A Series Of Unfortunate Events

Santa, baby, hurry down the chimney tonight.

1. Santa Claus. I could never bring myself to let Santa have his way with the impressionable minds of my young children. Their dad worked to hard and long during Christmas to give any credit to an old fat guy in fake fur. When they would come home with their stories from over indulging teachers and gullible friends....and ask the age old question, Mama, is there such a thing as Santa Claus? "Hell, yeah! And he just happens to be your dad!!!" I'd simply say. "And call me crazy, but his sleigh is a crappy shade of brown. And contrary to popular belief, most all of his stops are conducted (hopefully) before midnight on Christmas Eve, not after. Oh, and one more thing....it's not your birthday, anyway!"

2. Chia Pets. Where do they go the rest of the year? Receiving one could instantly disenchant any santa-believers and only add fodder to the scrooges' arsenal. And what possible response could you conjure up, so as to not hurt the feelings of the gift giver. "It's what I've always wanted."(for my next garage sale) "How'd you know?" (I didn't already have one). "Thank-you" (for giving me faith in the advertising industry again).

3. Christmas decorations. I didn't want to ever speak of this again, but if you're going to have rules you must enforce them. So for those of you who misplaced the memo, here they are again.

OK, I guess were going to have to talk about Christmas decorations. I didn't want to, not this year anyway. I didn't want to come across petty and trite. There are so many more important and urgent things to write about. But somebody has to point these things out and I guess if the press isn't going to do it then I feel it my duty as a citizen, to advise, declare, announce and proclaim from my humble web podium: America, learn how to decorate for Christmas!!!
Disclaimer: I don't decorate outside! My philosophy is that of Thumper's: if you can't do something right, don't do anything at all.
Most common mistakes:

1. Blowup Santas, dogs, snowmen, toy soldiers or anything. C'mon this is just plain cheating...what's next? A blowup nativity scene.

2. Mixing big and small lights together on the same tree. It simply looks tacky.

3. Net lights...these are just too flat out symmetrical. If you have to use nets, make sure they go all the way underneath the bush and go ahead and pull a few of the bulbs out so it doesn't look like you spent six minutes on a warm Sat in November throwing a net over your bush.

4. Not enough lights...let's face it folks, if you have an evergreen as tall as your house...one strand is NOT going to cut it.

5. Mickey and Minnie should not be portrayed as Mary and Joseph. Enough said.

6. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT have all the lights on your tree go on and off at the same time. If you can't find strands that have a twinkle effect just leave 'em on. And by twinkle I mean: one or two lights going on and off very slowly and placed strategically through out the tree. Let me know if you ever come across strands like this cuz I want to buy stock in the company.

7. The only color light that looks good by itself is white.

8. If your plastic soldiers, choir members, candy canes or wise men are faded, its time to rethink the whole yard thing. This goes for characters that can't or won't stay standing for the whole season. It doesn't look good when one of the three wise men is eating a grass sandwich or a choir member is face down in a snow bank. It looks like their gift wasn't good enough or they're really bumming about the auditions.

9. Indoors the RULE is at least 100 lights for every foot of tree. Once again, one strand is not going to cut it, unless, of course, your tree is only 12 inches tall. This should somehow be incorporated into the bylaws of the constitution.

10. Absolutely, unequivocally, and under no conditions whatsoever (indeed, this is a law) are you ever, hereto and forever more, to purchase, decorate with, or view chasing lights. Look away.

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