Also see Christmas Poems, Christmas, Christmas Fun and Winter.




The Four Stages of Man:


The Funniest Face

The funniest face
Looked out at me
From a silver ball
On the Christmas tree!
At first I thought
It was Santa's elf,
But I looked again and
It was just myself!


What to Say When You Get a REALLY Bad Gift


Twelve Days After Christmas

The first day after Christmas,
My true love and I had a fight,
And so I chopped the pear tree down
and burned it just for spite.
Then with a single cartridge,
I shot that blasted partridge,
My true love gave to me.

The second day after Christmas,
I pulled on the old rubber gloves,
and very gently wrung the necks
of both the turtledoves,
My true love gave to me.

The third day after Christmas,
My mother caught the croup;
I had to use the three French hens
to make some chicken soup.
The four calling birds were a big mistake
for their language was obscene.
The five golden rings were completely fake
and they turned my fingers green.

The sixth day after Christmas,
the six laying hens wouldn't lay,
so I gave the whole darn gaggle
to the A.S.P.C.A.

On the seventh day, what a mess I found,
All seven to the swimming swans
had drowned.
My true love gave to me.

The eighth day after Christmas
before they could suspect,
I bundled up the eight maids a-milking,
nine pipers piping, eleven lords a-leaping,
and twelve drummers drumming
(Well actually I kept one of the drummers)
and sent them back collect.

I wrote my true love,
"We are through, Love."
And I said in so many words,
"Furthermore, your Christmas gifts
were for the birds."


The Twelve Days of Christmas at School

Student:
On the twelve days of Christmas
my teacher gave to me:

Twelve new problems
Eleven definitions
Ten spelling tests
Nine points off citizenship
Eight words of warning
Seven pages of reading
Six weeks of failing
Five golden 'D's
Four pink slips
Three hot lunches
Two bathroom passes
And a 'C' in American History

Teacher:
On the twelve days of Christmas
my students gave to me:

Twelve gray hairs
Eleven sassy words
Ten wrong answers
Nine happy moments
Eight poor excuses
Seven silly sentences
Six stunning headaches
Five royal pains
Four erasers flying
Three borrowed pencils
Two sloppy papers
And a smile in American History


The Twelve Days of Christmas - New Policy

(Submitted by: Meridee Mannino-Phistry)

Effective immediately, the following economizing measures are being implemented in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" subsidiary:

  1. The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree, which never produced the cash crop forecasted, will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance;
  2. Two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are, therefore, eliminated;
  3. The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French;
  4. The four calling birds will be replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked;
  5. The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals, as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks, appear to be in order;
  6. The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day was an example of the general decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that, from now on, every goose it gets will be a good one;
  7. The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. The function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes, thereby enhancing their outplacement;
  8. As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching;
  9. Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps;
  10. Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords, plus the expense of international air travel, prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant as we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year;
  11. Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music, and no uniforms, will produce savings, which will drop right to the bottom line;

Overall we can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and related expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved.
Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney's association seeking expansion to include the legal profession ("thirteen lawyers-a-suing"), a decision is pending.
Deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to remain competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the right number.


The Twelve Days of Christmas - Politically Correct Version

On the 12th day of the Eurocentrically imposed midwinter festival, my Significant Other in a consenting adult, monogamous relationship gave to me:

TWELVE males reclaiming their inner warrior through ritual drumming,
ELEVEN pipers piping (plus the 18-member pit orchestra made up of members in good standing of the Musicians Equity Union as called for in their union contract even though they will not be asked to play a note),
TEN melanin deprived testosterone-poisoned scions of the patriarchal ruling class system leaping,
NINE persons engaged in rhythmic self-expression,
EIGHT economically disadvantaged female persons stealing milk-products from enslaved Bovine-Americans,
SEVEN endangered swans swimming on federally protected wetlands,
SIX enslaved Fowl-Americans producing stolen non-human animal products,
FIVE golden symbols of culturally sanctioned enforced domestic incarceration,
(NOTE: after members of the Animal Liberation Front threatened to throw red paint at my computer, the calling birds, French hens and partridge have been reintroduced to their native habitat. To avoid further Animal-American enslavement, the remaining gift package has been revised.)
FOUR hours of recorded whale songs
THREE deconstructionist poets
TWO Sierra Club calendars printed on recycled processed tree carcasses and . . .
ONE Spotted Owl activist chained to an old-growth pear tree.

Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah. Good Kwanzaa. Blessed Yule. Oh, heck! Happy Holidays! (unless otherwise prohibited by law)*
*Unless, of course, you are suffering from Seasonally Affected Disorder (SAD). If this be the case, please substitute this gratuitous call for celebration with suggestion that you have a thoroughly adequate day.


Martha Stewart's Holiday To-Do List


Is Santa Claus a Woman?

I think Santa Claus is a woman . . .
I hate to be the one to defy sacred myth, but I believe he's a she.
Think about it. Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing social deal, and I have a tough time believing a guy could possibly pull it all off!
For starters, the vast majority of men don't even think about selecting gifts until Christmas Eve. Once at the mall, they always seem surprised to find only Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and mood rings left on the shelves. On this count alone, I'm convinced Santa is a woman.
Surely, if he were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find a rotating musical Chia Pet under the tree, still in the bag.
Another problem for a he-Santa would be getting there. First of all, there would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted and strapped on to the rear bumper of the sleigh amid wide-eyed, desperate
claims that buck season had been extended. Blitzen's rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist. Even if the male Santa DID have reindeer, he'd still have transportation problems because he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions.
Other reasons why Santa can't possibly be a man:
Men can't pack a bag.
Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet.
Men would feel their masculinity is threatened . . . having to be seen with all those elves.
Men don't answer their mail.
Men would refuse to allow their physique to be described even in jest as anything remotely resembling a "bowlful of jelly."
Men aren't interested in stockings unless somebody's wearing them.
Having to do the Ho Ho Ho thing would seriously inhibit their ability to pick up women.
Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment.
I can buy the fact that other mythical holiday characters are men--Father Time shows up once a year unshaven and looking ominous. Definite guy.
Cupid flies around carrying weapons.
Uncle Sam is a politician who likes to point fingers.
Any one of these individuals could pass the testosterone-screening test.
But not Santa. Not a chance.


