Please excuse the Twittified title, but I’m posting this early and I might not be able to retweet it with its hashtags on the day it goes up. It scares me a little that I understood what I just wrote, and it scares me even more that I’m not the only one.
ANYWAY, this poem appeared in the Southern Indiana Writers Group Christmas-themed anthology, CHRISTMAS BIZARRE, which is now out of print. The good news is, we have many new members to the group and we’re collecting stories from them set around other festivities. We’re going to retain the stories from the original anthology by members who are still … well … members, add the new stories, and reissue it in perfect-bound and electronically under the title HOLIDAY BIZARRE. “Bizarre” is not an unintentional misspelling of “bazaar”. You can trust me on that.
(with apologies to Ogden Nash)
by Marian Allen
I’ve never been able “to see
if reindeer really know how to fly,” but I know a Christmas tree
All you have to do is take a man–
my husband, for example–
take him to the woods and let him trample
around in the snow, looking for the very best
tree he can find. Let the rest
of the family stay home where it’s warm, or let them come
and argue and call one another’s choices “dumb.”
Choose a tree that looks just the right
size for the room. I guarantee you that the height
of that tree will be at least two feet over,
a fact which you must let your man discover
before he takes the tree inside
so, while everybody else goes in for popcorn and hot chocolate, he can stay out on the porch and cut lengths off the trunk until the tree is less high than it is wide.
let him in.
Next, your man must spend an hour looking in the basement for a tree stand and then you must find it in a minute in the attic.
Your man’s language will become emphatic.
Finally, let the tree not fit the stand, and let it lean once it’s whittled down to size, and let it fall over unless somebody’s holding it, and let everybody start fighting over what ornaments to use and how much tinsel, and let them all get mad and go to separate rooms declaring that they don’t care if the tree never gets decorated and, when all this has been done, open the back door and stand by.
That tree will fly.
Yes, it really happened. Yes, more than once. Hence the title.
WRITING PROMPT: How did each of your parents deal with the logistics of holidays? How did each of their parents?
Hope your holidays are sweet with memories and warm with your love for others.