Saturday, December 24, 2011
Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Night!
Tonight is the night.
It’s Santa’s big scene. Cookies await him, milk’s in a glass, stockings are hung on the bookshelf with care . . . since they won’t let us have a fireplace in our town. Scrooges. We fixed ‘em though—we bought a DVD of a crackling fire.
You do what you gotta do. Pretend if you have to. When I was a kid, we lived in a trailer in California. Not only did we NOT have a fireplace, we didn’t even have a house. (Even then, real estate was crazy expensive.) I was pretty anxious about how Santa was gonna get inside with all his loot until my dad said they’d leave the door unlocked for him. That should have worried me, but dad was always packing. Which should have worried Santa. I guess they had a secret code worked out so the Big Fat Man With The Long White Beard wouldn’t leave with any flesh wounds.
There’s a lot of fantasy at Christmas. Sometimes even the ‘make believe’ is make believe. My husband and I did some shopping at a Home Goods store a few weeks ago. For a shopping addict like me, that’s like Christmas all by itself. I like Home Goods a lot better than Ross or TJ Maxx—it’s bigger, full of great stuff at the holidays, and a lot more tidy. In December, it’s loaded with elaborate wreaths, sparkling ornaments, and dozens of embroidered stockings. But on this day last month, we stood looking kind of confused at one display of decorations.
It started with the angel shelf sitter. She had a sweet, well, angelic face and was wearing. . . a bustier. Really??? I have no words. We decided it was a quirk. Until we saw the St. Francis of Assisi angel who was shelf sitting next to her, which in itself seems highly inappropriate somehow. I just don't think they should be hanging out together. That’s a unique idea, too—a celestial monk blessing forest animals who perch on his wings. It’s a good thing he had wings, though. ‘Cuz apparently he’d had a knee replacement gone bad. At the end of his hips were two springs connected in the middle by a glass bead joint. It still makes me shudder thinking about it.
We began to inspect the shelf more closely. To the monk’s right stood a fourteen-inch-tall cloth doll dressed in a faded red dress wearing a tall, pointy red hat. On the front of her apron were pockets we could only assume represented Advent since they were each numbered. The problem was there only eleven of them, in random order, between one and twenty-five. I looked around with no success for a matching cone-head doll wearing an advent apron with the other fifteen. Hmmm, I thought. Another communication failure on the outsource contract.
There was a plethora of nutcrackers, none of whom would ever make the grade in a traditional German Christmas celebration. They represented doctors and firefighters and hula dancers (okay, maybe I made that one up) and the ultimate—a sushi chef nutcracker, complete with rice rolls and chopsticks. That’s what did it. Finally, it hit me.
This is it. This is where Santa does his Christmas shopping. In Home Goods.
And this was The Shelf of Misfit Toys.
I’ll never watch Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer the same way again.
And I bought the sushi nutcracker.