My Christmas Suspicions

Here are mine:

1. I don’t believe that Jose Feliciano really wants to wish me a merry Christmas.

2. If you dashed through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, laughing all the way, you’d probably end up with a frozen windpipe.

3. If you asked the other reindeer, they’d tell you they didn’t let Rudolph in their games because they suspected steroids. Because, come on. A red glowy nose just ain’t natural.

4. If a kid started playing a drum near a newborn, the likely result would not be a smiling infant (or mother).

5. If the Grinch’s heart really grew three sizes in one day, the Whos down in Whoville would likely find his frozen body in the spring, the victim of sudden and fatal cardiomegaly.

These are my Christmas suspicions. What are yours?

(also: Merry Christmas. From the bottom of my heart.)

74 Comments on “My Christmas Suspicions”

  1. Merry Christmas to you too. I do hope you aren’t assembling something-my SO still shudders when telling of the Christmas Eve he spent in a basement in frozen Kansas, trying to assemble a Barbie townhouse that was missing parts(it was for his nieces, and their father is hopeless at that stuff).

  2. I’ve always puzzled over Santa’s survivability what with the steady increase in the number of flights filled with holiday travelers. I mean, it’s a crowded sky, and it’s only a matter of time before he and his reindeer are sucked into the engine of a 747 out of O’Hare.

    And, if there’s acid rain, there would be acid snow. And, if Frosty is composed of acid snow, would you honestly trust anything he has to say?

  3. 7. Cindy Lou Who knew full well what The Grinch was up to, she just wanted him to get rid of that ugly sweater grandma got for her that year.

    8. You hear anything from on high, it means that snow cornice overhead has given way.

    9. If the night is silent, you’ve gone deaf.

    10. Bethlehem was a tourist trap back when King David’s first home was the draw.

    11. Have everybody go to where they were born to be counted for taxes. The Romans did some mighty dumb things in their day, but they weren’t that stupid.

  4. Re: #1…what always irked me about that song is that funnily enough, what I hear in the Spanish verse is not “from the bottom of my heart” in the slightest. Maybe I just speak a weird dialect of Spanish, or perhaps it’s one of those “excuse me while I kiss this guy” but “prospero año y felicidad”? Nope.

  5. …there should be a “moments” in between “guy” and “but”, but I fear Santa stole my thought process since I had no cookies to give him.

  6. 12) The guy who sings the male version of Santa Baby has some unresolved issues.

    13) Walking in a winter wonderland really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, unless you’re ten years old and lucky enough that your school was called off.

    14) An Jingle Bell cannot produce rock, no matter how hard it might try. It would need a drum set as backup, at the very least.

  7. That was supposed to be ‘A’ jingle bell, but apparently my fingers don’t always like to do what I tell them, and my eyes enjoy ignoring obvious things. Because they’re special.

  8. Merry Christmas, anyway!

    I’m up ultra-early, wrapping the last and starting the brunch. This is my last year doing this sheise. Next year, my kids make their own breakfast!

    Thanks for a fun year of fandom, Scalzi!

  9. Everything I’m thinking of is dark and depressing! All I’m left with is:

    15) 49 years later, I think we have to admit that everyone’s now dancing in the old old-fashioned way.

    May all your batteries match, everyone.

  10. 16) If not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse, then the narrator of the story shouldn’t be doing anything, either.

  11. @11: He wasn’t doing anything at the time. It was only later that he started springing and flying about, and tearing off shutters to stare at lustrous breasts.

  12. This year I told my youngest son that Santa wasn’t real. There was no intent to hurt him, of course; he asked and it was very clear that he wanted to know the truth, but I put the cookies out just the same.

    Force of habit? Or maybe a long shot bid for some belated redemption? I don’t know, but I’m skeptical of myself this Xmas.

  13. That decking the halls with boughs of holly will lead to cats eating the leaves and then getting poisoned.

  14. 17)That when Bono belted out “tonight thank god it’s them, instead of you”, he was actually betraying deep-set social darwinian beliefs, bordering on pure nihilistic glee, instead of merely giving the least festive holiday wish ever.

  15. (1) The Santa Claus in that new Coke ad where the little girl grows up and later brings him her daughter and a Coke…he’s really a hideous tyrannical God and she’s bringing both child and Coke as a sacrifice. (Seriously, though, that ad is very very creepy.)

    (2) Playing a pagan version of Secret Santa/Greed probably led to the first wars amongst prehistoric peoples. That or terminal boredom.

  16. Listening to Outkast’s “B.O.B” and helping Number One Son make the Transformers he got do some funky moves. Moonwalking Autobots! B-boy spinning Autobot action! Oh, the humanity!

