Misbehaving Relatives? Spanking Santa to the Rescue!

Bayard & Holmes

~ Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes

The most stressful time of the year is upon us. Long lines, visiting relatives, and credit card bills that give bankers a warm, fuzzy feeling in their wallets. But fear not! Bayard & Holmes Holiday Survival is here to help you navigate this cauldron of tension without beating anyone bloody with a turkey leg.

A spook and a belly dancer. Not us. Image from The Man with the Golden Gun.

We, a pragmatic author/belly dancer and a spook who solves most of life’s problems with sex, C4, or hollow points, are clearing our schedules so that we can assist you with your holiday survival questions. In fact, we’ve had a few pleas for assistance already.

Sarah Broogenstegler in Research Pod 3, Antarctica, sent us this desperate missive.

Dear Bayard & Holmes:

My husband, Clyde, and I love the Holidays. Unfortunately, six years ago, after a ten-year stint in Joliet Prison for a Ponzi scheme that bankrupted twelve hospitals, Clyde’s Uncle Harry started showing up uninvited on Christmas Day. We tried to be charitable the first year, but he drank all of our alcohol and mouthwash and fell in the punch bowl. It splashed on the Christmas lights and shorted them out. The ensuing fire nearly burned down the house.

Clyde is a pacifist and made me sell my .45 Colt automatic years ago. Rather than reintroduce firearms into our lifestyle to deal with Uncle Harry, we relocated to Antarctica. Last week, though, we got a radio message that Harry had somehow acquired our GPS coordinates and was hitching a ride with Greenpeace activists to get down here for Christmas.

I’m in tears! Please help!

Bayard & Holmes:

Dry your eyes, Sarah. We’re sending a bottle of Spanish sherry and our Little Holiday Helper to you at this very moment.

While the rest of the nation wasted summer days fretting over politics or battling squash bugs in their gardens, our talented staff here at Bayard & Holmes created a tactical solution to the Uncle Harrys of the world. Today, we proudly unveil the new Bayard & Holmes Spanking Santa* and His Band of Merry Elves.

Spanking Santa and his Band are hand-picked, highly trained Allied combat veterans whose specialty is conflict resolution, and they are here to serve you. When Harry rings the doorbell on Research Pod 3, our Spanking Santa Team will arrive moments later, fully armed with state-of-the art wooden paddles and ready to give Harry the Over-the-Knee Session of his life.

Image from Dept. of Defense

Yes, yes, we know . . . Harry was unarmed and you did let him in voluntarily. Not a problem! Santa’s Merry Elves are experienced federal witnesses. Once they’ve entertained the Judge with their sworn testimony as to how Harry threatened your lives—they heard it themselves—Harry will be carted off to spend the Holidays visiting his old friends in Joliet Prison.

It’s win/win for everyone. Harry finally gets the stable family life that he has always craved, and you get to laugh all night about how Santa “took him to the woodshed” like he’s always deserved.

On the same line, Charlie from the Shetland Islands asks . . .

What about my brother, Filbert? He loves being spanked and often pays pricey women in London to do that for him. Wouldn’t a visit from Spanking Santa just make him show up more often?”

Bayard & Holmes:

An excellent question, Charlie. Our Spanking Santa Teams are well trained to spot any “patients” who might be enjoying the medicine a little bit too much. For those tough cases, our Spanking Santa Teams are authorized and prepared to administer electroshock therapy. Let us know if Filbert likes that too much, too, and we’ll recruit him as a test subject at our laboratories.

Then there was this slightly awkward question from “Kelly” with no last name or return address . . .

Hey, can you send Santa over to spank me?

Bayard & Holmes:

Well, Kelly, we don’t know if you are male or female or some combination thereof, but we’re afraid that if you’ve been well-behaved and simply enjoy this sort of thing, you’ll have to convince your significant other to take care of that. We hope you have fun and remember to play safe. Use a Nerf paddle. We have some at a great low price.

What survival issues are you struggling with this Holiday season? Remember. No question is out-of-bounds, but some of our answers might be!

*Spanking Santa Teams come fully equipped for all contingencies. Video cameras and DVD copies sold separately.

Pilgrim on a Lonely Journey

Bayard & Holmes

~ Piper Bayard

This is the week of the mass American pilgrimage. Thanksgiving, more than any other holiday, is the day we Americans travel home. It is the one holiday we all share, no matter what our religion. The day when we gather as families.

