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.

Mothers are Born of Children

By Piper Bayard

image by Sam Pullara, wikimedia commons

image by Sam Pullara, wikimedia commons

It’s children who deliver mothers into the world. Before children, we are daughters, girlfriends, and wives. But until we love a child, we are not mothers. The part of us that grows into a mother remains a child until a child becomes more important to us than we are to ourselves.

Mother’s Day is the day we honor the women who were delivered by children. The women who love us more than they love themselves, whether they are our actual mothers and grandmothers, or the sisters and mentors who have come into our lives and taught us what love means.

Today, I not only think of my beloved mother, who smiles down on me as I love her grandchildren and laughs at me each time I use the klunky electric skillet I always teased her about. But I am also made complete with gratitude toward my children. The people who gave birth to the mother in me. I would not be me without them.

This one is for the babies. The ones who keep us forever young . . . Thank you.

To all women who love a child more than they love themselves, Happy Mothers Day.

All the best to all of you for staying forever young.

In the Time of Gathering, Some are Better Off Alone

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

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.

 

Image from Office of War Information, 1942, wikimedia commons.

Image from Office of War Information, 1942,
wikimedia commons.

 

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.

 

Canstock 2014 Girl Alone with Suitcase

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–A Holiday Survival Essential

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!

image from Department of Defense

Click on the link below to find out the Bayard & Holmes solution to this holiday dilemma. Remember to subscribe while you’re there. We don’t want to miss you in the move!

Bayard & Holmes

The Spanking Santa —

A Holiday Survival Essential

The End Is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Black Market Used Pregnancy Tests

Women are Selling Positive Pregnancy Tests?

Positive Pregnancy Test

Yep. You heard it right. Used pregnancy tests are now for sale on Craig’s List. Just in case you think screwing a guy over to get him to marry you is the right start for building a life together.

Click on the title above to view the text version.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

Susie Lindau brings us fantastic pictures from the Colorado Flood Zone–Storm Chasing During Boulder’s 100-Year Flood. The storm was upgraded to a 500-Year Flood shortly after she posted this.

Former Boulder resident and New York Times Bestseller Bob Mayer reminds us, Seriously, You HAVE to be PREPARED for Emergencies.

Paige Kellerman proves her brilliance by finding humor in the fact that her house is sinking into the ground. For reals. In the Meantime, We’re Still Sinking. I also highly recommend her book, which I am currently enjoying–At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles. It will have you ROFL from the pregnancy test to the post-partum Pilates DVD.

At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles

10 Facts You Should Know about Migraines

20 Questions to Master Self-Reflection by Nathaniel McMillan at Mature by Nature.

Siri Paulson’s Guide to Train Travel in India.

Looking for Bigfoot? Follow This Map–Others Have Seen ‘Em There

Labor Leader: Obamacare “Needs to be Repealed” if Union Demands aren’t Met. Apparently, Obamacare is only for those who aren’t in Congress and who don’t have union leaders who can get them out of it.

A lot of people are wondering how we ended up with the outrageously expensive travesty that is Obamacare. This short, hysterical  film could help explain it. Help Kickstart WWIII!

I know. We all need a drink after that one. Can’t help you with that, but I can cheer you up with this story of solid decency. Dairy Queen Worker’s Good Deed Goes Viral

By fashion maven Jessica Farkas, Glam Closet: To Accessorze or Not . . . THAT is the Question! Great guidelines for those of us with Fashion Deficit Disorder.

Or how about some porn? Jenny Hansen at More Cowbell brings us the Porn-Watching Map of the U.S.

This article by Special Operations Speaks Out sums up the information that the Obama administration is withholding from the public about Benghazi. An Open Letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner

And to leave a sweeter taste in your mouth, the 4-Ingredient Key Lime Pie from K.B. Owen.

The kids are all back in school, so here’s one in honor of all of the teachers. Thank you for your time and efforts. Feel free to do this if you ever see my kid on the phone during your class.

Campaign Style Poll Daddy Question of the Week:

All the best to all of you for a week of keeping it real.

Piper Bayard

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’ basement) spent this fall ignoring political commercials and instead developed the tactical products you need to make your holiday season a safer and happier time.

Tactical Green Slime Ciphers wikimedia

Image by Ciphers, wikimedia commons.

Tactical Green Slime

Our first new product is to help those many individuals and families who are concerned that some of their holiday house guests might snoop about in their medicine cabinets and other private spaces. Ever ready to turn your problems into our opportunities, we are proud to introduce our Tactical Green Slime (“TGS”).

Unlike Sarin Gas and other, cheaper chemical warfare products used by less fashionable chemical warriors, TGS is reasonably priced, easy to deploy, harmless to innocents, and not yet getting any attention from the UN, the DHS, or Donald Rumsfeld that would result in taxpayer-sponsored “shock and awe” at your happy home.

