My Christmas Story

In the mood: A Christmas tale
I’ll have a blue Christmas, Caribbean blue if you please. Hot Hot
HOT. No store Santas. No chill No snow. No old movies (apologies to
Miracle on 54th street). No Singing the same old old songs. No sugar
plums dancing on my head, in my head or around my bed. NO NO NO
reindeer landing , dancing or doing the hully gully on the roof.

Dreams are made of wishes like these. Dreams of escape from forced
cheer and patriotic spending to boost the economy.
Reality bites. The truth is I am as corn ball as Iowa crops, but with
a twist of key lime. Call me Mrs. Claus Call me Christmas tree
ornament making Martha Stewart. Call me suburban euro trash with
white lights on the porch. Call me after the holidaze.

It is not so much Christmas,the holiday, I shy from but the timing ,
the crowded malls and the competition for parking. End of the year,
who thought that day up? Thanksgiving behind us and New Years ahead,
Christmas should be the sweet filling in between but ends up being
made of artificial sweetner now a days. If Christmas past was a home
made cookie made by Grandma in the family kitchen,todays Christmas is
an over priced massed produced ‘sugar free’ ‘fat free’ “Cookie
Grande” with artificial color, aritificial flavor, and bought with
a credit card. I need Christmas shopping in December like Paris
Hilton needs a self esteem boost.
While I freeze here in my car waiting for the Black Friday sales to
start, signaled by the opening of the mall doors, I am tired and over
extended in many ways.
She wanted the tickle me Elmo. How do you explain to a child that she
has bought into a capitalist consumer trap? She barely grasps the
basics of subtraction, unless you are subtracting a cookie from her
hand. How do I keep my ‘good christian’ standing and not indoctrinate
her into a life of sublimation through spending?

I get out of the car and join the line waiting outside the doors. I
don’t really walk I stomp. My stomping has aroused the suspicions of
the Christmas Queen. A cheery shopper, she eyes me between her
twinkling blue sights. I stop stomping and look at her in that dazed
way. We are Enemies I want to scream . I want to explain the
international human rights and environmental implications of buying
toys from China. I stomp away……Jingle all the way.
UGH……… I find my space in line. “hear those sleigh bells ring a
ling ching ching ching a ling….” arggggg Who brought the music? Now
I am still stomping my feet but this time to stay warm. I start to
stomp to the music’s beat, but then catch myself.
I resume my wait. The crowd perks up! Ah! the manager and staff are
at the doors. On your mark, get ready……..

With a dignified half trot, run, skip jump I reach the Tickle Me
Elmo. I hold the dear little doll , perhaps a bit too tight. The
competition is fierce and I almost want to give the doll to someone,
just to break the spell of the self centered greed fest. But I have
that little Angel card in my pocket and it pricks my hip and my
grumpy sagging spirits.
The card reads ‘ girl 5 years old loves Tickle me Elmo’. I almost
reach the door when I look down at my naked Elmo doll. No wrapping
paper no ribbon no nuttin.
I jingle jangle my way around the crowd of shoppers wrestling in the
ailes. I wish that was just a euphamism, they really are getting
pushy. This is not just a charity mission this is a Green Berret
special ops mission. ” your goal is simple” “Get the doll and Get
out” ‘ May God be with you”.
I find my self in the parking lot with my halo slighty showing under
my ski cap as I wrap my Elmo doll. I make every crease line up. I
order the ribbon into elaborate designs and command a rebellious roll
of tape into submission. Perfection. I take my Angel card from my
pocket and slip it under the pressed ribbon.
I don’t know what the future will be like for this little girl. I do
know that this Christmas I will make ‘ girl 5 years old loves Tickle
me Elmo’ a little happy maybe she will feel a little loved. I notice
my toe tapping to the music..arg…….


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