Some of us will have genuinely happy reunions. The stuff of Norman Rockwell.

 

 

Most of us will have mixed days. A bit of hassle and a family fuss getting out the door. Then we will roll our eyes at Uncle Freddie’s bad jokes and Aunt Marge complaining that the dressing is dry. But once everyone settles in for the football, it will all be good.

For some, though, Thanksgiving will be a gut-wrenching ordeal — an endurance test of dysfunctional abuse that demoralizes and convinces us that we deserve nothing from life but the crumbs of inadequacy and failed expectations.

Most people who persist in that brutal existence do so from habit and from the fear of change. But a brave few walk away into the unknown with the conviction that whatever lies ahead, it cannot be worse than the hell they left behind. They quit showing up for the beatings.

If you are having joyful reunions this week, we celebrate with you. Such family experiences are the source of strength that sustains us through life’s turmoil.

If you are biting your tongue in between hugs and laughter, we admire you for your tolerance and commitment. Such commitment is the foundation of civilization.

If you are suffering, our hearts and prayers go out to you in the hopes that one day, you too will get out.

And if you are one of the ones who walked away, we salute you. You will be alone this week, or with close friends, or with people you barely know who have unfamiliar traditions. If you have persevered down your lonely path, you may even be with a new family by now, making Norman Rockwell jealous.

We know what it took for you to walk away, and we count you as our family. Your “not being there” didn’t come for free, and we honor the price you pay each day. It never gets easy, but it does get better. This song says it all.

 

 

Wherever you are in Life’s pilgrimage this Thanksgiving, we wish you peace.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Spanking Santa — Keeping Holidays Merry

Bayard & Holmes

~ Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

The most wonderful stressful time of the year is upon us. Long lines, visiting relatives, and credit card bills that give bankers a warm, fuzzy feeling in their wallets. But fear not! Bayard & Holmes are back once more to help you navigate this cauldron of tension without beating anyone bloody with a turkey leg.

A spook and a belly dancer. Not us. Image from The Man with the Golden Gun.

We, a pragmatic author/belly dancer and a spook who solves most of life’s problems with sex, C4, or hollow points, are clearing our schedules so that we can assist you with your holiday survival questions. In fact, we’ve had a few pleas for assistance already.

Sarah Broogenstegler in Research Pod 3, Antarctica, sent us this desperate missive . . .

Dear Bayard & Holmes:

My husband Clyde and I love the Holidays. Unfortunately, six years ago, after a ten-year stint in Joliet Prison for a Ponzi scheme that bankrupted twelve hospitals, Clyde’s Uncle Harry started showing up uninvited on Christmas Day. We tried to be charitable the first year, but he drank all of our alcohol and mouthwash and fell in the punch bowl. It splashed on the Christmas lights and shorted them out. The ensuing fire nearly burned down the house.

Clyde is a pacifist and made me sell my .45 Colt automatic years ago. Rather than reintroduce firearms into our lifestyle to deal with Uncle Harry, we relocated to Antarctica. Last week, though, we got a radio message that Harry had somehow acquired our GPS coordinates and was hitching a ride with Greenpeace activists to get down here for Christmas.

I’m in tears! Please help!

Bayard & Holmes:

Dry your eyes, Sarah. We’re sending a bottle of Spanish sherry and our Little Holiday Helper to you at this very moment.

While the rest of the nation wasted summer days fretting over politics or battling squash bugs in their gardens, our talented staff here at Bayard & Holmes (us) created a tactical solution to the Uncle Harrys of the world. Today, we proudly unveil the new Bayard & Holmes Spanking Santa* and His Band of Merry Elves.

Spanking Santa and his Band are hand-picked, highly trained Allied combat veterans whose specialty is conflict resolution, and they are here to serve you. When Harry rings the doorbell on Research Pod 3, our Spanking Santa Team will arrive moments later, fully armed with state-of-the art wooden paddles and ready to give Harry the Over-the-Knee Session of his life.

image from Department of Defense

Yes, yes, we know . . . Harry was unarmed and you did let him in voluntarily. Not a problem! Santa’s Merry Elves are experienced federal witnesses. Once they’ve entertained the Judge with their sworn testimony as to how Harry threatened your lives—they heard it themselves—Harry will be carted off to spend the Holidays visiting his old friends in Joliet Prison.

It’s win/win for everyone. Harry finally gets the stable family life that he has always craved, and you get to laugh all night about how Santa “took him to the woodshed” like he’s always deserved.