What Are You Getting for Christmas?

(Erma Bombeck)

Someone asked me what my kids were getting for Christmas this year, and I said, "I really don't know. Either a chest cold, stomach flu or walking diarrhea."
I don't worry about them. They always come up with something--even if it's at the last minute.
When they were small we always used to hear stories of Christmas
. . . about how people went to parties or watched the big tree at the court house being lit up. Once when I was at the drugstore having prescriptions filled, I even saw a group of people singing. I didn't know what it was all about so I asked the druggist. He said, "They're called carolers and they go out and sing in front of homes and sometimes they're invited in for punch and cookies."
"But how do they get their medication?" I asked.
"They're not sick, and they don't need medication," he said.
That was the first time I realized that not everyone got sick at Christmas. It made me curious about how other people spent the holiday. My neighbor to the left had four children, and the one on the right had two. One day we compared notes.
"I heard that Betty, the childless secretary in the next block, and her husband come down on Christmas morning in their robes and slippers and open their gifts before breakfast."
"Big deal," said Helen. "We do that."
"But wait!" I said. "AFTER THAT THEY GET DRESSED."
"Maybe their drugstore doesn't deliver on Christmas day," said Charmaine.
"No, I think they go to church and then go to someone's home for a big turkey dinner with stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes and pecan pie."
No one said anything for a minute. Then Helen said, "I've got to go home and pull together some clear broth, Jell-O and Seven-Up."
"And I've got nose drops at 2 o'clock, antibiotics at 3 and Kaopectate at 3:30." Said Charmaine.
There are a lot of theories as to why children get sick at Christmas. Some say it's the excitement--others contend it's the exhaustion that makes you vulnerable. My own theory is that we're probably allergic to all that ho-ho-hoing and will break out with something every time we hear happiness.
Besides, if childless Betty ever got a rectal thermometer as a stocking stuffer, she wouldn't know what to do with it.


Handmade Gifts

(Erma Bombeck)

As the holiday season looms large, I find myself a bit despondent over the fact that all year long I have wantonly thrown out eight perfectly good bleach bottles and six dozen Styrofoam cups--not to mention probably 87 grapefruit rinds.
Here we are, in the final stages of the gift-giving season, and the garbage man has taken away the material from which great gifts are made.
I know, too, in what reverence these gifts are held by the fortunate recipients. Long ago we received a box containing a Styrofoam circle covered in Pepsi bottle caps and blue peach pits.
"Gosh!" exclaimed my daughter.
"Wow!" added my son.
We observed the gift in respectful silence for several minutes.
"What IS it?" my son finally asked.
"It's a Christmas wreath, of course," I answered. " Auntie Barbara made it for us."
"Come on. She bought it."
"Nobody SELLS things like that," I countered. " Besides, there's blood all over one of the peach pits."
"Do you like it?" my son asked.
"Son, no one else in the whole world has a wreath like this. Auntie Barbara put a lot of time and energy into this wreath."
"Not to mention blood," my daughter added.
"But do you LIKE it?" he insisted.
"LIKE is perhaps the wrong word, " I retorted. " I RESPECT this wreath. Gifts like this are unique products of human imagination. Gifts like this are living symbols of man's creative genius. Gifts like these are . .."
"UGLY!" my son interrupted. "What did you send Auntie Barbara this year?"
"A lamp shade I made out of Hershey bar wrappers and pink macaroni shells," I admitted.


Christmas Morning

(Nancy Stahl)

Random thoughts, which occur to me at 6:17 a.m., December 25th . . .


Twisted Greeting Cards

(Alan Meiss)


Flight Check

Santa Claus, like all pilots, gets regular visits from the Federal Aviation Administration, and the FAA examiner arrived last week for the pre-Christmas flight check. In preparation, Santa had the elves wash the sled and bathe all the reindeer. Santa got his logbook out and made sure all his paperwork was in order. He knew they would examine all his equipment and truly put Santa's flying skills to the test. The examiner walked slowly around the sled. He checked the reindeer harnesses, the landing gear, and even Rudolph's nose. He painstakingly reviewed Santa's weight and balance calculations for sled's enormous payload. Finally, they were ready for the check ride. Santa got in and fastened his seat belt and shoulder harness and checked the compass. Then the examiner hopped in carrying, to Santa's surprise, a shotgun.
"What's that for?!?" asked Santa incredulously.
The examiner winked and said, "I'm not supposed to tell you this ahead of time," as he leaned over to whisper in Santa's ear, "but you're gonna lose an engine on takeoff."


It isn't easy to get into Heaven

Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates. "In honor of this holy season," Saint Peter said, "you must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven."
The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. It represents a candle, he said.
"You may pass through the pearly gates", Saint Peter said.
The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells".
Saint Peter said, "you may pass through the pearly gates".
The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.
St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just what do those symbolize?"
The man replied, "They're Carols".