THIS IS A special time of year when the joy and warmth of the holiday season can drive you right over the brink.
The end is near. Each day is one less shopping day and one less chance to win the lottery that might pay for it all.
Meanwhile, our mailboxes clog up with Christmas bills, credit card offers and that other holiday flotsam, the Christmas letter.
With few variations on the basic theme, the Christmas letter usually consists of several single-spaced pages of fantasy about the perfect lives of perfect people who must live on another planet far away in another universe that’s a lot better than the crummy world we endure.
You know, the ones who always have to brag about how lucky they are and how good they got it.
They got a job. Grandma got out of rehab. They made out like congressmen from an insurance settlement they got by wrecking the family car.
Others use the Christmas letter as an excuse to rub our noses in their medical problems.
I’m not bitter. Anything they can write, I can write better. I think a Christmas letter should be about helping others, to provide a shining beacon to humanity during the darkest period of the year, the holiday season.
A Christmas letter should bring good cheer to the huddled masses and provide a respite to consider, there but for the grace of God you could be writing this Christmas letter.
Looking back on the triumphant highlights of the past year, I couldn’t fail to mention my Christmas colonoscopy. It was to be a springboard for my triumphant return to reality television where the celebrity guest panel and all the folks at home would match the celebrity contestants to the mystery colon for cash and prizes.
Some of the biggest colons in show business were foaming at the mouth to strut their stuff the minute our corporate sponsors jumped on the band wagon. They’re still waiting.
Then there was the shame and humiliation of this year’s Victoria Day Parade. Held every year in Victoria to celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria, the Victoria Day Parade was to be a special event whereby Oil City and Victoria would become Sister Cities forever to herald in a new era of international peace and goodwill across the water to our neighbors to the north.
Unfortunately, our Oil City Skunk Cabbage Festival Float was stuck right behind the Sequim Irrigation Float. That was bad.
The Sequim float had an elegant riverboat theme with the beautiful Irrigation Festival royalty in attendance.
The Oil City Skunk Cabbage Festival Float was me in a canoe on top of a micro-bus.
It’s no wonder the Sequim Irrigation Festival float won first place. The Oil City Skunk Cabbage Festival Float did not even get an honorable mention. The parade was rigged.
In closing, I would like to say that if I had just one Christmas wish to wish, I’d wish to put an end to the divisiveness that has divided our country since our tumultuous national elections.
Ask yourself if the election will matter a hundred years from now.
Of course not. You’ll be dead.
Perhaps we could use this Christmas season to remember the true spirit of the holidays: to spread peace on Earth and goodwill toward men by not mentioning the crooked politicians, the greed-bloated 1 percenters or the Cadillac-driving welfare state at our family gatherings when there are so many other subjects to discuss at the dinner table, like the death penalty, abortion and gun control.
Here’s hoping you have the best Christmas ever.
Pat Neal is a fishing guide and “wilderness gossip columnist” whose column appears here every Wednesday.
He can be reached at 360-683-9867 or by email via patneal firstname.lastname@example.org.