Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Dickens Christmas traditions

Except for the stuffed and mounted Santa & sleigh on the wall, my family has a few oddball Christmas traditions too just like everyone else. Mind you I’m no Scrooge-dude, but over the years I have assembled a slightly warped array of holiday harbingers & habits to help herald n’ Hark the angels ‘BARK’, albeit a bit off-key. Oh sure our gaggle of odd ducks still suck nog and exchange gifts of cheap & waxy chocolate covered cherries and brickyard fruitcake, because Christmas is nothing if it isn’t about quality.

Anyone can buy gaudy and poorly made 3rd world ornaments for their family but I insist on contributing to our nation’s constant need for landfill refuse by making my own. Yes, nearly every year I try to show my Mother the meaning of ‘true love’ with a homemade or recycled ornament creation of hanging JOY. Who can resist some of these decades old deformed beauties when they are made out of rare Christmas finery like waffle batter, peanut shells, melted soda bottles, or my favorite art medium – dryer lint?

My wife’s siblings and parents prefer to exchange ‘gag’ gifts every year instead of the obligatory stacks of lifeless gift cards. It makes sense since doesn’t everyone love a holiday meal graced with a giant restaurant-sized can of pork n’ beans donning a glittery Santa hat at the head of the table? Not to be out-done, my own Father spreads a healthy helping of Christmas cheer too by annually competing with his Army buddies to distribute the ‘UGLIEST’ Christmas cards they can find and dare send.

So judge me not for my inner ‘hum bug’ and forgive my assault upon age-old holiday traditions. Clearly I am one pinched loaf short of a bread pudding and my lameness should remain blameless due to my family’s BAD genes AND taste. So now you know my relatives may see quality differently, but we TOO try to keep a Dicken’s Christmas “well’ – it’s just that we’re a 'tiny Tim' more ‘SCROOGED’ up than you.