white christmas, pink slip
The holidays are about to foist
themselves unmercifully upon us dads.
It's the worst time of the year to be
a dad in this day and age.
Particularly when you're a dad like me
with a career track record of having to
dodge bullets (usually scheduling bullets),
left and right just to ice the same
puling amount of family
holiday vacation time that old Bob Cratchit
wrenched out of Ebeneezer lo these
many Christmases ago.
But even Cratchit got to keep his job.
This time, the bullet marked with this dad's
moniker is one aimed right at my
head, and when the trigger is pulled,
I'll ring in the new year with a
gaping hole where my paycheck was,
and as such, no visible means of
supporting my family.
In short, this dad is being blown up.
Fired like a yule log. Caput-ski.
It's the same old, sad old Christmas
hard-luck paradigm. At least it's
not due to anything I've personally done.
Without boring you ceaselessly with the
Melrosian chapter-and-verse (although that
admittedly sounds pretty appealing),
let's just say it was a simple case of Lola versus
Power-man and the Money-go-round (if you're
up on your Kinks). Power-man won the
Money-go-round and sent Lola and the rest
of us packing. Last one out, do the lights
thing. Don't let the door hit you in
the blah, blah blah. Get the picture?
If you're a dad reading this and,
like thousands of us across this wonderful
land of opportunity for the
elite, you suspect your own Christmas
bonus will be a pink slip, and you've
got a couple little kids who are
all bug-eyed full of the magic of the
holidays, listen up.
Do everything in your power, summon every
last ounce of fight within you, to give
them a monstrously cool Christmas. It is simply
too easy to wallow in self-doubt and
self-pity and wassail yourself senseless
with worry. (There'll be plenty
of time for that when the new year comes).
In the meantime, look at it all as an
unprecedented opportunity to give yourself
over to the holiday spirit.
The ladder-climbing cretins infecting our
world will always try to steal your dignity
and make you a numbered cog.
It won't work.
They'll do their best to crack your spine
and tether you with beepers and pagers
and "critical communications" during
your few-and-far between vacation days.
Just say no, no, NO.
The hell with it all.
Go rent every version of "A Christmas Carol"
you can find (even the crappy 1935
one) and play 'em back-to-back.
Rent "Prancer," particularly if you've got
daughters, and let yourself
boo-hoo-hoo and bawl with the kids, because
you should. Tell them which parts of the
Mister Magoo Christmas Carol scared you
to death when you were a kid (Ghost of
Christmas Yet-to-Come, of course), and crank
Johnny Mathis' Christmas record over
and over and over again,
just like your folks did.
Just like when you were a kid,
and the wonder of it all seized you
day and night in a nail-biting countdown
to the most sleepless night of the year
when every bump in the night sent you scampering
to a glacier-glazed window, looking
hard into the cold, December night sky,
hoping beyond hope that you had been good
enough for Santa to come.
Because if Santa was ever good to you, even
only once, the eternal gift he gave you
was hope --- something no self-serving
despot can ever, ever take away
from you. And even if it seems that
right now none of your own wishes are coming
true, be sure to grant someone else's wish
this Christmas, no matter how small.
Grant a wish,
and one day,
all of that hope,
and all of that magic,
will all come back to you.
Click here for an original Thanksgiving story to
read your kids
Click here for an original Christmas story to read
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