Thursday, June 26, 2008

Welcome to summer and the Christmas countdown

Hump Day
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Pg. D6

School's out. Summer's upon us. Vacations are either here or nearly here for many. The beaches are calling our name. Travel trailers are once again on the highways. Playgrounds are full of excited kids enjoying themselves until September.

If you look at the calendar, you'll also see that we're exactly six months away from the day when Santa Claus comes down the chimney to give all the good girls and boys their presents. Don't shoot the messenger. If you didn't think of it already when you got up this morning, I'm sure some idiot would have reminded you at some point. Well, meet your friendly village idiot right here, folks! That's why they pay me the big bucks.

Don't get angry at me for reminding you of the inevitable. I realize that summer just started, but the days are getting shorter already. Like I said, don't shoot the messenger. I'm just stating facts.

As we trod through the hot summer days ahead, there's no law against the fact that you should already be planning for Santa's arrival. (Hey... What part of "Stop swearing at me!" don't you understand?? Be reasonable, now.) Instead of wasting your time reading a book on a nice beach somewhere, why not take the time to update your Christmas card list? Being six months into the year already, surely someone on your list has moved or been featured in the newspaper's obituaries section. As they say, there's no time like the present to get organized.

It's never too late to start polishing your tinsel in anticipation of the big day. Just because it's packed away in some dark corner of your attic, garage or basement right now, doesn't mean it isn't shedding a few lonely, glittery tears every night hoping that you'll take it out to enjoy its sparkle. Tinsel has feelings, too, you know. (At least that's what the voices in my head tell me.)

And all those plastic snowmen you've put away until December? What about them? Don't you think they'd love seeing what a summer day looks like? Hmm?

You've heard of racism and sexism? Well, there's snowmanism, too. Don't assume they only want to hang out with you around the holidays. Besides, it wouldn't kill them to get messed on by the birds just like we do!

If you enjoy taking walks on nice summer days, why not travel to your favourite local Christmas tree farm and pick out your tree extra early? Beat the rush! I bet the selection is still pretty good because, let's face it, you'd likely be the only one knocking on their door at this time of the year. Don't let society dictate to you when you should choose your tree. Be a rebel!

Kids, it's never too late to whip out your lawn chairs and sleeping bags and set them out at the mall. Santa arrives in November right after the parade, and you'd get the best seats in the house if you got in line now.

And phooey on the Rolling Stones and The Eagles! They have nothing on Santa Claus. When was the last time Mick Jagger gave you a present, huh? Did he ever share his royalties with you? When Satisfaction, Start Me Up or Brown Sugar play on the radio, does Mick send you a nice handwritten note and few bucks to say thanks for listening? No, I didn't think so. Leave out a few stale cookies and some curdled milk for Santa, though, and he leaves you a house full of presents. Not a bad trade-off, huh?

But Santa needs stuff done, too. What about those poor elves at the North Pole? Just because it's nearly July, do you think jolly ol' St. Nick is sending them off to Hawaii for a few weeks of rest and relaxation? I doubt it! He has them chained to their workbenches plugging away night and day making toys, hammering and tinkering away to make sure that little Bobby and Becky Sue have gifts to open on Dec. 25.

Those elves are the true heroes of Christmas, let me tell you. And it wouldn't hurt any of you, dear readers, to head to your kitchens right now to make a few pots of soup for them. It would be a nice addition to their diets, considering that most of what they eat consists of the poor reindeer who fail Santa's boot camp training course. There's nothing quite so pitiful as watching an elf trying not to gag on his 135th consecutive bowl of reindeer pudding.

But do you care? No . . . probably not. We don't have to worry about the North Pole's sweatshop conditions during the summer, eh? It's like church. No need to go to church during the summer, right? Isn't God on vacation just like Santa supposedly is?

I think I've made my point, no? You can all be out on your boats, in your gardens and pushing your kids on the swings in the park, but I'll be at home worrying about those elves shackled to their stations trying desperately to make their daily quota of Baby-Pees-Too-Much dolls, and about the tree ornaments crying their little eyes out every night just waiting to be put on the tree again and the reindeer being tasered for not showing up on time for their flying lessons.

Yes, it's time that we start giving Christmas its due. Just because it's late June doesn't mean that a lot of work isn't happening in the background to give everyone a house full of presents on December 25. Think of that the next time you're basking in the sun on the beach or working in your garden.

Oh . . . and Merry Christmas!

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