On the same line, Charlie from the Shetland Islands asks . . .

What about my brother, Filbert? He loves being spanked and often pays pricey women in London to do that for him. Wouldn’t a visit from Spanking Santa just make him show up more often?”

Bayard & Holmes:

An excellent question, Charlie. Our Spanking Santa Teams are well trained to spot any “patients” who might be enjoying the medicine a little bit too much. For those tough cases, our Spanking Santa Teams are authorized to administer electroshock therapy. Let us know if Filbert likes that too much, too, and we’ll recruit him as a test subject at our laboratories.

Then there was this slightly awkward question from “Kelly” with no last name or return address . . .

Hey, can you send Santa over to spank me?

Bayard & Holmes:

Well, Kelly, we don’t know if you are male or female or some combination thereof, but we’re afraid that if you’ve been well-behaved and simply enjoy this sort of thing, you’ll have to convince your significant other to take care of that. We hope you have fun and remember to play safe. Use a Nerf paddle. We have some at a great low price.

Happy Holidays from Bayard & Holmes!

*Spanking Santa Teams come fully equipped for all contingencies. Video cameras and DVD copies sold separately.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Bayard & Holmes Official Photo

Piper Bayard is an author and a recovering attorney. Her writing partner, Jay Holmes, is an anonymous senior member of the intelligence community and a field veteran from the Cold War through the current Global War on Terror. Together, they are the bestselling authors of the international spy thriller, THE SPY BRIDE, now available on kindle and in paperback at Amazon and on nook and paperback at Barnes & Noble.

THE SPY BRIDE Final Cover 3 inch

You can contact Bayard & Holmes in comments below, at their site, Bayard & Holmes, on Twitter at @piperbayard, on Facebook at Bayard & Holmes, or at their email, BH@BayardandHolmes.com.

©2016 Bayard & Holmes. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact us at the above links to request permission.

Coping with Grief in the Face of Holiday Cheer

Bayard & Holmes

Today we are pleased to welcome Sally Carey. Sally is a veteran Bereavement Coordinator for Hospice of Covenant Care in Westminster, CO. She has served the populations of the Denver area, helping people heal from the loss of their loved ones, for over ten years.

In recognition that the coming holidays are often the most difficult time of the year, particularly when we have suffered a deep and recent loss, we asked Sally to share her tips on how to make it through the holiday season.

Canstock Grief Statue

Ho, Ho, Hum

Coping with Holiday Cheer in the Face of Loss

By Sally Carey

The holiday season, under the best of times, brings it own stressors and expectations, which we have all learned to manage or mangle, for better or worse, over the years. Congratulations on learning how to keep a grain of your sanity intact, hopefully without leaving too many bodies in the wake of seasons past!

But what do we do when we’ve had some serious, life-challenging or life changing event like illness, job and/or home loss, estrangement, divorce or separation, or even a death, and the happy, happy holidays are assaulting us at every turn of the channel?

I know the fantasy of a Hawaiian vacation or leaving the country altogether might be appealing, but most of us don’t have that option. We still have to figure out a way to get food and find shelter from the storm of good cheer while holding down the fort.

What can help?

The answers are as unique and varied as each individual, and each setback or loss. Regardless of that variety, one thing that does help is to make a plan.

Making a plan can give you a sense of control when coping with circumstances that have been spiraling out of control.

Plan your script. What can you comfortably say when greeted by those who may or may not know about your changes or loss? What are the words that honestly and gently express your feelings and experience?  Try rehearsing a few phrases so you aren’t caught off guard. Anticipate their responses and your rejoinders along with questions to ask them that can shift the focus. These might be no-brainer responses in better times, but you might not be functioning at your peak right now. Have some ‘planned and canned’ statements in your protective arsenal.

Next, lower your expectations about what you can comfortably do – physically, financially, and socially.

Refocus on your values of the season and give yourself permission to reconsider how you want to express those.  If that means changing a tradition like giving gifts to everyone, sending cards to millions, hosting dinner, etc., think about the purpose of that tradition and find a simpler way to accomplish the goal.

For instance, instead of giving gifts or sending cards, make a donation to a charity or cause that is meaningful to you or to someone who has died. Do it in the name(s) of those you would normally give gifts, and it is a win/win for honoring values and including others. Another bonus is that typically the receiving organization will send out cards to those you’ve identified as donors so you don’t have to do anything else.

