Tuesday Tangents: Christmas Present(s)

Christmas Holiday Edition!

Since we’re deep in the midst of the 12 Days of Christmas,  it’s not too late for some seasonally-appropriate reading…and besides, things were so busy last week you may have missed these posts anyway.

First, an interview with a certain Bethlehem innkeeper (go read the whole thing, but here’s a snippet):

So the baby is born, and they place him in the manger.
Which, by the way, I told them not to do.
Because how unsanitary is that? Do you know what a manger is?
As far as I know, it’s the place you put infant messiahs.
It’s a food trough for animals.
Oh. Interesting.
“Oh, interesting” is right. Let me ask you. So your baby is born, and the first thing you do is put him in an open container filled with grain and covered in oxen drool? Does this seem reasonable to you?
You did have them out with the animals. Their options were limited.
I rented cribs. I asked Joseph, do you want a crib. And he said, no, we’re fine, and then sets the kid in the food box. And I say to him, you’re new at this, aren’t you.
In his defense, he was.
And then someone says, look, the animals, they are adoring the baby. And I say, adoring, hell. They’re wondering why there’s a baby in their food.
On the other hand, the image of the Baby Jesus in the manger is a classic one.
Yeah, I mention that when people get on my case about not giving Joe and Mary a room. I tell them that having a Christmas carol called “Away in a Hotel Room” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. They never have anything to say to that.

Next, what really happened on the 12th Day of Christmas (an excerpt – again, go read the whole thing):

Mary: Hey Joey, what’s that noise?
Joseph: There are a bunch of people outside. I know this sounds weird, but it looks like some of them are shepherds.
Mary: Shepherds? What the….? Oh no. Oh nuh UH they don’t.
Joseph: No they don”t what?
Mary: They probably want their stable back. They are not getting this stable. I’ve fixed it up more in the past 12 days than they have in 10 years. I’ll bet they were the ones who put in that horrible fake Pergo floor. No siree, mister. And why are they quaking? That just freaks me out.
Joseph: And there are old dudes who say they are kings out there, too. They said they are here to venerate the baby…Also, they brought some silver and gold.
Mary: A child, a child, shivers in the cold…could they bring a blanket at least? I’ll bet thinking of diapers was beyond them, too. Men, I swear.

Mike reminded me of this:

“The War on Christmas. I’m tired of hearing about this supposed problem. Is it really that big of a deal when people, or stores, say Happy Holidays when you are in the middle of at least three holidays? What about the war on Chanukah? I don’t hear anyone wishing people Happy Chanukah in the stores or anything (When it is going on that is). I don’t hear Jewish people complaining. You know who cares about this? The idiots on cable TV news. It’s a (moderate) ratings grabber. You know, the poor people aren’t going to enjoy Christmas because some one wishes them Happy Holidays. Won’t somebody think of the children? “

I’ve said “Happy Holidays” since before it was controversial, and I plan to keep saying it. In my mind, it covers the period between Christmas and New Year’s, which is “holiday” – as in “vacation” – time for many people. But I like that it also recognizes that not everyone celebrates Christmas; they may be celebrating other holidays for religious (Chanukah) or cultural (Kwanzaa) reasons, or their own observation of Christmas may leave out the religious elements. And I think acknowledging that is actually a positive, open-minded thing. Happy Holidays to everyone!

How was your Christmas, by the way? Did you find some goodies under the tree? I did – books, DVDs, and gift cards (some of which will be used to buy more books):

We had my stepkids and my mother-in-law in our living room with us as we opened gifts, and my son joined us via Skype:

 He got a bunch of DVDs too, but only one book – and I got a new appreciation for 21st-century technology!

This will be a light posting week here. Then again, I expect it’ll be a light blog-reading week just about everywhere, so it’s not like anyone will miss much.

I’ve been working on my 2010 Year in Review posts, which I was originally going to post this week – until I realized what I mentioned in the previous paragraph, that is. I rescheduled them for the first week of 2011, as follows:

  • Monday 1/3/11:  Reading, including final Bookkeeping stats and my Books of the Year picks
  • Tuesday 1/4/11: ‘Riting – the year’s most popular posts 
  • Thursday 1/6/11: Randomness – reflecting on the year via meme, plus assorted number-crunching

(Hey, I have to hit all three R’s, don’t I?)

Are you vacationing this week? Stop in and say hi if you’re not too busy! I’m only working three days, and I’m looking forward to a four-day New Year’s weekend. We’re planning a Lord of the Rings movie marathon. Some of us really know how to party…and some of us are Tall Paul and me.

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