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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas in Georgia

It's Christmas in Georgia and everybody's here, 'cause no matter how humble there's no place like home for the holidays. I hope your house and your heart are as full as a single-wide trailer. May your yard overfloweth with comp'ny and may their cars crank when it's time to go home.

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 17, 2012

Roadside Georgia Lunch

Every southerner knows that putting BBQ sauce on possum works more wonders than perfume on a pig.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Felling the Tree

My daughter’s teacher sent home a note asking me to write a brief summary of one of our Christmas traditions.  Knowing that all the other students’ parents were most likely asked to do the same, I wracked my brain to think of something original.

I thought of what out family does annually that other families probably don't. Not everyone cuts a tree from the stump and hauls it home, I thought.  I’ll write about that:
Every year in December, about a week before the big day, we pile into truck and car and go in search of the perfect tree: A large feathery cedar with a single trunk and a bird’s nest.  Sometimes we hunt along the roadside.  Sometimes we ferret through forest and field.  Sometimes we look in peoples' front yards. Regardless of where we forage, we start out with high hopes and best intentions.
The night prior, my husband gathers all the necessary tools.  He gasses up the chainsaw, sharpens the handsaw and oils the drill.  A hammer, nails and wire are set at the ready.  And he grabs the duct tape, just in case.
As we go along the next morning, peeling our eyes for the prize, someone eventually shouts, “I see it!  There it is!”

“Oh, it’s beautiful, another voice,” shouts in agreement.
Everyone begins to ooohhh and aaahhh.  Then my husband points out the ignorable.  “It’s on the other side of the fence.  We can’t get a tree from that side of the fence.”

“I thought you brought the handsaw for getting trees on the other side of the fence,” an innocent child from the crowd suggests.  “It’s not loud like a chainsaw.  No one will hear it.”

Taking another approach, my spouse points out the log in our eyes.  “That tree is twenty feet tall with a trunk as big around as Paul Bunyan’s thigh.  It’s bigger than our living room.  We’ll have to chop it into sections to slide it through the front door.”
“So,” a sharp onlooker replies.  “I saw that you got out the wire and duct tape."

Before anyone realizes it, we've talked the patriarch into felling an arborist's dream and Santa Claus's nightmare. Some weak 7 year-old isn't holding up his end of the bargain or the branches as we struggle it into the truck bed. 

Once home, boughs sweep crystal angels from the living room mantel and suck all the joy from the occasion. My husband threatens to throw the thing into the yard. I say we should've just gone to a tree lot and bought a 4-foot, 2-week old, dried up evergreen like normal people. The kids toss on ornaments before its even strung with lights.

Three hours later, we sip hot chocolate and admire the behemoth in our living from a safe distance in the den. Someone sighs, "It's the most perfect tree we've ever had." And we're all reminded of what the season is all about.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Unplugged

I'm not feeling very social media today. I don't care who is making an angel food cake or baking Christmas cookies. I don't care about the sale tweets. I don't want to link up or link in right now. I'm trying to convince my husband to go unplugged for the holidays and he's putting it all over the Internet how I'm bah-humbug.

It's easy for everyone to sit at their desks and side with my soul mate. They don't have to suffer through the embarrassment of blue monster-teeth icicles hanging from their eaves, giving the yuletide an eery glow. Small children with salient memories of the macabre Halloween scene at my house run screaming to the other side of the street.

Worse than what goes up outside is what happens inside this time of year. If you look closely at the picture below, you will see my spouse sitting on the floor on the left side. This is the calm before the storm, because as you can also see, our Christmas tree is not artificial, nor has it been pruned into a perfect Christmas tree triangle. Our tree is a gargantuan cedar sawed straight from the forest and then wrestled through our front door.

What happens next is horrific. Standing amidst the knots of lights facing off with an untamed sample of wilderness, my husband begins cussing the lights onto the tree. It starts in low, but then like the Whos down in Whoville, it starts to grow.

My children think this is a Christmas tradition in everyone's home. So when I suggested that we have an old fashioned Christmas and go unplugged for the holidays, everyone turned on me. They cherish the annual argument between their father and me about the gigantic length of plastic plugs, one connected to another and so forth, dangling down the front of the tree. For them, it wouldn't be Christmas if their parents didn't discuss why entire strands of lights swagged between branches instead of being nestled neatly in the tree.

And they say they love, love, love the monster teeth menacingly stretched across the porch . . . as long as I get them home before dark so they don't feel like they're walking into the jaws of doom.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mayans on the Fiscal Cliff

So, one evening, my husband and I sat in the calm of the living room, enjoying a glass of wine while the children upstairs threatened to send the ceiling crashing down on us. The wine was not enough to distract us completely from the mayhem overhead, so we began delving into the lack of optimism piping into American homes over the air waves.

The election was over, so now the media needed a new topic to send our hearts racing. They hit the honeypot with threatened back-to-back disasters. First, the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar and right behind that the fiscal cliff. As we own a small business, our discussion turned to how we could capitalize on the community's fears and perhaps produce a ray of sunshine.

The next day, I penned a radio spot, which my husband recorded. It ran on our local station, WTHO, last week. Today, it's running on my blog for you. And I hope it gives you a happy glow, too:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Make Preparations Now - The End is Near

Despite the number of times we've braced ourselves for the world to "end," it still rumbles along, spinning through space, kicking up dust. We're all still here. BUT, that could change this month, because the Mayan calendar says that the world will end on 12-21-2012. And lots of people believe that because credible sources like the Mayans, who nobly sacrificed their young virgins, predicted this particular cessation of our planet as we know it, the date must be accurate.

On the upside, there's no need to buy Christmas gifts or spend all that time wrapping them. Our evenings can be spent contemplating the Christ in Christmas and enjoying our trees.

On the downside, those of us who plan to be raptured, must get our houses in order. When the left-behinds come to plunder, we don't want them criticizing our housekeeping or our organization.

We must also consider our pets. Who will care for them after we're gone? Have you worried about this yourself?

As luck would have it, there are plenty of good-hearted atheists who have a soft spot for displaced, un-raptured pets. They will happily come to your house and retrieve your cat, dog, horse, monkey, hamster or whatever in the days following the "end" and provide it a good home. This is not on a volunteer basis, however.

Atheists, despite what you might think, are also capitalists. Eternal Earth Bound Pets, USA, an organization of atheists, charges a nominal fee for providing peace of mind to their Christian friends. A blurb from their web site:

We are a group of dedicated animal lovers, and atheists. Each Eternal Earth-Bound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you've received your reward. Our network of animal activists are committed to step in when you step up to Jesus.

We are currently active in 26 states, employing 40 pet rescuers. Our representatives have been screened to ensure that they are atheists, animal lovers, are moral / ethical with no criminal background, have the ability and desire to rescue your pet and the means to retrieve them and ensure their care for your pet's natural life.

Yes, yes, I too find it baffling that they believe in the rapture but they don't believe in Jesus. There's faulty logic somewhere in this loop. But like I said, those Mayans were a highly intelligent, prophetic civilization capable of mathematical calculations beyond the grasp of anyone since who has claimed to know the hour and the day.

Nonetheless, my inner skeptic is urging me to keep my nominal fee and use it to prepare for Christmas; because chances are pretty good, based on all the results of all the other calls for the world's end, that Christmas will arrive before the rapture.