I’ll be home for Christmas because there’s no place like home for the Holidays, the Happy Holidays, may the calendar keep bringing Happy Holidays to you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to the little town of Bethlehem on a Silent Night. Come they told me, Pa rum pum pum pum, come, all ye faithful joyful, comfort and joy, oh-oh tidings of comfort and joy-oy…deck the halls with boughs of holly fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la tis the season to be jolly Old St. Nicholas lean your ear this way don’t you tell a single soul what I’m going to say, Baby it’s cold outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. And since we’ve no place to go, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snowman was a jolly happy soul with a corn-cob pipe and a button nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh bells ring are you listening­–do you hear what I hear? Because what I’m hearing is just about enough of that.

So this is Christmas…and what have you done? Personally I have done enough. And considering that this is being written by me a week prior to it being read by you doesn’t say a lot for where my holiday spirit stands at the current moment (current while you’re reading, not me writing). I’ve already had all the happy holidays I can handle at this point (point, when I’m writing, not you reading). Thus I have little inspiration or creativity left to put into what will be this last column before X-mas. So Bah-humbug I’m done and what you get is a standard-issue “Twas a Night Before Christmas” rip-off. Enjoy!

Ahem… Twas a week before X-mas and in the House o’ Saw I find myself not caring…not caring at all. The stockings are hung but the shopping’s not done­—it’s costly to buy s*** for everyone! And here I sit weary in my old chair, writing this article, did I say I don’t care? When out…in the hall? There arose…such an irritatingly high pitched squeal…what the hell is that noise? “Whooo-hoooo!” (bobbidy, bobbidy, bobbidy) for those of you unfamiliar with comic sound effects, multiple bobbidys are the sound of little feets racing across the floor. “Whooo-hoooo!” (bobbidy, bobbidy, bobbidy). In this instance the feets belong to John Q., my yellow stuffed bear side-kick. “Whooo-hoooo!” (bobbidy, bobbidy, bobbidy).

John! What the devil are you doing? “Whooo…” he pauses mid whooo-hooo to answer, “I am not the adorable John Q. bear guy, Whooo-hooo! I am the Past Christmas Spook! You summoned me with your humbugging! Whooo-hoooo!” (bobbidy, bobbidy, bobbidy).

John, knock it off and stop running around, you’re not the Ghost of Christmas Past! He stops and looks at me rather defiantly. “Yes I am too also the Past Ghost!” he proclaims, “It’s Christmas time, I am making the ghost noise and I’ve already runned PAST you lots of seven times! Whooo-hoooo!” (bobbidy, bobbidy, bobbidy).

Umm John, that’s not what the Ghost of Christmas Past is supposed to do. Aren’t you going to take me back in time and remind me of all the wonderful Xmases from years gone by? He pauses again, “That’s stupid! I am the ghost and ghost are not back to the future movie, they’re scary! But if I can’t do the scare into the Christmas spirits there will be more ghosts, Whooo-hoooo!” (bobbidy, bobbidy, bobbidy). And off he goes. More ghosts? I wonder what he meant by…

“Umm excuse me sir but…boo!” Oh hey, it’s my secretary…”The Secretary” (that’s actually her name) The…why are you dressed like a Christmas gift box? You look like a holiday stripper-gram! Being rather modest, she replies, “Mr. Q. bribed me with peppermint flavored scones to play the role of…as he calls it the “Ghost of Christmas Presents”…boo!” OK, but why are you riding side saddle on our resident zombie reindeer? “Sigh…because I can’t walk in this thing! Now if you don’t mind, Mr. Saw, can we proceed with this charade? I feel very… unprofessional.” Certainly The, go right ahead. Pulling a notecard from…somewhere The reads, “Boo, I am the Ghost of Christmas Presents that you will not get if your holiday spirit doesn’t get scared and be more spiritual…I did not write this, sir, these are Mr. Q’s words…if you don’t be the scared of ghosts Santa will not bring you any-no presents under the tree boo!” Putting the card away, The breathes a sigh of relief, “Well that’s that, if there’s nothing else, I would like to change into my usual attire…good evening Mr. Saw.” The rides away into the hallway.

Of course considering the course of story line events, a Future Ghost should be next…gee… I wonder who…Jiminy Christmas Frank! How and when did you get in here? Frank AKA the Angel of Death (a personal friend of mine) stands by my desk clicking his lobster claw hands. (We had to replace his bone forearms and hands when he lost them last year during our battle with Lobster Claus). So Frank, I suppose you’re here to raise my holiday spirits by threatening a sad, lonely, gift-less death in years to come? He shook his skull and pointed a claw at the list on my desk. Oh, you just want to know if I jotted down your stocking stuffer for the jolly fat man. He nods. Yeah, right here: one carton of Marlboro reds. Be wary of death, for he is a mooch … even to Old St. Nick.

The reaper turns to leave then pauses. The room grows dark, the temp drops several degrees and the earthy scent of a freshly dug grave wafts on the air. And this right here is why Frank never speaks. But now he does. “Though our synthetic fiber filled companion’s methods are askew, his intentions are pure. He simply wants you to find and share the joy of the season. As for the future, the fact that you have even just the potential for a future Christmas is cause for revelry. The past is gone, but the present is the future in the making. So make the best of it my friend, because when I come for you in the future it will be the present and there will be no more tomorrows.” With that, Frank swirls out of the room with dark foreboding and a kinda fishy smell.

Well that was weird and unnerving. Still it’s nice to know my friends are willing to go through some trouble to lift my holiday spirits. Hopefully you have the same kind of friends…well nothing like these guys, but folks who care enough about you to help make your holiday merry and bright, as you should in return. So with that said, a Merry Christmas to all, next week.

Original graphic artwork for this week’s column was provided by my longtime friend Rob Sherrod — ‘preciated!

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or email me at [email protected]

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!