  17. Olive, the other reindeer, was a narcissistic, egotistical brat who grew up resenting Rudolph’s eventual fame.

  18. I believe The Grinch finally grokked Christmas, but they had to run him out of town anyway. Why?

    Because the anti-Semitic bastard tried to throw a wet blanket on Hanukkah. (One local rabbi did concede that the Adam Sandler song got on the Grinch’s nerves as it got on everyone else’s, too. However, that was no excuse.)

    But since his heart had grown three sizes the previous Christmas, he dropped dead of congestive heart failure before anyone could something about him.

    Rumor has it they also had to put down Max the Dog.

  19. – Chestnuts roasting on an open fire have too many carcinogens.

    – Those aren’t silver bells. Silver tarnishes way too quickly when exposed to the elements.

    – I still don’t understand why Captain Sensible’s turkey can’t dance or sing. (Captain Sensible of the punk band, the Damned, went off on his own and made some poppy electro-something, and one of his works was this really weird Christmas song, A Christmas Catalogue. Anyway, since it’s really hard to get normally, the Captain did the sensible thing–ahem–and made it available as a free download. It’s the weirdest Christmas song ever, but I love it so much.)

    BTW, any Yanks who are bummed that they can’t see Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather because of stupid DVD region encodings and the fact that it only played a grand total of once on some movie channel you’ve never heard of, I point you at YouTube:
    Enjoy eet while you can. )

    (BTW, Santa Baby and Feliz Navidad are my most hated Xmas songs. But ever since I read the full lyrics to “It’s Cold Outside,” wherein the guy spikes the girl’s drink and she starts getting sleepy while he continues to put the moves on her, I’ve catapulted that one into the top three on principle alone.)

  20. I suspect that if Sally Brown had stopped and reflected a minute she’d have realized her “fair share” only amounted to a McDonald’s gift certificate and a PEZ dispenser.

    If Heat Miser and Snow Miser were ever to really meet in person the resulting storm front would produce a Tunguska-like thunderclap that would destroy most of North America.

    I know that if I had a time machine I would send the 25-year-old Ebenezer Scrooge a bottle of St. John’s Wort and a few Wayne Dyer and David Allen books and save a lot of people a whole lot of misery.

    Wishing everyone, everywhere, a quiet day without much care!

  21. Emmett Otter and his Ma messed each other’s livelihood up real bad, and all they got out of it was a job in the local diner. Whose owner is probably violating several child labor laws, by the way.

    And if Emmett had won, and put down a down payment on that piano, it would have been repossessed next month anyway. It’s not like they could afford the payments. (Likewise, the guitar that Ma wanted to buy would have been hocked by mid-March.)

  22. … Wait a minute, maybe that sex thing should be the first wish! So, if I made that the first wish, because, you know, it could all go boom tomorrow, and then what have you got? No, no… the kids singing would be great, that would be nice. No, no, who am I kidding! I mean, they’re not gonna be able to get all those kids together! I mean, the logistics of the thing is impossible! It’s more trouble than it’s worth! So, we reorganize: here we go. First, the sex – we go with that; second, the money. No! We go with the power second, then the money, and then the kids. Oh, wait, oh geez! I forgot about revenge against my enemies! Okay… revenge against all my enemies, they should die like pigs in Hell! That would be the fourth wish! And of course, my fifth wish would be for all the children of the world to join hands and sing in the spirit of peace and harmony.

    –Steve Martin

  23. I’m suspicious that the Herald Angels are actually feline – the only thing around my house that goes “Hark” is the cat, just before it launches a hairball onto the carpet.

  24. When Good King Wenceslas saw a grubby peasant on the grounds of HIS castle, gathering wood from HIS trees and tramping all over HIS begonias…somehow I don’t think he invited him back just for lunch.

    “‘A good league hence, underneath the mountain’, you say? That’s quite a walk. Allow me to speed your return. READY THE TREBUCHET!”

  25. I suspect that people will be perfectly happy leaving without getting any figgy pudding. Either that or there will be unspeakable violence.

    Hope your holidays are happy, and free of both violence and figgy pudding.

  26. I suspect she wasn’t really a virgin. After all, artifical insemination isn’t even noted in the history of science until Spallanzani decided to knock up a dog in 1784 AD, when he got bored with Frankensteining snails. (He was a little odd, even for an Italian.)

    Not that the technique is all that high-tech.

  27. I suspect I’m not getting anything good to read this xmass, so I will fork over some dough at Amazon to buy one of your books tomorrow.

  28. I wrote my suspicions up, but the website eated them. :(

    I suspicion the web server didn’t like my urls. Or something.

    [I pulled them out of moderation and they’re in the comments now — JS]

  29. My suspicion is that the person who wrote “We wish you a Merry Christmas” is not someone you want to invite over – whether you have figgy pudding or not.