Instead of hosting a dinner, you could make a date to do something enjoyable together in the near future. You could also ask someone else to host it this time as a gift to you, or you could tone it down to a ‘cider and cookies’ gathering. It could be that this year, instead of any dinner, you prefer to go to a prayer service. Invite others to join you and maybe have coffee afterwards. A change in tradition does not mean you are forsaking a tradition forever. It just means you’re making it work for you this year.

If you are missing someone who has died, make a plan to remember & honor your loved one—a lit candle, some pictures on the mantle, a prayer service, a gift to their charity, a day of service or creating a service project in their name are a few ideas.

In doing this, you are creating new ways to maintain your enduring connection with the one you are missing. There aren’t any road maps for that challenge. Search your heart and maybe connect with other folks who have done this. You can also turn to your local grief support groups or hospice bereavement counselors to get ideas that are specific to you.

Most people want to avoid public tears and runny noses, so plan on how and when you may need to safely release your difficult thoughts and feelings before going out in public.

If you are “keeping a lid on it,” you will probably blow your cover at a less than ideal time and place. Letting yourself have the private down time for reflection and feeling and maybe falling apart will help you have control when you need it.

If you are out and about, always know where the nearest bathroom is in case you have to hide and wipe your tears and nose. Believe me. It’s not a pretty sight to be sniveling and snotting while asking for directions to the restroom! Your car can be a good safety zone too. It also helps to go places with a trusted person who can whisk you away and make explanations or apologies at the drop of a tear.

Go ahead and make some plans for limited sociability, but also make a Plan B, which could be to only stay a short time or to allow yourself a last minute cancellation.

Also, have an escape plan. That is, plan for a bit of escape in the form of pleasure and comforting activities. You need to balance sadness with enjoyment however you like to create that. And yes, it is fine to turn off the holiday music, TV, or annoying people. Find something else to help you tap into the love and kindness that is your well-spring any time of the year.

If you know someone who may be missing a loved one, simply inviting them to share their thoughts and feelings without trying to ‘fix’ them is a real gift.

Many feel they cannot share their sadness, as it isn’t ‘fitting’ with the season of happiness and joy.  Listen to them and honor their feelings. Letting them know they are normal even if they feel ‘out of it’ can be invaluable support for them. If you ask them to share some of their memories of the person or holidays past, it may bring up a tear or two, but it will surely affirm the value of their loved one and offer a treasured opportunity to share that with someone who cares.

The holidays during a time of loss can be devastating. But make a plan for handling people, give yourself plenty of down time, and remember that traditions altered are not traditions abandoned. And in all things be patient with yourself. This, too, shall pass.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Our deepest thanks to Sally Carey, and many prayers for everyone working through grief, just trying to make it through December.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

 

Obnoxious Relatives? Call the Spanking Santa!

By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes

The most wonderful stressful time of the year is upon us. Long lines, visiting relatives, and credit card bills that give bankers a warm, fuzzy feeling in their wallets. But fear not! Bayard & Holmes Holiday Survival is back once more to help you navigate this cauldron of tension without beating anyone bloody with a turkey leg.

A spook and a belly dancer. Not us. Image from The Man with the Golden Gun.

We, a pragmatic author/belly dancer and a spook who solves most of life’s problems with sex, C4, or hollow points, are clearing our schedules so that we can assist you with your holiday survival questions. In fact, we’ve had a few pleas for assistance already.

Sarah Broogenstegler in Research Pod 3, Antarctica, sent us this desperate missive.

Dear Bayard & Holmes:

My husband, Clyde, and I love the Holidays. Unfortunately, six years ago, after a ten-year stint in Joliet Prison for a Ponzi scheme that bankrupted twelve hospitals, Clyde’s Uncle Harry started showing up uninvited on Christmas Day. We tried to be charitable the first year, but he drank all of our alcohol and mouthwash and fell in the punch bowl. It splashed on the Christmas lights and shorted them out. The ensuing fire nearly burned down the house.

Clyde is a pacifist and made me sell my .45 Colt automatic years ago. Rather than reintroduce firearms into our lifestyle to deal with Uncle Harry, we relocated to Antarctica. Last week, though, we got a radio message that Harry had somehow acquired our GPS coordinates and was hitching a ride with Greenpeace activists to get down here for Christmas.

I’m in tears! Please help!

Bayard & Holmes:

Dry your eyes, Sarah. We’re sending a bottle of Spanish sherry and our Little Holiday Helper to you at this very moment.

