Radiogurl a la Carte

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005
Christmas for Dummies

Note: No, this is not a forwarded email. It's my own very warped (and rated a little above PG this time) creation.


Chapter 1: The Christmas Spirit

Find that bottle of cheap wine your Aunt Hilda gave you a couple of years back. Yeah, you know the one; she forgot to peel off the "$2.99" sticker. Doesn't matter, this is serious business. You WILL APPRECIATE the alcohol, trust me, no matter how cheap. Your lips will pucker and God only knows what it will do to your stomach, but there are fates worse than cheap liquor wannabe. Like your credit card bill next month.

In all reality, you should've dug this out before now. Because by finding it now, that means you've had to move all of that crap around in the basement and on top of everything else you have to do, you now also must clean up your mess.

Just make sure the bottle is readily accessible. Put it in that empty fire-extinguisher bracket or tuck it next to the television. You'll want to be able to find it when you need it, preferably without an extensive search.

Chapter 2: The Christmas Tree

First rule of thumb when selecting a tree: get a live one so your house smells like fresh pine. Now, I know everyone will be at the local Slave Mart... er, Wal Mart... digging through the artificial trees that look soooooo real. But if you weren't such a cheap SOB, you'd realize that there is not a substitute for real! How could you put up another aluminum tree when...!

Oops, sorry. Ignore the last couple of sentences in the previous paragraph. I promised my therapist I'd stop projecting. (Where's that bottle of wine again, anyway? Didn't I tell you to get it out and have it ready?)

Now then, you should look for symmetry of shape, paying attention to the type of tree you want. Some people prefer Douglas fir; others like blue spruce.

No, you may NOT prefer aluminum! We're talking real trees, not that silver garbage!

(Ahem.)

Back to the matter at hand. And speaking of hands, be sure to touch the tree. (Dammit, not THAT kind of touch, you pervert! Zip up now, before somebody sees you!) I'm talking about lightly wrapping your hand around a branch and pulling gently to see if the needles come off. (Okay, fine, whatever. Yeah, the technique is the same, for crying out loud. Have fun, freak. Just please keep your clothes on and please don't tell anybody you're with me, all right? I hope you and the tree are very happy together. Yeesh.)

For those of us who are NORMAL, if the pine needles shed into your hand, the tree is not fresh - unlike my friend with the tree fetish - and you shouldn't buy it. It will be a fire hazard and...

What?

NINETEEN NINETY-NINE?

I'LL TAKE IT!

Maybe Aunt Hilda's elixir will fix the shedding problem. We'll just pour in the bottle in place of water and this beauty of a tree should be good to go.

Chapter 3: Christmas Cards

Cards are ever-so-important. Presumably you'll be sending this formal greeting to friends, family and business acquaintances, so you'll want a card that makes the very best impression. A foil-lined envelope is a nice touch (I like Reynolds' Wrap, myself, but it's kind of tough fitting it in,) and a thoughtful verse will allow them to remember you fondly all year long. The dollar store has a good selection this year, too!

Here's the one place this holiday season where you can actually splurge a bit. If you donate a pint of blood, your take will be enough to pay for a book of postage stamps. Spring for the Christmas-design stamps. It won't cost you anything extra and if you should still be bleeding a bit and pass out on them, the red will just add an extra festive touch.

Chapter 4: Christmas Gift-giving

Regifting is an art and perfectly acceptable so long as you aren't stupid enough to TELL someone you're regifting. I suggest new wrapping paper and ribbon, or at least different from what it was wrapped in when you got it. Bonus points if you remember who gave it to you and give it to them. You can hand it to them with a big smile and tell them, "I know you'll love this! You gave me one!"

The Christmas season is a wonderful excuse for an object lesson on the Karma of giving truly awful gifts.

eBay is a wonderful resource. I would recommend you pass on the condoms (even if they're willing to provide a certificate that they were used only once,) but you can find some interesting movie titles and other truly unique gifts. For your really snooty family members, anything you buy that's described as "used" on eBay can be described as "antique" or "vintage" in the flyer you tuck into the box. And it's a pretty safe bet that Grandma doesn't already have one of those circa-1970 Afro wigs and fringed vests. She'll never forget you.

(Come on, you didn't REALLY think you'd be included in the will, did you?)

Of course there's always the possibility that whatever you give will ultimately be re-gifted, but hey, as long as the crap doesn't come back to you! (Karma only works for other people. Trust me.)

Chapter 5: Christmas Dinner

The turkey is only a part of the equation, but it's the biggest part. Ideally, you should have thawed the turkey at least two or three days in the refridgerator so that it's wholly thawed and ready to cook in the ungodly hours of Christmas morning. If your Scrooge of a boss made you work late all week or wouldn't let you off work early for Christmas Eve, you may have to leave the bird out of the fridge to thaw.

Rumors of salmonella are greatly exaggerated, I'm sure. Of course if you're worried, you could surreptitiously just eat ham. Make sure to put turkey on your plate and pick it apart a bit, commmenting on how good it is; that way if anyone should become ill, you can shake your head in bewilderment and point out that you had turkey and you're feeling fine.

Next, dessert...

What?

Yeah, I know the tree's lit, so...? Lit on FIRE???

Oh good grief, I was only kidding about Aunt Hilda's booze in the water dish! That sucker's gotta be 80-proof! Grab the fire extinguisher and...

What do you mean, that's where you got Aunt Hilda's bottle of wine?

Somebody call 9-1-1!

Forget the turkey, I'm outta here! Denny's is open for Christmas. I'll tell them it's my birthday...

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )