It’s that most wonderful time of the year. For everything from schnitzel to chipmunk impersonations to loving the one you’re with. Assuming the ones you’re with are people you absolutely adore. I suspect everyone but grandma will get run over by a reindeer if they act like a Scrooge. It’s a season of hope, deer, and fear of miserable protagonists.
Who names their kid Scrooge? I guess he was named with reasonable acumen when all the other names were taken. But I’d definitely be asking Santa for a new identity and more desirable disposition.
Everyone needs love. Especially when you’re underneath a mistletoe. Take my friend Paul who began feeling the lonely holiday blues around July. His stocking has been hanging the last few years by the chimney with care, in hopes Mrs. Wonderful will come make it a pair. Paul doesn’t have much love in the form of family, and dating had become a maniacal ritual. Classic attire. Hair slicked back. Bouquets of flowers. Dividing women by composition and tree types, since his preference is a Douglas Fir. Preparing for a date was much like washing his car, making it attractive and raring to go. Yet he felt he had wandered into awkward territory when dining different women ever since his dear wife passed away.
Paul started romancing a real gem named Sara. The woman who puts Cartier at the top of her Christmas list. She wanted five golden rings. At once. I guessed one for each finger. He bowed out of that expensive habit and decided on a date with Dierdre. Then that came to a complete halt. He felt like the baffled buffoon learning that she took an over excessive liking to Ellen. By then he met Amirah. But most Muslims observe certain days of December as a time of fasting, and Paul likes giblets and gravy too much. Along came Holly who was defiantly dreadful, and of no permanency. She had two Doberman’s and a deadline, the immediate offer to marry. When what to his wondering eyes should appear, but eyes reddened like raspberries, and a wifely volunteer. She loved her libations. Sort of like the drunken turtle dove hovering over an old oak. Molly was always dreaming of a white Christmas. And when she was out of white, she settled for bottles of red. I told him, “No need to deal with Blitzen. So dash away, dash away, dash away Paul.”
I wanted to gift wrap Paul a gal pal in the biggest way. Surveying the bleak door of passion slamming behind him, he leisurely strolled through the park right after Thanksgiving into a series of romantic gardens. There was no escaping the beauty that his senses required. There were only two reasons for not wanting to be there. Heartache, and allergies. Once enclosed by plants and pines in this idyllic arrangement the soil has provided, sounds of merry music accompanied Paul along with nearby love birds. But it got to him. The same thing happens to me at the start of September, when I know marketing manipulators spent all year in some goal setting workshop conniving ways to take my cash earlier and earlier. It’s quite natural to want the spirit of the holidays to last forever. Only I’m not really wanting to see piled bills, or pine needle remains come March. But enough about me. I think Paul wanted to do some caroling by that point. Only his version would be “Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, my love filled life, is history.”
Then he found her. She eagerly greeted him as she rounded the bench where he painstakingly sat. Big green eyes stared at Paul and he was hooked. With one satisfying scratch behind the ears, he was assured of abiding devotion. She was warm, snuggly, and affectionate. Behind a cluster of mostly white fur, with a bit of black trimming her eyes and no ownership tag, he took her home. He didn’t care that she couldn’t cook, do laundry, or drink water without getting it all over the floor. Who better to watch over him as he nods off to sleep each night while visions of sugarplums and slobber danced in his head. It came upon that midnight clear that one certain shepherd and miracle hound had brought him some cheer. The only problem I saw in this situation was that Paul could not really seat the date of a dog next to him at any forthcoming holiday dinner table.
We all need that same over abundance of love in our hearts. The sort of love that makes you breathe deeply and sigh, “I’m going to be generous and give away Aunt Mabel’s eighteenth knitted sweater with penguins on it to some homeless person.” Then again, it’s logic like this that could have also attracted bomb toting aviators to Pearl Harbor. But honestly, we should all have Paul’s kind of adoring attachment all year round, no matter the pedigree. And better a dog than six geese-a-laying or four calling birds. It’s a lot less poop on the lawn.
(Posts can be found in the weekend editions of The Parson’s Sun newspaper in Kansas)