While the rest of the nation wasted summer days fretting over politics or battling squash bugs in their gardens, our talented staff here at Bayard & Holmes created a tactical solution to the Uncle Harrys of the world. Today, we proudly unveil the new Bayard & Holmes Spanking Santa* and His Band of Merry Elves.

Spanking Santa and his Band are hand-picked, highly trained Allied combat veterans whose specialty is conflict resolution, and they are here to serve you. When Harry rings the doorbell on Research Pod 3, our Spanking Santa Team will arrive moments later, fully armed with state-of-the art wooden paddles and ready to give Harry the Over-the-Knee Session of his life.

image from Department of Defense

Yes, yes, we know . . . Harry was unarmed and you did let him in voluntarily. Not a problem! Santa’s Merry Elves are experienced federal witnesses. Once they’ve entertained the Judge with their sworn testimony as to how Harry threatened your lives—they heard it themselves—Harry will be carted off to spend the Holidays visiting his old friends in Joliet Prison.

It’s win/win for everyone. Harry finally gets the stable family life that he has always craved, and you get to laugh all night about how Santa “took him to the woodshed” like he’s always deserved.

On the same line, Charlie from the Shetland Islands asks . . .

What about my brother, Filbert? He loves being spanked and often pays pricey women in London to do that for him. Wouldn’t a visit from Spanking Santa just make him show up more often?”

Bayard & Holmes:

An excellent question, Charlie. Our Spanking Santa Teams are well trained to spot any “patients” who might be enjoying the medicine a little bit too much. For those tough cases, our Spanking Santa Teams are authorized and prepared to administer electroshock therapy. Let us know if Filbert likes that too much, too, and we’ll recruit him as a test subject at our laboratories.

Then there was this slightly awkward question from “Kelly” with no last name or return address . . .

Hey, can you send Santa over to spank me?

Bayard & Holmes:

Well, Kelly, we don’t know if you are male or female or some combination thereof, but we’re afraid that if you’ve been well-behaved and simply enjoy this sort of thing, you’ll have to convince your significant other to take care of that. We hope you have fun and remember to play safe. Use a Nerf paddle. We have some at a great low price.

What survival issues are you struggling with this Holiday season? Remember. No question is out-of-bounds, but some of our answers might be!

*Spanking Santa Teams come fully equipped for all contingencies. Video cameras and DVD copies sold separately.

Why Remembering Matters

By Piper Bayard

America is not a location. America is an ideal. It is the dream of a country where the government answers to the people, and not the other way around.

Because America is an ideal, Americans are not born. Rather, America, itself, is born anew with each generation that embraces the ideal and chooses to take up the mantle of responsibility for its self-governance and its freedoms. For America to exist, each generation must make that choice, and each generation must defend the ideal.

Today, we honor those who have fallen in defense of the American ideal. May each new generation remember these American men and women and honor their sacrifices that they shall not have died in vain. If the day comes when we forget these soldiers, we will have forgotten ourselves and our purpose, and in doing so, we will no longer be Americans.

A most profound thank you to all who serve in our armed forces and clandestine services.

Canstock 2014 Memorial Day Boy saluting flag

Frosty the Throwman & Other Tactical Holiday Products

By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes

In anticipation of the holiday season, our tremendous staff in our Bayard & Holmes Tactical Products Division (us) at the Bayard and Holmes Secret Underground Research Complex (Holmes’s basement) spent this fall ignoring social media memes and developing the tactical products you need to make your holiday season a safer and happier time.

Snowman pitcher schneemann wikimedia public domain

To learn about our Frosty the Throwman Snowball Protection System, Vin de Sommeil Relative Stress Reducer, and Tactical Baby Jesus, click on the link below to go to our new Bayard & Holmes website. Remember to subscribe while you’re there. We don’t want to lose you in the move.

Bayard & Holmes

Frosty the Throwman

and Other Tactical Holiday Products

Holiday Survival — Dinnertime Dogma, Snooping Houseguests, and Christ’s Bar Mitzvah

By Piper Bayard

This month, 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 and not-so-closet redneck, 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.

Brendan Stallard has a serious question for us, and it’s one that we’re sure many people have had to deal with over the years:

His problem relates to relatives who parrot dogma at the dinner table. “It seems as if all they want is to sit around the table and moan about the welfare mothers, tax dodgers and the grasping poor, and nod like idiot donkeys at one another at their meanness. They are all wealthy, and have never known much of hard work or poverty. I love them all dearly, as mad and crazy right wingers as they are.”

