Wonderful Time of the Yearby
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
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.
Letters From North
December 14, 2006 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
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