The Queen B often accuses me of humbuggery this time of year, but I blame it on Christmas lights manufacturers. I mean, why else would every set of Christmas lights I own have a plug that looks like this
while every outdoor extension cord one can buy has a plug that looks like this
It seems as though our neighborhood is decked out with even more Christmas lights than usual, and while I find the winter wonderland of a million billion twinkling lights a delight, if not a bit a theologically disorienting. For example, the dude down the street with the inflatable Santa Claus standing in the midst of his nativity might need a refresher on the “official” Christmas story, while I’m not sure what’s to be done for the guy who decorated his lawn with the row of flashing candy canes leading up to the crucifix.
The Ladybug and I are driving to the park to go sledding, driving along the back road that winds through the middle of the hilly field that separate its two playgrounds. The hillside is blank and white with new-fallen snow, except for the shape of large heart etched into it by some persons unknown.
“That’s cute!” exclaims the Ladybug when she catches sight of it.
“Yeah,” I agree. “A heart picture means love.”
As we round the loop, we both notice that the heart itself is framed by letters. However, the glare from the sun off the snow is a bit much to see through, and the road itself is pretty slippery, and so I pretty much ignore the message on the field in favor of vehicular safety, but the Ladybug remains fascinated. She starts to read the letters off:
“Tee… Oh… Dee… Dee…” she says. “What’s that say?”
“That says Todd,” I explain. “And the heart says loves…”
“Ay… En… Ay… Ell…” she finishes. “What’s that say?”
“That says…. er… Ana L,” I flub.
“Todd loves Ana L? That’s sweet.”
We’ve been watching a lot of Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation. My favorite bit is Dr. Doofenshmirtz’ heckling of a quintet of carolers who appear singing “We wish you a merry Christmas” once they get to the “No bring us some figgy pudding” bit:
Are you threatening me? No one comes to my home and demands desserts! I mean, what kind of plan is that anyway? Let’s go to some stranger’s house, and in song form refuse to leave unless he hands over a food dish no one’s prepared since the sixteenth century.
Speaking of merry Christmas wishes, on my way out of the grocery store, I noticed that the woman in front of me drop one of her bags as she was loading her cart. I picked it up and placed it back in her cart.
“Thank you,” she said.
“You’re welcome,” I replied. “Merry Christmas!”
“And good on you for saying ‘Merry Christmas’ instead of that ‘Happy Holidays’ horseshit.”
“Riiiiight. In that case, you have a fertile solstice,” I said, and continued on my way.
When I told this story to the Queen B later on, she accused me of being a dick.
In my defense, I argued that it was in fact the lady who had been rude, since while the correct responses to a friendly “Merry Christmas!” range from a simple smile to a complementary “Merry Christmas” to even the apparently atrocious “Happy Holidays,” using it as a segue to rank about your own personal bitter religious bigotry is not one of them.
(I have little patience for people who whine about a “War on Christmas.” When Obama and his liberal elite minions ban Christmas as a federal holiday and instead replace it with Yom Kippur or Ramadan or even Saturnalia, then we can talk about Christmas being under fire.)
To counter, the Queen B said that perhaps the lady was merely expressing her relief, since she would be otherwise too scared to say “Merry Christmas” in an age of hyper political correctness. Quoth the B, “Instead of Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, we’re now stuck with the following:
“Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious or secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2010, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.”
To the Queen B, I say… Touche.
The Ladybug had been very, very specific about what she wanted for Christmas:
- A Snow White dress,
- Snow White shoes,
- A Snow White crown, and
Clearly, she was a good girl:
That, and Toys ‘R’ Us thankfully keeps a large surplus of Snow White couture handy on Christmas Eve.