Reindeer fences SeppVei wikimedia public domain

Image by SeppVei.

Note how this reindeer fence makes an excellent boundary.

Some come in, some stay out, and we can still chat with them through the bars.

Bayard & Holmes:

You’re going to have to set some boundaries, and you have every right to do so. It’s your home. When people visit your home, they have to play by your rules or leave. And while hollow points and C4 might be fun, Christmas is always better if you can get through dinner without them so let’s look at alternatives.

You might want to call a truce to political discussions in advance of the gathering with a little, “Let’s agree to make this fun for everyone and stay away from politics this year.” People will still wander back to that topic by habit, at which you would be in a position to smile and say in a warm tone, “Hey, nooooo politics guys! It’s the holidays.”

No politics at a dinner table was a common social rule not very long ago so instituting that rule in your home would not be a radical departure from social norms. A smile and sweet tone of voice can make almost any rebuke acceptable to the other person. Just make sure you don’t answer their assertions with your own or the fight will be on.

A second approach would be to ignore their chatter and their opinions the way you might ignore a loud advertisement on the television. Envision yourself hitting a mute button and tune them out altogether.

The more extreme solution would be simply not inviting them. Our guess is that with good communication prior to the visit, though, you will not have to take that step.

Good luck! And please let us know how it goes.

Sneaking a Peek by Peter Fendi

Sneaking a Peek by Peter Fendi

Susie Lindau has an issue with nosey guests:

I wonder how to handle the obnoxious guest who tours the entire house including my closets and medicine cabinets?

Bayard:

The first thing that comes to mind is the memory of a young woman in my college dorm who was having issues with someone stealing her shampoo. My solution—I mean her solution—was to fill the shampoo bottle with hair remover.

Along those lines, I think it would be fun to take some sort of popular and attractive medication, like Ativan or Percocet, and put the bottle front and center in your medicine cabinet. However, before your party, take the real meds out and fill it with some sort of extreme laxative. Just remember to switch the meds back after everyone has gone home. When your guest is too “busy” the next day to leave his or her house, you can sit back and smile, knowing you’ve done the world a service.

Holmes:

Snooping when you are a guest in a home is something that CIA agents risk getting shot to do to targets in enemy states. It’s not reasonable conduct for legitimate guests.

Texanne and other readers suggested rigging loud alarms or other surprises to your medicine cabinet. This would be effective as long as you are up for the ensuing conversation with the violator. Perhaps I am naïve, but I have to wonder if your guest list is a touch to long. If these folks can’t be trusted with your medicine cabinet, can they be trusted to be in your home with your children?

Julie Glover is out of sync with the Holiday spirit:

How the heck can we get Christmas back down to 12 days? I’m a Scrooge until about December 15, when I think the Christmas season really should begin. If it wasn’t for “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and my church’s candlelight service, I might want to give up celebrating Jesus’ birthday altogether and see if there’s a quieter holiday for his bar mitzvah instead. (Okay, now that I re-read that, maybe the question is, How can I get in the holiday spirit?)

Bar Mitzvah at Western Wall in Jerusalem uploaded by Alwynloh wikimedia

Bar Mitzvah at Western Wall in Jerusalem. Not Jesus’ Bar Mitzvah, but no doubt similar.

image by Alwynloh, wikimedia commons

Bayard:

I think you may be onto something with that bar mitzvah idea, especially since Christ’s bar mitzvah would have been the same time of year, I’m guessing. When people wish you a “Merry Christmas” respond with “Matzel Tov!” Then write up their reactions and publish them. That way, you haven’t offended anyone, you aren’t celebrating Christmas before you’re ready, and you get some fun and a blog out of it. It’s win/win all the way around.

Holmes:

Christmas season starts for YOU when YOU say it does. Decorate on the day that you want to and ignore Christmas until then. The fact that others are in a “Christmas groove” doesn’t mean that you have to be. It’s YOUR Christmas. Make it what you want it to be.

Carry a water pistol with you, perhaps something in a festive red and green, and when people assault you with their Christmas spirit, give them a quick squirt and say, “Merry Christmas, my ass!” That should serve you with the dual purpose of putting them in their place, and you in the holiday spirit.

Please tell us about your Holiday Survival dilemmas in the comments section below. Nothing warms our hearts during the holiday season like turning your problems into our opportunities. And remember, no question is out-of-bounds, but our answers might be.