  30. #21,

    To quote Ogden Nash, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”

    Sometimes a lady needs help getting in the mood. They also tend to be more affectionate when slightly lit. Suppression of inhibition and all that. It isn’t the sex most date rape cases are about, but the fact the man was a bleedin’ cad.

    And to continue my anti-pc ways…

    Mary and Joseph had a shotgun wedding.

  31. I once heard somebody speculate that Mary had only had ritual sex in her persona as a priestess of Ashara (Yahweh’s wife, long since suppressed by the patriarchy) and was thus technically a virgin.

    I have no idea whether any part of the above is accurate, but it’s an interesting idea.

  32. My Christmas suspicion is that we’re all surfing the Web to avoid other holiday-related duties, such as spending time with the in-laws or some such.

  33. Roy Wood wishes it was Christmas every day. So just when does he expect to get the shopping done, stock up on food and drink, etc, if the shops are subsequently closed every day?

  34. 40. Mr. Carlson actually *did* know that turkeys couldn’t fly; he was just a sick old bastard.

  35. That whole virgin birth thing? Uh-uh. It was that guy hanging out behind Mary and the baby. You know, that guy. The one mentioned in Silent Night…Round John Virgin.

    Happy Merry Whatever!

  36. I suspect “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” was the natural result of too much lead-laced ale imbibed from pewter flagons… which gave rise to many now innocuous terms like having a “wake” for the (suspected) dead gentleperson, and being “saved by the bell” by the guy on “the graveyard shift” after waking up from the lead-induced coma and learning you’d been buried alive. With all that jolliness aside, Happy Holidays everyone.

  37. After the sixth or seventh house, the *last* thing you want to do is let these jolly wassailers come in. They’ll just puke all over your floor. “Wassail all over the town” indeed.

  38. Hi John,

    I have been reading your blog regularly but this is the next time I’m commenting on it. Reading your blog has been a ritual for me and I want to thank you for all the happiness you’ve given to me.

    At this time, I want to take the opportunity to give you my heartfelt wishes for Christmas and wish you a great New Year ahead.

    May all your dreams come true :-)

    My Positivity Blog

  39. My Christmas suspicion is that, despite the song lyrics to the contrary, the little Lord Jesus made MUCH crying…and no doubt soiled his share of what passed for diapers as well!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  40. Just back from Xmas Round 1. So far; Family 1, Us 1. So it’s even going into the second round. But before that, wishing you all a Happy whatever you wish to celebrate this time of year.

    My guess would be that Sugar Plum fairies don’t exactly dance, but are highly entertaining none the less.

    Tumbleweed, well, wild turkeys certainly can fly. Either that or they’ve installed elevators in my woods.

    And it’s certain that the brain dead ad execs who came up with the penguins and polar bear coke commercial were using the other coke and have never read Encyclopedia Brown as kids.

  41. 4. If a kid started playing a drum near a newborn, the likely result would not be a smiling infant (or mother).

    Actually, in my humble experience, newborns LOVE drumming, puts them right to sleep. Granted this is drumming pagen style not a full trap set with Tommy Lee banging away (on the drums, sheesh). A little drummer boy with his little drum = sleeping baby, smiling mom.

    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, etc.

  42. Grandma did NOT get run over by a reindeer. Reindeers don’t leave traces of silver paint across Christmas sweaters, but Grandpa’s Cadillac just might.

  43. Yup. Twelve days of Christmas, and what passes for Christmas for a lot of people is actually Advent. I like Christmas, but I _really_ like Advent and Epiphany.

    Anyway, I suspect that “gay apparel” has an entirely different meaning than it used to have.

    Merry Christmas everyone.

  44. Regarding the Coke polar bears & penguins commercial, it sounds to me like another of the librul media conspiracy’s metaphors for illegal immigration.

    Since, as any well informed person knows, polar bears are only in the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere, and penguins live only in the southern hemisphere.

    (Digressing, I am now recalling a book I read as a wee child Mr Popper’s Penguins which ends with a very Ecologically Incorrect attempt to introduce penguins into the Arctic.)

  45. Pixel Fish – Hey, thanks! Actually, I caught Hogfather when it played at Thanksgiving, but we’re now waiting for the American release of the British version of the DVD. (There is an American version, but with none of the bonus features and etc.)

  46. Drew #55: re: “gay apparel”

    Yeah, chaps (leather, not Ralph Lauren) at Christmas really does let the cat out of the bag so to speak in cliches (though I’m not sure whether the person who put ANY cat in the bag gets “mad props” or if that’s not just another definition of insane “oh man, homeless dude was like all puttin’ cats in bags insane!”)

    /end thread topic drift . . . .

    And Tully 59: Mad props for a WKRP reference: “With God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!”

    As for my xmas suspicion . . . . long before you’d have frozen in that one horse open sleigh, you’d have been driven mad by the bells, the bells, the bells!!

