Happy Freak'n Christmas Everybody!
Every family has special Holiday traditions. Decorating the tree. Church pagents. Singing carols. The Charlie Brown Special. Fighting with the in-laws. DUIs.My sons and I had our own tradition: Booby-trapping the Christmas presents.
It started when my boys were still in elementary and threatened to sneak down early to open the presents while I was still in bed. So I strung a trip wire across the stairway and connected the string to a stack of pots on a chair. The trip wire seemed too obvious so I rigged a second trip wire to my oldest son's biggest present. (The string was taped to the present and connected to a stack of tin cans hidden in the Christmas tree.) My oldest son Alex spotted the first wire and let the youngest go first. (What are little brothers for?) But the second trip wire caught Alex. (Try and outsneak dad? Ha!)
The next year, both sons asked if I was going to booby-trap the presents again. I knew I had to be more clever. I scrounged old alarms and buzzers at flea markets. Battery-operated toy blasters were fun to use. I drew upon my army ranger training and made trip fuses with mousetraps and clothespins. By this time, the boys had moved to the basement. I put flour in a pail which I propped over their bedroom door. I set other traps with pressure activated switches (made with aluminum foil--more Army ranger training) under rugs.
My boys proved clever and deactivated most of the traps. The pail over the door they beat by cracking the door open and using a stick to keep the pail from falling over.
Year by year, as my boys grew older and smarter, my traps had to be more clever and diabolical. Eventually, I had to bobby-trap the presents themselves. I wrapped the presents in a larger boxes which contained the booby-traps. (Don't forget the path from their bedroom door to the tree was littered with traps.) The night before Christmas I'd cut open the boxes and set the microswitches. When the boys disturbed the box, the alarm inside would go off. The next year, they beat the trap by sliding a thin piece of cardboard under the box, turning it over, and disarming the switch. But my other traps still got them.
The year after Alex graduated from high school and moved out, the tradition faded.But I've got a new tradition: Holiday Musical Magic!
Over at Soma FM
, from San Francisco, they've put up a Christmas Lounge music channel featuring your holiday favorites (Mele Kalikimaka
) and parodies to include Ray Stevens singing, Guilt for Christmas
(I'm giving guilt this Christmas, just like mother taught me) and Red Peters' Holy Shit, It's Christmas
(Santa's having a jolly year, playing with Rudolph's derriere).Christmas Contest!
Here's a chance to put yet another present under your tree. Amberkatze
is having a Holiday Party with fantasy author Jeaniene Frost.The Good News!
I'm sure you've heard plenty of bad news about the publishing business (like everything else). But two genres are doing well: Romance and fantasy. Read about it at Galley Cat
Like the fat man said, Ho, ho ho!