Holiday Survival — Obnoxious Flirts and Toddler Trees

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

This month, 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 and not-so-closet redneck, 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.

Let’s take a look at what’s on your minds this week . . .

Natalie Hartford sent us the following:

What do you do when the hostess’ husband just won’t stop flirting with you shamelessly in front of his wife? I mean…I am one hot mama and I can’t seem to shake them off no matter how cold and unaffectionate I am. I fear my gal pals will stop inviting me because they think I am hussy who’s going to steal their man. . . . I swear, I am innocent!

I need a fool proof, and discreet way, to knock these suckers out!

The Governess by Rebecca Solomon wikimedia

The Governess by Rebecca Solomon

Bayard:

I can certainly sympathize, Natalie. I seem find myself in this dilemma all the time.

Forget discreet. I suggest you announce loudly that your hubby wasn’t able to attend the party with you because everyone in your swingers group is suffering from a rather persistent strain of syphilis. The only reason you’re well enough to be there is because you were Patient Zero. That should cool the man’s ardor and relieve the women’s fears in one stroke. Or at least it will make for an interesting evening.

Holmes:

Well, Natalie as a first line of defense, you might say something like “Oh, excuse me. I got a text. It’s my husband’s lawyer. Hubby just beat ANOTHER murder rap!”

For the hard core case who doesn’t respond well to that, drop 5 milligrams of powdered Ambien into his drink. He should pass out in a few minutes. If he has had enough alcohol, there’s a chance the Ambien technique will kill him, but his wife must be tired of him by now if he’s that big of a goon. Be sure you don’t touch the glass or be seen adding the powder. In some areas, police actually investigate murders.

As an alternative to a possible murder charge, you could invest in a visit from one of our Spanking Santa teams. Also, if you know enough about him, you could arrange to have him called to a distant emergency prior to your arrival. Someone I know once convinced someone that he would be arrested if he didn’t go immediately to the state police office—70 miles away—and post a small bail for a ticket that he hadn’t even received. It worked like a charm. . . . So I’m told.

State Police Car Matt Zalewski wikimedia

Image by Matt Zalewski, wikimedia commons

Jenny Henson is feeling desperate . . .

How do we fit both an active toddler (and her toys) and the Christmas tree into our living room. It’s hurting bad right now…

Bayard:

Get a four foot tree and tell her the Christmas tree IS the toy. I’m sure she’ll have a great time pulling it over and trashing it. Just be sure the only ornaments you have on it are small stuffed animals and large, unnecessary plastic objects.

Holmes:

Oh gosh. I am envious. Lets prioritize.

In this case, since she is a toddler, I’d say that Christmas is all about her. In a couple of years she’ll be explaining that the only Santas are those crazy guys from Bayard & Holmes that spank and relocate bad guys during the Christmas season. Enjoy her Christmas excitement while you can.

This Christmas should be one of her very best. Do whatever needs to be done to make the tree safe for her without you spending weeks guarding it during her every waking moment. How about a smaller tree this year? One without lights, razor sharp glass bulbs, or toxic chemicals? You can easily tether it to a corner with some stout cord and a minimum of hardware.

Decorate it together with her paper snowflakes or whatever she colors so that it is her art project and she can be proud of it. If anyone else doesn’t like the way your little girl decorates the tree, threaten them with a visit from us. Her version of a decorated tree won’t look as “impressive” as whatever they’re putting up in the White House this year, but anyone not smart enough to tell her that her tree is fantastic should not be allowed in your child’s home any way.

I miss having a young child at home at Christmas time. If you can’t make room for her because of a tree, then you keep the tree and I’ll entertain her for Christmas. If you decide that my wife and I can’t borrow her for Christmas, then please consider taping her on Christmas day and sending us a clip. In fact, I would love to see any of our readers’ children excitedly opening their presents or doing all the other great things they do during the holidays.

Paper Snowflakes IlexSythe wikimedia

Image by IlexSythe, wikimedia commons

Please tell us about your Holiday Survival dilemmas in the comments section below. Nothing warms our hearts during the holiday season like turning your problems into our opportunities. And remember, no question is out of bounds, but our answers might be.