    I’m thinkin’ the Grinch just wanted a decent noise ordinance. The majority can be so insufferable . . . .

  47. Tully, oh yes, real (natural unbred for consumption) turkeys can fly . . . . them fat monstrosities of the delectable flesh, oh, they would drop as fast as the frozen ones . . .

  48. My fulfilled Christmas suspicions:

    1) I am an ungrateful wretch
    2) My husband’s family is like hotel room art. Not completely distasteful, but you wouldn’t want it in your home.
    3) No matter how specific I am, his family will come up with crazy-ass gifts for the spouse and myself. And not crazy in a good way crazy, but crazy in a WTF?!! way crazy.

  49. #63 Tania: 3) No matter how specific I am, his family will come up with crazy-ass gifts for the spouse and myself. And not crazy in a good way crazy, but crazy in a WTF?!! way crazy.

    So, like putting cats in a bag crazy?

  50. We like cats. Cats in a bag would be bad for the cats, but we’d love the little buggers, and try to pacify them with tuna after the traumatic bag-incident.

    But not dead at in a bag crazy. Actually, my FIL just might do something that odd and creepy.

    Crazy like “I know you like cats and bacon, so I found this place in Kentucky that makes cat bacon. You’ll be getting a flich a month for the next year.” Crazy like that. Seriously. Makes you go WTF?!?

  51. I know for a fact that Jose Feliciano would not wish you a Merry Christmas. Jose Feliciano was the name of my drill instructor in basic training, and I know he wouldn’t wish anyone a merry anything.

    True story.

  52. Tania @65,

    While I’m glad I’m not related to your father-in-law, I do think it’d be fun to have a beer with him. That kind of crazy can be a recreational sport.

  53. John Scalzi wrote:

    Sara Genge:

    What are you talking about? There are twelve days of Christmas! We’re in this through January 6!

    Lucky you! In Spain we have Three Kings on January 8th. As if the little brats of the world needed to get presents from Santa AND the Three Kings. And don’t, for even one second, think that presents are spread out between the too days. Oh no, nothing’s too good for Spanish kids. It’s double presents or nothing.

    Of course, since I’m half American, I used to get St Nicholas, Santa Claus and the Three Kings. That was cool. It might also explain why I was kinda pudgy as a kid: there’s only so much candy a body can take. :P

    South Americans have a cooler custom, though. They get presents on Christmas… delivered by the Baby Jesus Himself! Whoever said that God doesn’t involve himself in small petty dealings was oh so wrong. Have you ever seen a more tangible miracle? Screw transubstantiation, I want me my toys.

  54. Mistake, obviously Three Kings is the sixth and the Three Kings actually deliver presents the night of the 5th. School starts on the 8th, so that’s why I mixed up the dates.

    Still, it doesn’t matter. Christmas won’t end until the 8th, when bored school-less children will be schooled and stop ringing my doorbell just for the fun of it.

  55. Jingle door-bells?

    Sadly, I’ve never heard of Three-kings day until earlier this month. If I had know, I probably would have lobbied for it as a kid. My birthday is the 29th, though, so I usually made out pretty well overall.

  56. Heck, you could be like one of my ex bosses, a fine but pretty secular fellow of the Jewish persuasion whose kids get both Hanukkah and Christmas presents. Yep. A present a day during Hanukkah and a bunch on Christmas.

  57. Bah. I would not begrudge every damn retail establishment’s tendency to play nothing but Xmas music for the entire Twelve Days of Christmas if they had not also played nothing but Xmas music for all of Advent and half of November besides.

    (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is up with that department store commericial that showed advent calendar doors opening before Thanksgiving?)

    My family, a fine Catholic clan from the New Orleans area, do in fact celebrate Epiphany/King’s Day, but not so much as a Christmas adjunct but more as a preliminary to Mardi Gras. Jan 6 is the start of King Cake season, ya know. (Well, I mean, we’d always go to Mass for it, Holy Day of Obligation and all that, us kids whining the whole way, and the sermon would be very Christmas themed, but on her way home from Church, Mom would pick up that first King Cake from McKenzie’s Haydell’s or wherever and then it was time to fight over who got what color of icing and whether one’s sibling was illicitly poking around to identify the slice with the little plastic baby inside.)

  58. Here in South Louisiana, Epiphany (Three Kings Day) is called Twelfth Night, and it is the beginning of the Mardi Gras Season. So, we go straight from the celebration of Christmas, to the celebration of Mardi Gras, into the penance of Lent, into the celebration of Easter and the beginning of Crawfish Season.

    Then comes the oppressive heat and humidity of spring/summer/fall, NO Saints football, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the circle completes itself.

    It’s always either mourning or celebration (or both) in Louisiana.

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