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‘Are you ready for, er, what holiday is it?

“Are you ready for Christmas?”


I’m asked that often this time of year. The query usually leaves me stumbling to answer.


But some folks, I understand, tend to act as though Christmas snuck up on them. How can they be surprised when Christmas ads and music are all over TV, radio and social media? Even if you’re living in the wilderness off the grid, you can see the days getting shorter and the air cooler.


Christmas happens every year at this time so don’t pretend you didn’t see it coming. If nothing else, make something up.


For instance:


“Well, yeah. The tree is up, the lights are strung, the greeting cards are sent, the presents are bought, the Christmas savings are maxed out and the second mortgage is activated.”


Christmas is the one holiday that requires preparation beginning soon after Labor Day. So much to do, so little time.


I guess that’s why people don’t feel the need to ask, “Are you ready …” at other holidays of the year. But, let’s imagine …


— “Are you ready for New Year’s?”


“Sure. I’ve typed up and printed out all my resolutions for the new year, knowing full well that they’ll all be littering the wayside by mid-January.”


— ”Are you ready for Valentines?”


“Of course. I’ve bought flowers and chocolates for my significant other. Unfortunately, my wife is dieting, meaning I’ll be stuck with the task of eating most of her sweets.”


— ”Are you ready for Presidents Day?”


“I cannot tell a lie so I’ll be honest with you. I haven’t really given much thought to George and Abe this year.”


— ”Are you ready for St. Patrick's Day?”


“Don’t tell anybody, but I have on green underwear. But I guess that won’t prevent me from getting pinched.”


— ”Are you ready for Easter?”


“Well, I’ve boiled and dyed the eggs and hid them in the backyard for the kids to find near the bunnies and baby chicks. Hmm. But wait a minute. Maybe I boiled the bunnies, dyed the little chicks and hid them in the Easter bonnet next to the eggs.”


— ”Are you ready for Mother’s Day?”


“Definitely. I’ve cleaned my plate, made my bed and finished my homework, just in time to watch ‘Leave It to Beaver.’ ”


— Are you ready for Father’s Day?”


“Well, maybe, sort of. OK, the yard is mowed but I haven’t yet washed the car or taken out the trash. And Daddy is sure to find out that I didn’t put half my allowance into savings but spent it on comic books. By the way, how much would you give me for a classic Superman?”


— ”Are you ready for the Fourth?”


“I’m ready! I plan to give a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence while flipping burgers on the grill. And I’ve already reserved a parking space on the interstate down ramp, where we’ll sit and watch the fireworks display over at the ballpark.”


— ”Are you ready for Labor Day?”


“As ol’ Tennessee Ernie would have said, ‘You load 16 tons and whatta ya get, another day older and deeper in debt. St. Peter don’tcha call me ‘cause I can’t go, I owe my soul to the company sto’.’”


— Are you ready for Columbus Day?”


“Actually, yes I am. Ol’ Chris would be proud to know I’ll be setting sail for Hispaniola. Only now they call it the Dominican Republic. And my ship won’t have sails. And Queen Isabella won’t pay me any royalties.”


— ”Are you ready for Halloween?”


“You bet! I’ve washed that ol’ sheet with the two eye holes to wear to Trick or Treat. And if ol’ lady Skinflint don’t give me any candy, I’ll fill her mailbox with gravel.”


— ”Are you ready for Thanksgiving?”


“You’re kidding, right? I’m always ready to feed my face. But, just in case, I’m practicing my turkey carving skills, which are about as valued as a one-legged man in a kicking contest.”


So, are you ready for Christmas? Be truthful — like me.


Larry Penkava is a writer for Randolph Hub. Contact: 336-302-2189, larrypenkava@gmail.com.