HomeCity NewsTo the Naughty … and the Nice

To the Naughty … and the Nice

Merry Christmas if you really nailed it this year. Merry Christmas if you didn’t.
Merry Christmas is you dropped five bucks in the big red bucket. Merry Christmas if you tipped the sax player on the street.
Merry Christmas if you wired a wreath to the front of your firetruck. Merry Christmas if there are antlers on your Ford.
Merry Christmas to the Northern Lights. Merry Christmas to the naughty … and the nice.
Merry Christmas if you give everything you earn to the IRS, your mortgage banker, your cell carrier. Merry Christmas if you’re leery of 2023.
Merry Christmas if you’re silly. Merry Christmas if you’re sad.
“What is Christmas?” asked artist Agnes Pharo. “It is the tenderness of the past, the courage for the present and hope for the future.”
That’s a lot to ask of this creaky old holiday. Yet …
Merry Christmas to Mexico. Merry Christmas to France.
Merry Christmas if Santa looks younger than you.
Merry Christmas if you think the best holiday movies are in black and white.
Merry Christmas even if you’re tired of hearing Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas if you’re sick of cheap sentiment.
I so get it. Decency shouldn’t come and go. It isn’t seasonal. Decency is a bedrock American value. Seems wrong that we’re extra decent only at Christmas.
“What’s madness but nobility of soul at odds with circumstance?” wrote Roethke.
Well, that’s convenient, isn’t it? It forgives too much. To my mind, nobility of soul triumphs over madness.
Then again, I’m an old softy … a Cubs fan … a sucker for the holidays. What do I believe in? Everything.
Merry Christmas if words are your wrapping paper. Merry Christmas if “Chestnuts” stirs your soul.
Merry Christmas if you can spot an ideogram in the winter sky.
Merry Christmas if you’re in it just for the cookies. Merry Christmas if you’re in it just for the rum.
Merry Christmas if you’re into the sculptures of Bernini. Merry Christmas if you’ve a soft spot for Thomas Kincade.
Merry Christmas if you think that, in “Christmas Vacation,” Beverly D’Angelo was magnificent, dressed and coiffed to look like Donna Reed.
Merry Christmas if you like the parties. Merry Christmas if you really don’t.
“What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day,” joked the great Phyllis Diller.
Merry Christmas if your favorite part is the sweaters, the scarves, the plaid. Man, I love plaid. Each Christmas, I become my dad.
Merry Christmas, Pops.
Merry Christmas, Mom, Posh and Christopher. Aunt Stephanie. Cousins Ricky and Andrew. Merry Christmas to my late buddies Don and Paul, too.
Merry Christmas to the doctors and the nurses and the volunteers who play the grand piano in the hospital lobby.
This is how bad it is right now: Before he could get a room, my buddy Ulf waited two days housed in a storage closet at a local ER. “Everybody yells here,” he said of the other patients. “I use sugar. Guess who gets results?” he asks.
“The yellers?”
“Yep,” he says. “The yellers.”
Bless Ulf, the wisest wise guy around, as he outruns the storm clouds that have been hounding him. Bless his beautiful soulmate, Brooke.
Bless all my silly buddies –– past and present –– who fill the world with their belly laughs.
Bless those who show patience in an era where, as novelist Walter Kirn put it, so many scolds are “spitting with righteousness, so strict, so pinched, Victorian rectors pointing bony fingers.”
Merry Christmas to those who make the music. Merry Christmas to those who finesse the food.
Merry Christmas to doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles.
Merry Christmas to white Christmases. (If the white runs out, I’ll drink the red.)
Merry Christmas to the guys and gals who drive the plows, work the ski lifts, deliver mountains of packages.
Merry Christmas to Smartacus, my sidekick, my very best pal.
Merry Christmas to my sisters … my lovely and patient older daughter, to Finn, Aunt Rapunzel and Uncle Truck.
Merry Christmas to my Christmas angel, Catty Cakes. Merry Christmas to the beguiling beauty with moonlight for hair.
Merry Christmas to Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you.
Still trying to set up a holiday gin bash, probably in the week after Christmas. Please stay tuned for details. In the meantime, for past columns, books and gifts, please visit ChrisErskineLA.com. Thank you.

Most Popular

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=3]