The Hallmark Bailout; a Christmas Story

Prologue to my 1999 letter during a happier time:

Consider Christmas— could the devil  in his most malevolent mood have devised a worse combination of graft and bogus spontaneity whereby millions of people get a billion or so gifts for which they have little or no use, while wal-mart greeters, overworked clerks, and UPS drivers collapse from exhaustion—all in the name of the lowly Jesus, a poor Jewish kid with a not very promising future?

Alas, little has changed, as the addiction to consumerism flushes us into an economic abyss.  But enough of the cheery stuff; last year I vowed to go digital in 2008….imagine you are reading the USA Today, yesterday, with more pictures, less dialogue.

Abandon the traditional paper greeting ?

Going green for the ‘holiday season ?

‘No Santa checklist from the elfin fairy,

no Botticelli stamp of the Christ Child and Mary,

no sappy card from the mantle to hang,

no tip for the letter carrier who rang ?

The short version of our year; nothing tragic happened.  The sun continues to rise and set and gently toast the world each day.  Lynn still weeps silently at the heart-warming Hallmark hall of fame programs. And that’s during the commercials.    I find it easier to place a few band-aids on a paragraph than to reverse our rising landfills, the melting polar icecaps, or as a grandfather, mastering the art of buckling my male grandchildren into their car booster seats.

Who wants to be remembered, not as the benevolent image of Santa Claus, but as an impatient, insane urologist bent on invoking pain on those tender, private parts?

Merry Christmas, sincerely, from Charles and Lynn


Two ‘live wires’, Connolly Station, Dublin, Dec 10,2008