Missing: Have You Seen Me?

NAME: Kris Kringle (aka: Santa)
AGE: A little older than his teeth
KNOWN ASSOCIATES: Jingle and Jangle (elves), Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, et al., Frosty, Rudy, R. H. Macy
LAST SEEN: On 34th Street

Though the miracle wasn’t so much being recognized by the State of New York as it was getting the Postal Service to deliver his mail on Christmas Eve.

But back in ‘47, he was everywhere – ringing bells at red kettles, bouncing whiny kids on his knee.

And along the boulevard of frosted store windows, pretty legs in wispy skirts would scurry past gentlemanly tipped hats on their quest to gain that one grateful gift to celebrate a holiday worth celebrating.

Today’s scene is unrecognizable: An already over-indulged shopping season has devolved into department floor brawls by the ugly and self-absorbed to selfishly snatch away this season’s must-have from other greedy shoppers.

Fortunately the tykes (for which this holiday was supposedly hatched) no longer have to fret about being “…good for goodness sake”, grownups have set the bar pretty low on naughty or nice.

Now, the jolly Elf’s mug can only be found on milk cartons. (If they still make milk cartons. Or milk.)

But no Santa. No Santa-mas.

Yeah, there’s far too much self-will in the holiday and not enough St. Nick.

Oh, sure… there will always be a festive holiday (by whatever name) the merchants will see to that.

The Greeting Card Channel will run ‘round the clock holiday specials because “…we need a little Festivus” in July but nobody knows why.

And your neighbors will ignite their obnoxiously massive light arrays just after Labor day (preempting all other red letter’d holidays that stand in their way).

Except Unthanksgiving Day, of course, at which time celebrants will pause to give thanks to the Almighty Buck and the dollar discount stores that open early to give us this day our Pre-black Friday door buster sales in his name.

Amen.

As in a sad search for meaning, we drown goodwill toward men in a meaningless charade of light displays, cesspool office parties, and ‘nog.

Till finally on the morning following a Santa-less Eve, circling worshipers join hands and carol to a pre-lit LED evergreen like a chorus of Whoville Whos.

Let’s face it, the season needs a reason.

How about the Grinch? For one thing, he’s already spent Twas the Night before posing as the big guy and he did return with all the pilfered plunder. Of course, the ceaseless reruns of that itty-bitty puppy pulling Greasy’s sleigh may pose a problem with the Dept. of Cartoon Critter Nannies.

What about Kevin? After all, Home Alone is pop culture’s must see holiday TV (eclipsing It’s No Longer a Wonderful Life) and the lad did stumble upon the timeless truth of the season: Family is a nuisance. Alas for some, defending his castle with a BB gun may come across as little too NRA-ish.

Mariah Carey? Well… Mrs. Claus maybe but probably not mister. Though Hollywood’s gender-benders would love kicking another patriarch to the curb. But do we really want to remaster those Bing, Perry, and Beach Boy classics along with all them old time hymns into an endless elevator loop of: ♪ “All I want for Christ-less Day is you!” ♬

…baby?

Well after that, there’s not much left in society’s cultural storage stable except…

A herd of plywood reindeer
Some licensed Disney inflatables
A handful of creepy voice-activated dancing snowmen
And one rustic barnyard feeder

…which must’ve been left behind by a former occupant (apparently a carpenter) because it just doesn’t seem to fit in with all this other holiday stuff. The splintered trough doesn’t light up, play Jingle Bells, it’s not even genuine MADE IN CHINA plastic. Kinda like Charlie Brown’s needle-free tree, it clashes with the rest of society’s retro-mod holiday motif.

Still – it does have this quaint Currier & Ives vibe going on. Maybe it just needs a little love and a blanket borrowed from Linus. There!

Well… almost.

It still lacks a certain something. Something to fill it… something welcoming, heart-warming, and worthy of worship. Hmmm… what Child is this?

“For unto you is born this day… a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

So, it’s settled then… Charlie in the Box.


He Who Must Not Be Named
Advent heralds the birth of He Who Must Not Be Named.
Not the birth of X.

We Wish You the Merriest
Which is not to suggest that your holiday is in fact a “holy” day, if you don’t want it to be. Or isn’t, if you do.