the mood of the season.
With very little further delay, let us commence the how-toing of the getting intoing of the Christmas Spirit.
First of all, I have acquired for myself some music that both fits my tastes and the thematic setting of the world around me. A Christmas metal mix, a mix of Christian Indie artists singing Christmas carols, and a classic album from Relient K comprise the majority of my listening now. This seems to be making some headway.
I also decided that while I didn’t really want a full-sized conifer brought into our home to shed its joy and needles, a small table-top version would not be that terrible. The cheery little reminder of bright lights and ornaments (yet to be placed upon its boughs) sits and beckons our attention.
While I don’t like dressing in holiday apparel, perhaps you do. Good for you. Please don’t bring your reindeer antlers near me.
One thing I love about this time of year is that people seem incredibly inclined to cook sweet things. Throughout most of the year, cookies and brownies are about as special as the deserts get, but now that the 25th is rolling around, I’ve had cinnamon rolls and cakes and cookies and éclairs and candies and all kinds of stuff! (I do so love to eat.)
Finally, I looked at a book that’s been a bit too long neglected. Why, exactly, is the Bible one of the least prominent of decorations yet one of the most integral to the origins of the holiday? Perhaps, though, Christ’s Mass has become so only in name. True, hundreds of millions of people celebrate the holiday, but do they do so for the tradition or for the observance something more? In the US, it’s practically impossible to avoid the effects of the commercialization of Christmas, and it seems as though even the Christmas spirit has been commercialized. All that I listed above has nothing to do with Christ, yet this is His Mass, and I suppose we could give Him a bit more than a second-place seat to a fat old man with a troop of reindeer and a collection of midget slaves. So, isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?
And if you’re not in the “Christmas Spirit” now, I’m afraid there’s no hope for you, Charlie Brown.
Thanksgiving Special! (In which the story of the original thanksgiving is strangely and unothodoxly blended with Tolkien lore.)
For it was in the olden days that those known as the pilgrims were decided to travel to a new land. They were not seafaring folk, yet they determined to sail across the great ocean. The oppression of their king had grown too heavy, and the prospect of a new life was enticing. Upon their arrival in the new land, they encountered many strange and unknown things. The people of the land were known as Indians. The Indians were an ancient race, attuned with the woods and closely bound to nature. The Indians watched the pilgrims with trepidation, for the light-skins were not to be trusted.
The pilgrims made poorly through the winter, for they were unprepared for the inclement weather. The corn that they grew fed them barely; many died, and later, it became a symbol of remembrance for the pilgrims to place five kernels of corn on their plates, as this symbolized the lack of sustenance throughout the early years. Therefore, the strongest of them traveled to the rock known as Plymouth. There they forged in secret the kernels of power. Three they made for the Indians lords and nine for the kings of men, but one of the Pilgrims, the strongest of them all, forged in secret a kernel stronger still. Into this he poured all of his knowledge and self. Thus the one kernel was formed. One kernel to rule them all, one kernel to find them. One kernel to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
But the dark pilgrim waited, and the kernels of power brought prosperity to the land. The pilgrims and Indians feasted together and formed an uncertain alliance. Thus thanksgiving came to be, and the dark pilgrim waited.
Epilogue: Later, the Dark Pilgrim was killed in a fluke covered-wagon accident, and his kernel lay undiscovered, until Orville Redenbacher discovered it in the 1950s. He was able to harness the kernel’s power and bring about a revolution in corn popping. So, remember the pilgrims whenever you eat popcorn, and be thankful.