Friday, November 28, 2014

Is it Christmas or Halloween II? Depends on how you tell it.

The season begins with something called Black Friday. From there, the days get shorter as we march relentlessly, inescapably toward The Longest Night of The Year.
Oh, the weather outside if frightful!
All the while, your behavior is being monitored. There is an ancient being—over 1000 years old, older than Methuselah—and he has helpers in every mall in America to help him keep track of you. He sees you when you’re sleeping; he knows when you’re awake; he knows everything you’ve done. He is old. He has long hair and long whiskers. He wears a red suit. He smokes. He drinks heavily-sugared soda and eats enough cookies to choke a monster. He is overweight—his stomach shakes when he laughs. What’s so funny?
What’s funny is that one night very soon this creature is going to use his magical powers to take to the skies and fly; he’s coming to your house. Got deadbolts on your doors? Got a security system? He finds that funny, too. He’s going to shrink himself and come down the chimney. Don’t have a chimney? No problem; he can fit down a vent pipe. Is there anything you can do to stop him?
Sure: all you have to do is stay awake. He cannot come in if you don’t fall asleep. That’s not a problem at first because you’re so keyed up, but eventually—and he knows this—you will sleeeeeep. Sleeeeeep. Sleeeeeep! Even the government can’t stop him. NORAD will track him, sure, for all the good that will do.
Up on the housetop: click…click…click. Do you hear it? No, because you are sleeping in spite of yourself. Sugarplums are dancing in your head and you don’t even know what the hell a sugarplum is. You dream about a snowman, with coal black eyes and a magic hat, who comes to life.
One of the most popular songs tells you that Christmas should really go on for 12 days, not just one. It also lets you know that you are not truly loved. You got a pear tree? Didn’t think so. Okay, a few do, but is there a partridge in it? No. Know why? Because no one really, truly loves you, otherwise they’d have given you one. When’s the last time anyone gave you 5 golden rings? I rest my case.
Will this night never end? Maybe you could go hang out with your parents. No, they’re not home. They’re attending a ritual ceremony called Midnight Mass, lighting candles and chanting with other members of the parish. The babysitter is useless; she’s on her phone and obviously doesn’t want you to know who she’s talking to or what they’re saying. “Go back to bed!” she says. “Santa Claws will come if you go to sleep.” She says that like it’s a good thing. Of course she also thought that movie about the Christmas ghosts was a good thing. Can you trust her? Dare you sleep? Could you maybe fake it? No…he knows…he knows when you’re awake. And he can wait, for as long as it takes.
What’s that?! It’s not so much what you hear as what you don’t hear…such a Silent Night. Yes…it’s quiet out there. Too quiet.
What fun it is to ride and sing a slaying song tonight.
Word to the wise: You'd better watch out!

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