Nov 21

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Dave’s Fireside Chats: Women Pleasin’ is the Key to Survivin’ the Season

The scene:  The King’s School, Grantham, England; December 1658

Young Isaac Newton looks forlornly out of his dorm window at his classmates in the courtyard below.  They wouldn’t let him play any reindeer games because Isaac was, in the vernacular of the day, a DWEEB.  But young Isaac would get the last laugh, creating an invention that was so heinous that it would prove to be the bane of every frat boy for generations to come – differential calculus.

Anyway, I digress.  Isaac’s spirits were lifted that year by a visit from his aunt and uncle, who invited him to go on “holiday” with them on the continent.  Isaac watched the relationship of his aunt and uncle closely that Christmas.  His aunt, apparently, was in a high degree of “holidaye spiritt”, which was a bad omen for his uncle.  The sight of his uncle forced to wear a hat with little fuzzy reindeer antlers had a profound effect on Isaac in two distinct ways:

1.  He never married.

2.  He developed his very first, but little known, law of motion, which, translated from the dweebian, reads:  A wife in motion tends to not let a husband stay at rest.  (Principia Marrigia, 1659.)

Yes, young Isaac learned a very important lesson about Christmas that year, and that lesson is this:  pleasin’ women is the key to survivin’ the season.  Yeah, women, you heard me right.  I ain’t backing down from that statement.  You know who you are – you who dream of a white Christmas and a black Friday at the same time.  You women, who use up a great deal of energy making holiday recipes with things that really aren’t edible – pumpkins, butternut squashes (which are neither buttery nor nutty), “allspice”, nutmeg, “nog”, and those curious little green things suspended in fruitcakes.  You wives, who make your husbands hang little colored lights in very high places, which is in direct conflict with the first corollary to Newton’s law of gravity:  The number of your husband’s broken bones is directly proportional to the pitch of the roof upon which he stands).

Women, over the course of time, have carefully crafted a very complicated holiday culture, and men, if they are to survive this treacherous time, must learn to traverse this seasonal obstacle course with a smile on their face.  Still not convinced?  Let’s compare past Christmas inventions by both men and women, and then tell me who has made the holiday more complicated.

(Some of the Many) Christmas Inventions by Women:

1.  Christmas Cards – The flash of a camera preserves a happy family smile for all the world to see.  Behind that smile are 12 basic components – 12 gentle reminders, 11 mild threats, 10 downright coercions, 9 change of shirts, 8 nose wipings, 7 arm twistings, 6 breath mints, NO MALE EARRINGS, 4 eyes closed, 3 bad flashes, two poopie diapers, and a husband unhappy.  A frequent accessory to the Christmas card is the CHRISTMAS LETTER, in which women write about the very important family events that occurred in the past year – little Johnny passing his algebra test, everyone visiting some museum in Peoria, Illinois, the purchasing of a replacement ottoman for the living room chair, etc., etc., etc. etc.  The prospect of receiving these letters is what causes many people to travel abroad for the holidays.

2.  Christmas Sweaters – Exports of Christmas sweaters comprise most of the Gross Domestic Product of Outer Mongolia, where they also double as protective winter gear for yaks.  The only American purpose of Christmas sweaters is to decorate Christmas pictures for Christmas cards.  The fact that they also have the power to humiliate teenagers is just icing on the cake.

3.  Gingerbread Houses – For arts and crafts haters, the Christmas season is no escape.  Gingerbread houses are too frustrating to be fun and too stale to be edible.  Plus, your child will be reduced to tears when the little icing-reinforced walls collapse and the entire gingerbread family is crushed to death in their sleep.  To make matters worse, little OSHA gingerbread people will come to your house and endlessly question you and make you fill out little forms.  Decorating a gingerbread house roof is a good way of getting rid of all those little leftover green things from the fruitcake, however.

4.  Gift Wrap and Bows – For men, there is no greater trial during the holiday season than the concept of wrapping a present.  If you refuse to wrap gifts, your wife will sigh and say that you don’t care enough to do anything properly.  If you do actually attempt to wrap gifts, your wife will sigh and say that you don’t care enough to do anything properly.  And then there is the process of tying bows.  If I remember correctly, the general rule of thumb is “knit one, pearl two”, or “a stitch in time, saves nine” ….. or something.

5.  Christmas Caroling – You don’t like it when Jehovah’s Witnesses come a knocking, but you are somehow charmed when a group of strangers comes to your door and belts out lyrics about “figgy pudding”.  Really?

6.  White Elephant Gift Parties – We pretend to like our bad gifts on Christmas morning, but then we invent a game where we intentionally buy even more bad gifts and laugh merrily as we publically exchange them with each other.  White elephant parties, however, are a good way to exchange a used Christmas sweater for a better gift, such as a rubber beverage can insulator shaped like a catfish head (an actual gift that I still treasure from a 2004 white elephant party).

7.  The Secret Santa System – After you have bought gifts for family, close friends, the mailman, the mailman’s wife, the tollbooth operator, etc., etc., etc., you must play the newly-invented “Secret Santa Game” and anonymously give gifts to co-workers and not-so-close friends.  While your ego won’t get credit for the gift, your mind will be purged of the fear that somehow, someway, someone you know may be deprived of a Christmas trink- , i mean gift, that year.  The Secret Santa System – when you care enough to send someone you barely know the dregs of what you have left.

This is the Christmas season that we all know, brought to you by the United Federation of Women.  And now, without further ado, we bring you:

Christmas Inventions by Men:

1.  The Hickory Farm Meat and Cheese Gift Tray

2.  Gift Bags


That’s it.  Really.  Were you expecting more?  If women would allow it to happen, this is what a “man Christmas” would look like:

In between bites of meat and cheese, men would aim nerf balls at open gift bags lined up against a far wall.  The bags would each contain an unwrapped present.   The present(s) that you received that day would be determined by your skill in throwing the nerf ball into the gift bags.  The awarding of the presents would be followed by HALFTIME, which would be marked by even more copious amounts of meat and cheese.  After halftime, everyone would head outside for a fruitcake throwing contest.

(Sigh)  The yearning for an event that will never be – a man’s Christmas.


But to be perfectly honest (and because my wife is now chucking fruitcake muffins at me), a carefully crafted female Christmas is not all that bad.  As you sit in your recliner in the wee hours of the morning, finishing off a leftover meat and cheese tray, you glance around the room at the holly and the ivy, the little snow people village, the stockings hung with care, the Christmas letters from your wife’s friends briskly burning in the fireplace, the little Christmas train which toots out 10 different holiday songs, and you smile on the inside.  You know you secretly like all this stuff.  After all, it is women that make a house a home.  But please, on behalf of guys everywhere, bury these feelings down deep.  Lord knows what new Christmas invention will come about if we encourage them more.












Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2012/11/21/daves-fireside-chats-women-pleasin-is-the-key-to-survivin-the-season/

1 comment

  1. Aunt Kay

    Have you noticed the Hickory Farm Cheese Trays don’t have expiration dates? Does that mean they can be regifted next year? Maybe the January stomach virus really isn’t a virus. Just saying.

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