Simply fill an interesting medicine bottle with vitamin tablets. Put on some gloves and spread a little of our colorless, odorless TGS on the outside of the bottle. Leave it front and center in the cabinet.

When a snooper touches the bottle, their hands will pick up a harmless, but hilarious, phosphorescent green glow. The glow is not permanent and should wear off in a few short years.

As you boot the radiant fool out of your house, casually mention that the glow is caused by strontium 90 isotopes (it’s not) and suggest a trip to the nearest ER. Imagine the fun they’ll have waiting in line for two days for a nurse to check them out, and then trying to get themselves released from the psychiatric ward. By the time they get home all of their family, ex-friends and acquaintances should have by then enjoyed a great holiday without them.

Use Tactical Green Slime in your medicine cabinet. Use it on your jewelry case. Use it on your favorite bag of potato chips in your pantry. TGS is the perfect tool for keeping your property safe from your friends and loved ones.

Tactical Green Slime is not sold in any retail store. Medicine bottles and latex gloves sold separately.

Snowman pitcher schneemann wikimedia public domain

Throwman in action. Image by Schneemann, wikimedia commons.

Tactical Frosty the Throwman

And what about those friends and relatives you don’t even want making it to your door? Frosty the Throwman to the rescue! Our new Tactical Frosty is guaranteed to keep the peace in your front yard during this great season of happiness and joy. Our cheerful-looking snowman comes equipped with a recycled Major League Baseball pitching machine that can toss a snowball at up to one hundred miles an hour. A video transmitter in Frosty’s head allows you to aim and fire while sipping hot cider in the comfort of your kitchen. Whatever ideas any local thugs might have had about tossing snowballs near your home will be quickly banished from their dangerous minds as they pick themselves up, bewildered by the lightening-like snowball strike that knocked them on their butts.

With Frosty on the job, your neighborhood should be safer than ever. Snow covered baseballs sold separately.

Tactical Vin Sommeil Profond

Socially graceless guests can be a serious stress at the holidays.

No matter how hard we try, we sometimes end up having to tolerate “those ones in every family” at the Christmas gathering. Have no fear. We have the solution. Literally. Instead of shoving a turkey leg in their pie-holes when they gear up with their diatribes, instead offer them a glass of our 1962 Vin Sommeil Profond, Premiere Cru.

Just one sip of this impressively bottled and labeled concoction that we whipped up in a bathtub last night, and your obnoxious guests will be off in Sommeil Profond Land for a twelve-hour nap. If they begin pontificating again when they awake with a slight headache and severe memory loss, offer them a bit of Hair of the Dog. After two servings, even the most dogmatic ideologue will forget whatever it was they once believed so adamantly and will instead focus on figuring out who they are and why they are in your home. Feel free to have a little fun with this phase.

Creche Demimis wikimedia

Image by Dimimis, wikimedia commons.

Tactical Baby Jesus

It has become a sad new trend for thieves to steal those lovely, plastic baby Jesuses from the nativity scenes that Christmas revelers put on display. With our new Tactical Baby Jesus (“TBJ”), we can put a stop to this ugly trend.

No, this is not baby Superman with superpowers of flying and knocking the crap out of the bad guys. Jesus never hurt anyone, nor did he ever ask anyone to hurt anyone in his name. Therefore, TBJ is completely in character, being equipped with a locator transponder that allows you (and the Department of Homeland Security) to track the Jesus-napper to his or her hideout. Once there, a Federal SWAT team can make a safe recovery after a twelve-hour hostage standoff and return TBJ to your front lawn unharmed.

We hope these fantastic new, reasonably priced Tactical Holiday Products improve the quality of your family celebrations, and we hope selling them to you will improve the quality of ours. Wishing all of our readers a joyous holiday season filled with peace and happiness to all of good will. For those of less good will, you now have some great new tools.

Cheers!

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.

Pilgrim, As You Journey

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

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.

image from Office of War Information 1942, wikimedia commons

Most of us will have mixed days. Something we have to hassle with a bit. Perhaps a family fuss getting out the door, and then putting up with Uncle Freddie’s bad jokes and Aunt Marge complaining that the dressing is dry. But once everyone settles in for the football, it’s all good.

For some, though, Thanksgiving can be a gut-wrenching ordeal. The hassles are extreme, and the holiday becomes an endurance test of dysfunctional abuse that demoralizes us and convinces us that we deserve nothing from life or ourselves but the crumbs of inadequacy, malcontent, 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.

image by Christina Matheson, wikimedia commons

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 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, Holmes and I wish you peace. We will see you back here on Monday, November 26.

Happy Thanksgiving!