Someone gave my granddaughter an over-sized Christmas card which, when you open it, plays Jingle Bells. When you close the card the music stops. Or it’s supposed to. Naturally we end up with probably the only malfunctioning Christmas card from hell; naturally, I say, for this is turning out to be some kind of Christmas all around. The kind that makes you wonder, “Hmmm, am I related to Ebeneezer Scrooge by any chance?” And you find yourself starting to feel a warm flush of affection for the old miser. “Bah humbug!” you find yourself muttering at odd moments throughout the day. And, “Was old Scrooge such a bad old egg after all?”
So back to the card. When she closed it and the music kept playing, my granddaughter got all freaked out; she clapped her hands to her ears and ran out of the room then came back to scream, “Make it stop!” We tried, we really did. We punched it, stomped on it, even poured water on it. Let me tell you, the Dollar Tree sells some hardy Christmas cards! Finally in utter frustration I tossed the card into the garage. Big mistake. Next time I went out for a smoke, Jingle Bells was going loud and clear. I grabbed the card, took it to the farthest corner of the garage and buried it under a bunch of junk. That didn’t help much, let me tell you. I could still hear it playing that same tiresome song over and over and over. I’ve never in my life hated a Christmas song as much as I hate that one!
If I had to pick an illustration from my life to express this year’s holiday mood, it would be this whole Christmas card debacle. How neatly it sums up everything about this year’s yuletide. There is absolutely no Christmas spirit around this household this year. We’ve tried, but it just isn’t gonna happen. We didn’t even buy a tree. This year Christmas is something to slog our way through, then put behind us as speedily as possible.
To all those reading this who are enjoying this holiday season, best wishes to you and yours. I don’t blame or envy you. I don’t belong to your species, not this year. I have no Christmas comprehension this year. I’m Christmas illiterate. I know what this holiday is all about, and deep down inside can appreciate that. But all of the outer trappings of the holiday: the gift giving, tree decorating, carol singing, fudge making, etc. that goes into the whole experience is just so much noise. Two more days, is all I can think, two more days and it’s over for another year.
Just writing this has given me the sudden urge for a smoke. First I must gird up my loins, so to speak, psych myself up for another bout of Jingle Bells. Yes, the song continues, though it is growing a tad bit weaker. And I’m not proud to admit that now when I hear it, the alternate lyrics I heard in grade school keep going through my brain: “Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg!” As I said, I’m not proud of it but there it is. I have sunk to an all time low.