Christmas Truce

In 1914, during the Great War (World War I), an unofficial truce took place on Christmas Day along the Western Front. Some German and British soldiers took it upon themselves to celebrate Christmas by stopping the war, greeting each other, exchanging what small items they had as gifts (cigarettes, chocolate, etc.) and playing a soccer game. Peace broke out in more than one area and in more than one year.

Christmas Star

There is a memorial in Ypres, Belgium commemorating this truce that was lead by the soldiers themselves.

This is my favorite Christmas story.



Christmas Presents

I’ve given up agonizing over trying to find the perfect present for Christmas. That is just silly. And impossible, I might add. (That’s an odd phrase: “I might add.” I mean, if you said it, you added it. No “might” about it.)

There are some perfect gifts out there. You might even come across them around Christmas time and consider yourself a lucky shopper. But don’t count on it.

A lot of people focus on the youngsters in the family for presents. This is a nice idea. If you don’t have any idea what to get them, all you have to do is go to your mailbox. The catalogues, magazines and flyers are there to help you. They are there every … single … day.

For example, what does the Bass Pro Shop suggest as that very special gift for that very special child in your life? How about a Marshmallow Crossbow? Yes, Virginia, they do exist. They can be used indoors or outdoors. (Indoors? I didn’t say that, they did.) There go all your lamps, smashed to pieces by ricocheting marshmallows.

Not into archery? Then consider the Marshmallow Shooters. Choose the camoflauge or pink model. They fire marshmallows up to 30 feet away! They are dishwasher safe. You can also purchase a target. Excuse me, a target? I just assumed the target would be another kid.

But, wait, there’s more! To complete the set, you can buy specially-made Marshmallowville Marshmallows for the shooters. Theirs is a secret recipe, with “more starch and less sugar so that they both shoot and taste better (to humans) than ordinary marshmallows.”

I don’t know why they have “to humans” in parentheses. Are there other types of marshmallows, say, for turtles? For cats?

But, hey, these special marshmallows shoot better and that’s all that matters. I don’t see how they can taste better if you are shooting them at a target or a lamp instead of at someone who will eat them. Such a waste of perfectly good junk food.

Let There Be Light

I was looking for our Christmas lights earlier this week. Eventually I found two sets. Not the ones I was looking for, however. I was looking for the lights that are encased in clear plastic and look a bit like theater stair lights or floor lights in an airplane.

Hubby found a box of Christmas lights in the attic and brought them down for me. There were nine sets of lights in that box, but not the ones I was looking for.

I have no memory of the last time we used any of those nine sets of lights. I don’t remember buying them. I don’t remember packing them up or moving them to the attic.

It’s silly to think that those aren’t our lights; of course they are. I just can’t figure out how or when they got to be our lights. Which Christmas was it, then, that required all these lights?

The lights are not in their original boxes, so I don’t know if they are indoor only lights or outdoor lights. (Christmas lights are like sewing patterns, this way. You can never return them to their original state. You just get a larger bag or box to put them in. You try to fold them in some structured manner, but in the end, you just stuff them in.) I am a little leary of putting up all those lights outside, anyway. We live fairly close to the airport and I’d hate to have our house mistaken for a runway. Unless it’s Santa Claus. I wonder what kind of lights I need for a sled’s runway. Probably those lights encased in clear plastic, the ones I can’t find.

That time of year

Several years ago, two days before Christmas, the man sitting across from me at the table — who I thought was My Real Husband (MRH) — said, “Let’s go shopping tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow is Christmas Eve,” I reply, stating the obvious, while trying not to stare at him.

“Exactly!” he says, his pupils dilating. “Fry’s Electronics is opening at 8:00 a.m. We can be there when they open.”

“But tomorrow is Christmas Eve,” I repeat, wondering who to call for help. “Everyone else will be out shopping. It will be awful.”

“No, it won’t. We’ll be there when they open and be gone before the crowds show up.” He seemed so excited about the idea of shopping on Christmas Eve.

Are you kidding me? Why couldn’t he just drive down to the nearest gas station/convenience store combo like everyone else? I mean, they have t-shirts, gimme caps and koozies. Some of them are even open on Christmas Day, for Christ’s sake!

I’m done with my Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving. I’m also the one who stocks up on non-perishables just before Thanksgiving so that when I do have to go somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s only when in dire need of food and even then I can rush in and out of the grocery store. See? Grocery store. Not retail stores where throngs, crowds, hordes of people actually shop for Christmas presents.

We continued discussing this silly shopping idea and he made some vague reference to the phrase “for better or worse.”

It was then that I decided that this was not My Real Husband, but an alien replacement. A Pod Husband, so to speak. It’s the only logical explanation for him wanting to go shopping on the same day that almost everyone else on the planet will be shopping.

I don’t know how or when the switch was made, or where my real husband was, but there didn’t seem to be anything I could do about it.

Fine. I went shopping with My Pod Husband on Christmas Eve.

That was just the beginning.