This month, my writing partner, Holmes, and I are dedicated to spreading cheer and relieving the tension of the holidays. We invite you to send your questions to me, a pragmatic author/belly dancer who tries to reach a win/win result every time, and Holmes, a man with experience in intelligence and covert operations who thinks 90% of life’s problems can be solved with sex, C4, or hollow points.
Spook and belly dancer. Not us. Click here for the From Russia with Love belly dance scene.
This week, Catie Rhodes asks . . .
I’m taking the sausage stuffing and one pie to the family get together. I feel like I should bring something more. My mother says to forget it. What do you think?
What a great opportunity, Catie. Yes. You should definitely take something more.
Pick up some flowers and hand write a note to your mother about how special she is. I know nothing about your mother, but even if she is competition for Mommie Dearest, she has given you something during your life that keeps you coming back for the holidays. Tell her what that something is, and do it in your own handwriting.
That way, when her babies go back to their lives – the lives that don’t include her the way they did twenty-five years ago – she can look at that letter and hold you close in her heart. I’ll bet she won’t ask you to bring anything next year. And let’s face it. A letter is a whole lot faster and cheaper than sausage stuffing and pie. So consider it an investment. It’s win/win.
It depends on how much you like the company. If they’re fun, that’s enough. If they are intolerable, bring some good brandy, but keep it to yourself.
Nigel Blackwell is trying to figure out some efficient shopping approaches . . .
Here’s my problem (at least the printable one), if I buy my daughter a razor scooter and accidentally buy an extra, adult sized one with the name “Nigel” written on the outside, what can I do to convince my wife it was an honest mistake?
And could the same excuse be used for anything taking a 9mm round?
I can’t see that any convincing would be needed. Spin it this way.
“Honey, you work so hard and do so much around the house for me and the kids that I wanted to make your holiday shopping easier. So I went shopping for myself. Look, dear. I even wrapped my gifts. You don’t need to worry about a thing.”
Also, if you go for the 9mm item, get a matching one for her. The family that shoots together . . . Well, I don’t know, but it works for us. And if she doesn’t like her matching 9mm gift, please just send it to me. I’ll make sure it gets a good home. It’s win/win, especially for me.
Nigel’s wife on Christmas morning
From those convoluted English sentences, I’m having to guess you want a razor scooter and a 9mm pistol. It’s always best to settle any firearms questions during the dating process. I always recommend taking your sweetheart out for a couple of shooting lessons before the relationship gets too serious because if they are firearms phobic, it’s best to know before you tie the knot.
Given that your daughter’s old enough to want a scooter, I’m guessing that knot with your wife is already tied. I suggest you just be honest with her and tell her you’re going to buy yourself a pistol for Xmas. If you think it’s going to be a problem, start by telling her you’re going to buy a scooter, a corvette, and a pistol, and then negotiate down to a pistol. You’re married, but you’re still a big boy. You get to have a pistol if you want one.
A pistol is a bit on the extravagant side, so maybe you should forego the scooter. As long as you’re careful, there’s less chance of you hurting yourself with the pistol than with the scooter. If your wife really resists on the pistol, do what I do to my wife. Offer her a month of sex at no charge. She’ll have a good laugh and then let you have your way.
And feeling festive with Hanukkah Hoopla, Renee Jacobson asks . . .
How can I spruce up my menorah?
You can go two ways with this. You can embrace the secular aspects of the holiday season and incorporate them into your Hanukkah celebrations, or you can emphasize more Hanukkah-like sprucing.
image from afoolintheforest.com
If you opt for secular, you could weave a strand of twinkly lights through the candlesticks on your menorah. You could also use a reindeer antler menorah with a large red nose and a presser button that plays The Dreidel Song.
If you prefer more Hanukkah-like sprucing up, you could get a beautiful blue table runner to put underneath your menorah and sprinkle around lots of chocolate gelt. Hint: This would definitely be the classier option. The other might have you mistaken for Sarah Palin.
Because of the religious significance of the menorah, I would stick to a low-key electric menorah display for the window, and for indoor use a menorah with real candles in a safe location would be a great touch. Conservative Jews might take offense at too much “dressing up” of a menorah display. I don’t happen to be Jewish (and the Pope is still trying to erase all records of me) so I’m hardly an authority on what’s acceptable for menorah displays.
I realize that you might not be a practicing Jew, but even if that’s the case, I think it would be nice to teach the youngsters to have a little respect for their ancestors’ culture and religion. The menorah is a lovely symbol of hope and miracles that casts a positive image of hope beyond the Jewish community, and, in my view, it requires no improvement.
You can always have a Christmas tree in another corner and make it as glitzy and outlandish as you like.
Happy Hanukkah to all of good will.
Renee is celebrating Hanukkah at her blog, Lessons from Teachers and Twits, and on Twitter at #HanukkahHoopla. Don’t be shy. Drop in and enjoy the blessings of the season. Candle 1: #HanukkahHoopla!
What advice would you give these folks? What are your holiday survival questions?
Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, and Happy Water Buffalo Day to you. May the peace and joy of the season fill your heart.
Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse
Holmes–Student of Sex, C4, and Hollow Points