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"Dear Santa, if I have to watch 'Elf' again, I’ll lose my frankincense."

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"Dear Santa, if I have to watch 'Elf' again, I’ll lose my frankincense."


O Come, All Ye Frenzied

It’s Ho-Ho-Horrid When the Mind Cedes to Seasonal Bedlam


I wanted to write a column this week. I swear I did. I yearned to slowly, inconspicuously crawl away from the taxing tumult of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year™ and dive into a wistful disquisition on Oregon’s potential legalization of psychedelic mushrooms — or whether “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is really the date-rapey jingle we’ve long suspected.

But my head was having none of it, occupied as it is with visions of sugar plums. And shipping deadlines. And parade parking. Each time I sat down to my keyboard, cracked the ole knuckles, and tried to channel witty & erudite, but what came lurching out instead was spacey & lunatic. In gushy, paroxysmal spurts and sloppy, involuntary dribbles of language. Like this:

DON’T FORGET THE ADVENT CALENDAR! (Wait … WTF is an “Advent”? Look that up in case kids ask.) “Giddyup, jingle horse, pick up your feet!” Need eggnog. Write check for newspaper delivery dude even though I’ve never laid eyes on the guy. Ooh! I know! I’ll bring a zombie garden gnome to the white elephant party! Wait … WTF is a “white elephant”? “Good King Wenceslas looked down something something something!” Pick up carton of eggnog. I don’t care what anyone says, I’m going 100 percent gift bags this year and calling it a “sustainability” thing. “Run, run, Rudolph, ’cause I’m feelin’ like a merry-go-round!” Remember to grab eggnog. Wait … WTF is “eggnog”?

I know. I know, dear reader. It’s bedlam in there, and if I could hose it out, I tell you I would. There are far more important things to be fretting about today. But you and I have a special sort of relationship: I confess my derangements to you, and you occasionally stop me in line at the post office to say, “Hey, Nutjob! It’s cool. I, too, am completely mental!” And somehow that makes it all okay. So rather than grapple with the elves who’ve hijacked my head, I’m going to just let it all hang out this week. I hope that, if this particular strain of year-end mental maelstrom feels familiar to you, you’ll be comforted to know you’re not alone.

An authentic transcript of my holiday-muddled mindscape:

• Aack! Need new guest sheets for pullout bed. No way I’m putting on those old blue ones … Hold on. I may have already bought sheets? Are they in this closet? O HOLY NIGHT! Okay, family meeting! This closet is pandemonium and nobody gets lunch until it’s cleared out. I mean it. The holidays are about togetherness, and we’re doing this together if it kills us. Hours of us … together. Hunting for non-hideous sheets. In this hellhole of a closet. Buried under the physical embodiment of our overconsumption and laziness. I love you guys.

• Do they make pot-infused cider? Possible gift for Grandma. Google tonight.

• Remember to buy thank-you notes. Do people send thank-you notes for Christmas gifts? If I make my kids write thank-you notes, can I get a pass for letting them eat peppermint bark for dinner? Stop it — you know very well you finished the peppermint bark during your online-shopping binge. Oh, god, do a bunch of squats, you savage; 30 for the bark and another 30 for not supporting local businesses. Yes, right here, right now while you’re all watching Die Hard. JUST DO THE SQUATS, CANDY ASS!

• Is Die Hard really a Christmas movie? A corpse in a Santa hat and Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” do not a feel-good family sofa-night make. Is it more damaging to your kids to watch a two-hour high-rise killing spree — or follow the meet-cute porn-star storyline in Love Actually? Dear Santa, if I have to watch Elf again, I’ll lose my frankincense.

• 1st New Year’s Resolution: Consider moving to Oregon and manufacturing magic-mushroom cider. “The neighbors might think … Say, what’s in this drink? I wish I knew how to break the spell …”

Read more at starshineroshell.com.

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