Christmas Wrap-Up

The family and I spent Christmas and a few days thereafter at Ma and Pa Baldwins. Here’s the wrapup.

* * * * *

For weeks there have been signs posted around my neighborhood, urging the citizenry to get all fired up for an upcoming “Holiday Parade.” Well, last Saturday that promise was fulfilled, and it’s a good thing I happened to be standing right by the window when it happened or I would have completely missed out on the yuletide revelry.

The parade consisted of four vehicles: a fire engine adorned with tinsel in the lead; two SUVs in the middle — the first covered in Christmas lights, the second with paper snowflakes in the windows; and, as the caboose, a pickup truck with one of those motorized, wicker reindeer in its bed. They drove by at about 35 miles an hour. The only way I knew that I was watching the actual parade (as opposed to a bunch of vehicles en route to the parade) was because, every half block or so, the driver of the firetruck would ring its bell.

I was so filled with the holiday spirit that it’s remarkable I didn’t swell up like a tick on a basset hound.

* * * * *

On Christmas I made up a joke.

Q:How do you know when an owl has to go to the bathroom?

A: He says: Poo! Poo!

I ran this by a focus group consisting of my niece, and I can predict with confidence that this witticism is going to be big with the highly-coveted 5-7 year, scatology-obsessed demographic.

* * * * *

Over Christmas dinner my mother told her favorite seasonal story:

When your sister was three we took her to go see Santa at the mall. When it was our turn we started to approach Santa, but she got a little scared, stopped walking, and let go of my hand. Suddenly — and without asking me — this elf swooped down out of nowhere, picked her up, and carried her up to Santa. She was silent for a moment, but then she let out the loudest, most bloodcurdling scream I have ever heard. It just echoed and echoed inside the mall. Shoppers rushed over to see what was going on; patrons at a nearby restaurant dropped their forks in alarm and swiveled their heads to watch the spectacle.

The elf was so startled by the shriek that she hurriedly plopped your sister into Santa’s lap. And as soon as she landed she turned into a wildcat, hollering and kicking and flailing around everywhere. Santa had a handle on her for a few seconds, but then she got turned around and planted a knee right into his groin. We all watched in horror as she kneed Santa in the balls five or six more times, before squirmming loose and running back to me.

It was a horrible situation, but everyone — except Santa and the elves — was roaring with laughter. After a few seconds Santa half rose from his chair and hobbled off, sort of hunched over and moaning. An elf came out a minute later with a sign reading “Sorry, Santa is off feeding the reindeer!”

Honestly, I think all the great Christmas stories contain the phrase “kneed Santa in the balls.”

* * * * *

We felt bad about leaving the cats on their own for four days, but when we got home we discovered they had celebrated the holidays in our absence.

It's beginning to taste a lot like Christmas ...

And they left us a Christmas gift as well. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but if anyone had bought me the Cuidado: V

18 thoughts on “Christmas Wrap-Up

  1. See, a branch of the British government issued some advice that some little kids do find Santa terrifying and lots of British people said “You can’t say that!” – but it really was excellent advice, even if it wasn’t what people wanted to hear. Unfortunately the people responsible caved in and rescinded their advice in gross wussiness. These days, very few Santas let kids sit in their lap, apparently largely because people these days associate “letting someone sit in your lap” with “lap dancing”. Three-year-olds? Not so much.

    Your “Storytelling” link within “categories” above is still broken, though obviously you have had more festive things to do than to fix it. :-)

  2. Regarding your cats digging into the kitty treats, that reminds me of a story from my wife’s family when she was growing up. They had two large dogs, and the kind of dog food they bought for them was sold at a store about an hour’s drive away. They had bought about 3 or 4 large bags of this dog food and were on their way home. The dogs were in the van with them, in the back(with the bags of food). It had been a pretty quiet ride home most of the way until they started to hear some growling and fighting from the dogs in the back. They stopped to check what the dogs were fighting about, and they were fighting over the last little bit of the last bag of dog food.

    Also, you know how chocolate is supposedly bad for dogs? Well that might not be all dogs. I think it was one of those two that ate a whole bowl of Hershey’s Kisses–foil, tags, and all. He never got sick from it, either.

  3. Well, if little kids in England didn’t find Santa terrifying before, I’m pretty sure they do now, after the Christmas episode of Doctor Who…

  4. My experience with small-town Christmas parades is that it’s typically a couple fire trucks and then a whole string o’ cars from the local dealerships. Holiday spirit meets free advertising! Yay!

  5. Ha! OUR parade consisted of THE fire truck (we only have one, okay?), and two pickups decorated with household Christmas lights. One of the trucks held Santa, who was ringing the handheld bell used to call the schoolchildren in at the end of recess. One the first pass by our house, the fire truck driver hadn’t figured out how to turn on the lights and siren, but by the third or fourth pass, he had it down pat, much to the Huskies’ delight. Being decended from wolves, they appreciate a good howl, even if it has to harmonize with a siren.
    I think that with just less than 400 residents, we definitely qualify for “small town” status!

  6. In the spirit of cats giving gifts, one of my cats decided to ignore the litter box and crapped on the tile floor.

    But to add a touch of festivity, the cat adorned it with the Christmas bow she’d been playing with for the past week.

    It’s that extra touch that makes it special.

  7. The LA Times ( has a great gallery of photos of kids being terrified by Santa. Some of the older photos feature Santas that look like they just got off a 3-day bender – I guess t was the job for derelicts back in the day.

    They don’t have a good way to link directly to it but you can find it on their home page.

  8. Our cats vomit all the time — it’s vacation time when they get inventive and do it in quiet hidden corners where it will go much longer without being discovered.

    Of course, last holiday we had a neighbor kid catsit, and he closed the door to the basement room where their litter boxes are located (and also didn’t visit them for 2-3 days near the end). We got to play find the excrement for a couple of days after we got back.

    Happy New Year to everybody here. This place has cheered me up so much this year, and here’s to another year!

  9. I think it’s perfectly natural for kids to be terrified of Santa. You’re never more logical than you are as a kid. Even though your parents tell you upbeat stories about mystical figures like Santa, your mind only hears the facts…

    1) He’s an old, fat guy that hangs around with midgets and flying woodland creatures.

    2) He breaks into your house in the middle of the night.

    3) He wants to eat your cookies.

    4) He keeps a list of Naughty and Nice kids, most kids know they’re naughty, but no one ever says what Santa does to those kids, do they?

    5) When you ask him for a mess of fireworks and a slingshot, he brings you socks.

    This isn’t exactly the resume of a jolly old soul to a kid, is it?

    It’s the same thing you see at Disney World. You’d think the kids would swarm around Donald for autographs, but they run away screaming cuz the truth is Donald is a 6-foot duck with no pants on…

  10. Unbelieveable!! I made up a joke also:
    What did the constipated cow say?

    How odd that two people would both come up with the same high quality joke at about the same time! You proably have a large enough quantity of readers, that one of them is always thinking the same thing you are, at any given moment. Ha ha ha.

  11. You’ve done it again…made me laugh out loud! Damn funny post and I’m ordering that vomito de gato sign even though I don’t have a cat. It’ll be fun to set it up in the lobby at work and see if anyone notices. Ha! Thanks!

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