ChainsawSalutations, Season’s Greetings, Merry Christmas, Merry X-mas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Birthday Jesus, Happy Birthday Frosty (did Frosty steal baby Jesus’s magic hat?), Joyous Kwanzaa, Yuletide Greetings, Happy Holidays, Happy Boxing Day, Merry Krampusnacht, Joyeux Noël, Feliz Navidad! And for those who don’t celebrate the season or don’t have a chosen neutral, PC term for whatever you do over the Holidays — Howdy-do!

This is a rare, random and joyous occasion we get to share! For you see ‘tis not oft Christmas Eve falls on a Thursday (a.k.a. Focus’ distribution date). The last time was 12 years ago in 2008. The next is half a decade away in 2025. Hmmm considering it can easily be tracked, calendar-ifically referenced and known years in advance, perhaps not so “random.” Still it is a very joyous occurrence.

Why so joyous, you ask? Well if you are reading this paper on its publication date, then it’s currently “Twas the Night Before Christmas” right now! Or would that be “‘tis” since it’s happening in present, right now tense? Who cares it’s right now – NOW! Of course if you aren’t reading this on the publication date…which was Christmas Eve, and it already ‘twas the night before and no longer ‘tis, well then you probably ruin everything don’t you? Slackers and late arrivers aside… what shall we do with this joyfully rare, none too random, occasion? Well, it ‘tis ‘twas the night before Christmas sooo…

Saw Christmas Tree“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the” … no, no, no! That’s way too obvious and besides, we already took that sleigh ride in the last three sequential issues. After three weeks I’ve run out of things to rhyme, it’s very taxing and we can’t do that all the time!

So this is Christmas… and WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??? Ya know, depending on tone and manner of presentation, those classic caroling lyrics can sound quite accusatory. But seriously, what have you done? Have you prepared precautions to secure safety during your happy holidays?

Did your RSVP include a Covid screening? Will ugly masks replace ugly sweaters? Will you keep your gathering within the required minimum or are you going to take turns standing outside? Have you complained about those gifts that didn’t arrive on time due to vaccine distribution? Because — Hey it’s Christmas! Will hand sanitizer, toilet paper and assorted cleaning products be a big Dirty Santa hit this year? When handing out said gifts, will you have to toss them into the next room and let them be shot, skeet fashion, with Lysol? Will Santa show up decked out in a holiday hazmat suit? At least The Grinch won’t be stealing any Whos’ things this year for fear of cross contamination! Is Doctor Who actually a Whoville physician?

Sheesh this year’s whole holiday season will probably be long remembered in the same sense one recalls a reoccurring nightmare. Can we all agree and would anyone be offended or truly care if we just straight-up called this one X-mas? (Straight-up, now tell me…) Not for the sake of x-ing out Christ (Lord knows we need Him) but just X-ing out the whole friggin year because it’s kinda sucked? We can do that, right? Pretend that it never happened? Hey it worked in the Dark Ages? They totally forgot all those ages… or was it just too dark to take notes?

But ya know it doesn’t have to end this way! There’s still time…a time for love, without any hate, a time for peace… I swear it’s not too late! We can rise above and to infinity and beyond this occasion. And not go quietly quarantined into the night. There’s still a chance to make X-mas merry and bright! Not by blatantly rebelling against “government officials” or laying blame on some rumored political conspiracy agenda. Screw those guys! We just have to do what we the people have always done. Take what we have to work with and make the very best of it: When the world pins you down with a flamethrower — time to break out the weenies and marshmallows.

Not because somebody told us we couldn’t, but rather because we know we can!

Here’s wishing you and yours a very happy, a very merry, a very joyous whatever-the-hell it is you want to do! And to all a Goodnight!

I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.