Christmas Complaint Department

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

Christmas may sound like an odd topic this early in November. After all we have five whole weeks and that should be plenty of time for everyone to shop, but really I’m already late.

Every year the stores and magazines and TV networks start earlier and earlier. The big box stores have had their decorations up for weeks meanwhile the rest of us still haven’t raked the leaves off the lawn.  Salvation Army kettles will be out one of these days but that’s all right because the Sally Ann are the good guys. Although I wish they‘d lay off the liquor store or at least change shifts a little more often. I get embarrassed carrying out cheap sherry three times a day and have the same person staring at me.

Whose bright idea was it to hold Christmas in December anyway? It’s freezing out there. It sure wasn’t mine, or the Lord’s either. Who would want to be born in a manger when it’s 30 below zero?

Christmas in December! It’s too hard on us Canadians.

Why can’t the flippin’ Australians stand outside in two-feet of snow trying to put up a string of tacky icicle lights? Why does it have to be us?

Let Crocodile Dundee wander around a Christmas tree lot with a 90-mile an hour blizzard howling around his scruffy buns – not me.

Just once I’d like to celebrate Christmas in the summertime, maybe sit in the back yard with a couple of cold ones singing, “Chestnuts roasting on the barbecue”

That’s my idea of a Merry Christmas, not freezing to death in the dead of winter!

Last year you said to yourself, “Self, I’m going to start early next year. I won’t be caught again” But you won’t; no you’ll be lined up outside the door at a convenience store at midnight on the 24th trying to convince the guy to open the door – just like you did last year and the year before.

We all do it. Well not necessarily the ladies. Women often have the opposite problem; some of you shopped in July. You have the gifts, but you have no idea where you hid them. You’ll tear the house apart looking – nothing.

Then sometime around St. Patrick’s Day or the 24th of May you’ll find them. The whole stash will be hidden under your bed with the dust bunnies. If you’d dust under there occasionally you would have found them.

We all know we spend too much on Christmas gifts and every year we promise ourselves we will cut back on the spending, especially the amount of money we spend on our loved ones.

That is an excellent idea and we should all think about it, however great care must be taken when cutting back on the cost of a gift or gifts for a husband or wife. I have friends who did just that, but it didn’t work out quite as well as they thought it would. Her gift to him was a tremendous success, a pair of red thong underwear – cost $ 9.95 plus HST. He could hardly wait for the YMCA to open so he could parade around the locker room and show his friends.

His choice of gift for the woman who shared his bed, and had for over 20 years – well, let’s just say it was not met with the burst of love and enthusiasm he so desired, nose hair clippers, $12.99, on sale at Walmart.

As he said to the rectal surgeon as he was lying face down on the operating table, “Next year I’ll hire a gift counsellor.”

Like it or not Christmas is a-comin’. Once again we get to watch old Alistair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge sailing across London in his nightshirt ― probably not wearing any underwear, the disgusting old pervert. I guess it wasn’t his fault. How would you like to have three ghosts haul you out of bed in the middle of the night and drag you through an open window?

There are endless Christmas carols flooding the air every day and night at Shoppers Drug Mart, Canadian Tire and God knows where else – over and over the old standby carols like the dumbest one of all time, the Little Drummer Boy.

Have you ever taken the time to listen to the words of that little gem? Poor Mary has been up all night taking turns with Joseph walking the baby, the baby had colic and this was centuries before Gripe Water. He finally drifted off to sleep about six in the morning and this little jerk shows up. “I have no gift to bring,” he says and starts whacking away at a flipping drum – pa rum pum pum pum.

Imagine hammering away at a drum at 6:00 o’ clock in the morning. Where were his parents?

In bed, that’s where. They wanted to sleep in. So they gave the little dipstick a bowl of Rice Krispies and sent him out to play with a drum. It’s six o’clock do you know where your children are? I know where he’d be if he lived on my street.

He’d be walking up and down Woodside Drive with a pair of drumsticks sticking out his… I’m sorry I got carried away there.

Ten years after that first Christmas morning, he was one of the kids the Pharisees arrested in downtown Bethlehem for sitting on a souped-up donkey with the radio cranked up so high the damned donkey was jumping three feet off the ground.

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