Of Christmas Present
December 17, 2015
It goes without saying (then why is it being said?) that everyone knows the timeless holiday story known as A Christmas Carol. At some point you’ve either read, watched or at least heard of this classic piece of literature by the greatest novelist of the Victorian era, Charles Dickens. And if not…what the hell dude? Did you just arrive on the planet or are you the poster child for oblivious illiterate ignorance? This story has been around for over a hundred years. It has been told, re-envisioned and retold hundreds if not thousands of times and that’s just on television. So there’s a good chance that even if you’re not aware that you know the story—you might know the story. And even if you’re not acquainted with the source material, then you at least know the basic concept…
A greedy, wealthy, miserable old miser (i.e., Ebenezer Scrooge) oppresses his employees, estranges his family and is a general all around a-hole to everybody and everything in general. In addition, he has a particular dislike towards all things Xmas. On the eve of Xmas he is visited by four spirits, his deceased business associate (Jacob Marley) and the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future, respectively. Through reminiscence, reality and blatant fear, they convince him to change his ways in time for Xmas morn and just in time to save his damned soul.
Now to be completely honest, this week’s article has absolutely nothing to do with Dickens’ ageless classic… aside from those first two paragraphs. However, it was a necessary reference in order for you to understand the Ghost of Christmas Presents. Because of all the spooks, spectres and entities that reside in Dickens’ work, it is the only one that really exists in our modern society. It’s completely tangible, fully visible and almost guaranteed to be residing in your own home at this very moment.
Don’t believe me? Go look in your closet, that’s usually a good place to start.
Yep there it is. There, hidden in the back, right behind those jeans you’ll be able to squeeze into again someday. Yes, there hangs the pink and purple, argyle plaid sweater vest that your Grandma gifted you two years ago. Just look at the dust. It hasn’t seen the light of day since it was opened on Christmas Eve at the family get together. Oh and look. There on the floor. It’s your official Lord of the Rings, faux hair covered, bare Hobbit feet slippers you got from your cousin back in 2002. Hmm they don’t look like they’ve been worn at all. Hey, look up on the shelf; it’s the soothing nature, natural mountain stream, rock fountain with authentic and relaxing woodland sounds. That was from your Aunt three Xmas’s ago. Didn’t you at least try that thing? Oh yeah, the “authentic and relaxing woodland sounds” sounded like all hell had just broken loose in the forest during a bird orgy. You also learned that if you didn’t stack the “mountain rocks” just so the stream ran right out onto the floor.
Now these items, along with countless others you have tucked into the deepest recesses of your home, do nothing more than linger. Each a constant, haunting reminder of bad Xmas gifts, empty shells of their former brightly wrapped and ribbons glory, they are the Ghosts of Christmas Presents. If it was the thought that counted, brain cell one wasn’t being used when these items were bought. They’re things you don’t need, don’t want and will never use but feel too guilty to donate, re-gift, throw out or just burn. So what do you do to exorcise your home of these malignant spirits?
Do not re-gift! Word does get around and hurt feelings make for a miserable holiday. Burning would pollute the environment and throwing new things in the trash seems wasteful…unless it’s really a sucky gift. The best thing to do is stow it away for a couple of months, then, come spring, discreetly donate it. Some hobo might enjoy those Hobbit feets on a cold night when he’s trying to hop the 3:15 to Burma.
Be sure to tune in next week as we wrap up (pun intended) the holidays and perhaps put a little Krampus in your style.
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Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!