Bayard & Holmes Savoir Faire Consulting Service

By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes

The Holiday Season is upon us. Soon, life will be a whirlwind of dinner parties and fetes. We realize that we will be the main topic of discussion for many of our readers at these parties, and we’d like to do our best to help our reputations and yours. We’re proud to bring you the Bayard & Holmes Savoir Faire Consulting Service.

image by Ugllbe, wikimedia commons

As a recovering boy from the hood and a bellydancing closet redneck, we are more than qualified to assist anyone, even the most long suffering Je N’ais Pas Faire victim, in developing the necessary social savvy and handy fake veneer of sophistication.

To help you determine precisely how much coaching you’ll need to maximize your social success while mingling with sophisticates, our intelligent, educated, worldly team of Savoir Faire Savants (us) have developed these questions.

A)   You receive a formal invitation for dinner at 8:00 p.m. What do you do?

  1. You arrive at 8:40 p.m. with a re-gift of the same crystal bird statue the hostess gave you six months before.
  2. You arrive at 8:00 p.m. with a bottle of wine and flowers.
  3. You arrive at 7:45 with no wine or flowers and ignore the hostess while hovering over the oven, waiting for the hors d’oeuvres.
  4. You arrive empty-handed at 7:15, compliment the hostess on how great her a$$ looks in her dress, and demand the TV and a cold one.

B)   When you’re seated at the table, you discover an abundance of silverware at each place setting. How do you react?

  1. You point out that they have forgotten to include an oyster fork.
  2. You confidently use the silver in order as each course is served.
  3. You cautiously wait to see which fork the host and hostess use when, and then you mimic them.
  4. I don’t need their utensils. I brought my switchblade.

image by HopefulRomntic, wikimedia commons

C)   The hostess’s aged and not-altogether-there grandmother is attending the party in her wheelchair. She attempts a conversation with you but is having difficulty forming sentences. How do you respond?

  1. Mrs. Vanderbilt, I see you’re not on your medication. And why don’t they dress you properly any more? I’ll get the nurse to attend you.
  2. It’s so good to see you. I always think of our last time together and how much fun we had. You’re looking great this evening.
  3. You quickly grab the elbow of the unattractive, self-important flirter who regaled you with his tales of grandeur and whisper seductively into his ear, “Oh, Chauncey. You must meet the world’s most important business women.” Then you deposit Chauncey with Mrs. Vanderbilt and escape.
  4. You pretend to be her caring nurse and roll her outside behind the garage. You leave her there shivering and pleading for mercy as you return to the party.

D)   A man in a dreadfully tailored tuxedo with the odor of gin on his breath arrives late to the party. While staring at your chest, he attempts to engage you in a plebian conversation concerning politics. How do you respond?

  1. You point him to the kitchen and tell him he is late for work.
  2. You excuse yourself with an urgent but polite tone and seek out conversation elsewhere.
  3. You look down your nose and ask him, “Is that really your tuxedo or did you steal it off a homeless man?”
  4. You whisper seductively, “Come closer,” and when he does, you deliver a hard blow to his head with a candlestick.

E)   You’re feeling sleepy. What do you do?

  1. You announce your departure to everyone, explaining that you can’t stay late tonight because you’re expected at Buckingham Palace in the morning.
  2. You graciously thank your host and hostess for a lovely evening and quietly depart.
  3. You tell your host you’ve had a bit too much to drink, and ask him if he wouldn’t mind having his wife drive you home.
  4. You take the host’s 18-yr-old daughter to the guest bedroom and retire for the evening.

image by Haber1000, wikimedia commons

Now add up your score for your Savoir Faire Social Quotient.

1 = 1;     2 = 2;     3 = 3;     4 = 4

Score of 4 or less

This is not the proper curriculum for you. You might consider some math tutoring.

Score of 5 – 7

You’re an arrogant, insufferable snob. If anyone is still inviting you to parties at this point in your life, we advise that you decline those invitations. They are probably only inviting you in the hopes of drowning you in the pool as a source of amusement for the rest of the guests.

Score of 8 – 16

You’re the sort of person who could most benefit from our Savoir Faire Consulting Service. Stick with us, and you’ll be at the top of the social list in no time.

Score of 17 – 20

Not all the news is bad. For one thing, there is no need for you to attend our Savoir Faire Consulting Service. You’ll almost never find yourself invited to a party, and if you did, it’s unlikely that the penitentiary where you are serving time would grant you a release to attend. Think of the money you’ll save by not having to upgrade your evening wear.

Now that you have your starting point pinned down, we here at Bayard & Holmes stand ready to assist you with all of your Savoir Faire dilemmas.

What was your score? What questions do you have this Holiday Season for our worldly Savoir Faire Savants (us)?