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Christmas like you've never thought of it before

Some Christmas thoughts:


I’m always amazed at how little attention our ancestors paid to Christmas. While doing some research earlier in the year, I kept coming across Revolutionary War militia men who enlisted on December 25. I mentioned this to Mac Whatley and he reminded me that the first court in the newly formed Randolph County was held on December 25, 1779. 


Christmas didn’t actually become a federal holiday until 1870. As far as the commercialization of Christmas, one person wrote that, “There are worlds of money wasted, at this time of year, in getting things that nobody wants and nobody cares for after they are got.” That person was Harriet Beecher Stowe, writing in 1850.


The first official U.S. Christmas postage stamp wasn’t issued until 1962. It featured a wreath and two candles. Now we have a choice of Christmas stamps, either a holiday or religious one. It used to be a source of consternation to me when customers complained about the choice of stamps, but this year I’ll have to add my voice to the complaint section. One stamp is “Holiday Evergreens.” Somehow, I fail to see the “holiday” part here. The other one looks like Gabriel with a ukulele. Whoever approved this year’s stamps must have had too much wassail, or maybe not enough. 


Don’t let yourself fall victim to “Wrap Rage” this Christmas morning. “Wrap Rage” is the extreme anger caused by product packaging that is difficult to open or manipulate. You know, those things that are encased, even vacuum packed and heat sealed, in steel-like hard plastic. To free an object from this bulletproof stuff, you need scissors, box cutters, screwdrivers, sheet-metal shears and probably even a hacksaw. To save yourself time and agony, go ahead and bypass the scissors and go straight to the tin snips. 


Sue Lynn has informed Willard that severe repercussions will ensue if any cooking utensils, cleaning products, automotive accessories, hunting and fishing equipment, tools, saws, hammer, pliers or lawn equipment end up in her stocking this year. This has severely limited Willard’s choices of shopping venues. If you see a bearded fellow hitchhiking Christmas morning with a blender embedded in his head, you’ll know he didn’t follow instructions.  


Willard (who else?) passed on these “Christmas carols for the disturbed”:

            * Schizophrenia —“Do You Hear What I Hear?”

            * Multiple Personality Disorder: “We Three Kings Disoriented Are.”

            * Dementia: “I Think I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”

            * Narcissistic: “Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me.”

            * Manic: “Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and…”

           * Paranoid: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me.”

            * Personality Disorder: “You Better Watch Out, I’m Gonna Cry, I’m Gonna Pout, Maybe I’ll Tell You Why.”

            * Attention Deficit Disorder: “Silent Night, Holy oooh look at the froggy — can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?”

           * Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingles Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells … .” 


And finally, a Christmas greeting I received, and one I leave for you:


“Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, 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/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all…


“And a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2022, 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 or is the only “America” in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform or sexual preference of the wishee.


-Disclaimer of Warrantability:


“(By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish of issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.)”


In other words, to all you faithful readers (and the unfaithful ones, too), I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.