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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :

A Wonderful Time of the Year

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
This week I was bound and determined to sit down and write a column about stupid things the government does, but then I decided that I could always find time and material for a topic like that so I changed my mind and wrote this one instead.

This is a wonderful time of the year. The holiday season. It brings out the best as well as the worst in us, doesnít it? I mean here you are full of holiday cheer, good will towards men and then someone cuts you off on the freeway and you have the urge to do things, well, not exactly civilized donít you? Donít we all?

The stores are full of shoppers looking for things to buy for a lot of folks who donít need anything else in their house. Our house has so many do dads and what knots, I shudder to think about what we would go through if we should ever have to move. It would be a major nightmare. If that ever happens I plan on having some kind of elective surgery making me unavailable for the event.

While I do think I am a rather mild mannered person on the highways and in the stores during this season, there are a couple of things which I cannot understand and have been confounded by for years and years.

At the end of the holidays, we carefully unwrap the tree and take off all of the ornaments and the lights. Then we carefully, very carefully coil the tree lights and place them in the box which goes into the attic until this time next year. We do not jiggle the box. We do not shake the box. We do not mishandle the box. We do not live in an earthquake zone, so we cannot blame this for what I am about to describe.

In short we do nothing out of the ordinary to these strings of lights, except handle them with care and sit them aside to rest for the next twelve months or so. We donít use them for any other event during the year. Only December, only for Christmas.

Having performed these functions faithfully and diligently year after year, I am struck with the never failing fact that each time that I open these hermetically sealed, undisturbed, carefully handled boxes I always find what?

The lights are impossibly tangled and require hours and hours to separate. Often times we end up just chunking the entire strands and buying new ones. Iím certain the people who make the lights find this option delightful.

I have watched movies of sailors on board sea going ships coil lines that are certainly longer than my puny strands of tree lights. These lines never, or at least Iíve never seen them, get tangled which could possibly cause danger to the crew and or the ship. Of course, thatís the movies, but still I read a lot of books about naval history and canít think I have ever come across any account of some ship sinking due to a fouled line like the ones in my tree lights. I would be kicked off of a sailing ship at the first port of call.

The second thing I find amazing, is that we hang every ornament we own on the tree every year. This means we have to have one of those little hanger things for each ornament in order for it to be hung properly on the tree. Not a difficult concept, one ornament, one hanger. So tell me, if I did this last year, then what happened to the hangers for all of the ornaments this year?

They arenít on each ornament and they arenít in the box. I think I would have remembered if I had stepped on one. Theyíre pointed and have a sharp endÖ so chances are they would hurt your foot and youíd remember to wear your house shoes when taking down the tree. This has not happened to me, never.

As much as I would like to believe the tree light people might be involved, I doubt it. They canít get into my attic without me knowing about it.

But, evil fairies and gnomes can and it is my theory ( you may not agree) that the forces of good Christmas spirits have opposite numbers in the form of bad and evil spirits. These forces are bent on destroying our benevolent Christmas-Holiday spirit by making life as difficult as possible. They are responsible for tangling those strings of lights. Hiding those ornament hangers and making us think and do bad things during these few weeks of the year. I have failed to figure out just how I will go about proving this controversial theory, but I should have an answer before December of next year.

I cannot disclose my plan in print since it might be read by those evil forces, but stay tuned to this column for amazing pictures this time next year.
© Peary Perry
Letters From North America >

December 14, 2006 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to www.pearyperry.com
Peary Perry's
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