Friday, December 25, 2009

A Curmudgeon's Christmas

Good morning, and Merry Christmas to all my faithful online friends. Our weather today is expected to be back to normal for Christmas in Northern Virginia - cold and rainy - which ought to help make driving a joy for those negotiating our still half-plowed roads.

Yesterday we spent Christmas Eve with our daughter and her family, and there is nothing quite like an energetic two-year-old to remind you of how much fun Christmas can be. Agnes made matching aprons for the ladies to wear...

Gifts were unwrapped with wild abandon...

Agnes made her traditional German beef rouladen with potatoes and red cabbage for supper...

And Leya, of course, wanted to help...we had the best washed salad (and counter...and floor...and Oma... and grandchild...) you've ever seen...

So, yes, even a curmudgeon can enjoy Christmas...but there are plenty enough people out there who are always ready to screw it up for you. Here is what happens when people fool around too much with traditional Christmas songs...

Health, Safety, and Equality Considerations for Christmas Songs

Jingle Bells

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh,
O'er the fields we go,
Laughing all the way.

A risk assessment must be submitted before an open sleigh is considered safe for members of the public on which to travel. The risk assessment must consider whether it is appropriate to use only one horse for such a venture, particularly if passengers are of larger proportions. Note: permission must be gained from landowners before entering any fields considered private property. To avoid offending those not participating in celebrations, request that laughter remain at moderate levels so as not to be considered noise pollution.

While Shepherds Watched

While shepherds watched
Their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down
And glory shone around.

The Union of Shepherds has complained that it breaches health and safety regulations to insist that shepherds watch their flocks without appropriate seating arrangements being provided, therefore benches, stools and orthopedic chairs must be made available. The Union also requests that, due to inclement weather conditions during the Christmas season, they should watch their flocks via closed-circuit television cameras inside centrally-heated observation huts. Remind the angel of the lord that, before shining his or her glory all around she or he must ascertain that each shepherd has been issued safety glasses capable of filtering out the harmful effects of UV-A, UV-B and glory.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
Had a very shiny nose
And if you ever saw him,
You would even say it glows.

You are advised that under the Equal Opportunities Act, it is inappropriate to make comment with regard to the ruddiness of any part of Mr. R. Reindeer. Further to this, exclusion of Mr. R. Reindeer from any organized reindeer games will be considered discriminatory and disciplinary action will be taken. A full investigation will be authorized and implemented, and sanctions - including suspension on full pay - will be considered while the investigation takes place.

Little Donkey

Little donkey on the dusty road,
Got to keep on plodding
Onwards with your precious load.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has strict guidelines regarding how heavy a load donkeys of small stature are permitted to carry. Additional guidelines must be followed with regard to how often the donkey is fed and how many rest breaks are given over any four-hour period of plodding. Note: due to the increased risk of dust pollution from primitive roads, Mary and Joseph are required to wear face masks to prevent particle inhalation. The donkey has expressed discomfort at being labeled "little" and would prefer to be referred to as "Mr. Donkey." Comments upon his height, or lack thereof, may be considered infringement of his equine rights.

We Three Kings of Orient Are

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

Whilst gifts of gold are still considered acceptable as it may be redeemed at a later date, gifts of frankincense and myrrh are inappropriate due to the potential risk of allergic reactions from oils and fragrances. A suggested gift alternative would be donations to worthy causes in the recipient's name or a gift card from a local business. Traversing kings should be discouraged from relying on navigation by stars. Use of a suitable GPS navigation device to provide the quickest route and advice regarding fuel consumption is recommended. Per the previous guidelines for Mr. Donkey, camels carrying three kings also require regular food, water, and rest breaks. If the camel's hooves create dust, facemasks are advised.

Away in a Manger

Away in a manger,
No crib for a bed…

Social Services will visit and may remove any child to a place of safety pending further action against parents or other persons who may be found guilty of neglect by not providing adequate bedding and shelter for a child in their care. After a formal case study has been carried out and fully discussed with the appropriate Social Services Committee, criminal proceedings may be instituted.

And so it is in early 21st-century America.

Agnes and I wish all of you a safe, happy, and joyous Christmas, at home or wherever your travels may take you.

Of course, there'll be more thoughts tomorrow.

God bless us, every one!



John said...

God bless us, every one!

Leslie David said...

Thanks for the commentary and pictures. A pleasure to see your family pictures as usual.

Mike said...

You had to have had this post preprepared. That's way to much typing for Christmas.

Wv: plateons - food