A Christmas Tale -- Read it, Sucker!

Who the hell wants to read a Christmas story now, when that jolly ol’ holiday is far more far away than near?

Funny, isn’t it, that when the Yuletide is gone, how any Christmassy talk seems so ridiculous? Have you ever heard a top 40 station play a Christmas song out of season? Absurd!

Goodwill on earth, peace to all, joyous tidings. How empty these words ring, how even socialist they sound out of the Christmas context. Utopian blather. Can you even find eggnog now?

Yet come the holiday, you are sacrilegious! Heretical! Scrooge! Gingrich! if you aren’t somehow immersed in the ebullient forced spirit of good cheer.

Well, this is a Christmas story, so bear with me.

It’s a holiday tale. If you don’t like that: tough! Come Christmas time when you and everyone else are wallowing in the “shouldn’t-it be-Christmas-all-year-long” spirit, I’ll rub it in your face.

“Merry Christmas!” you’ll say.

“Oh yeah?” it will be I snorting back.
“You, the 'what-Bozo-posts-a-Christmas-story-in-July' hypocrite? You make me want to puke red and green chunks!”


So anyway, here’s the Christmas story.

One Christmastime countdown, when the Great Day was still a week or so away, when I was about 8, my somewhat sadistic mother and I went shopping and brought home this shiny red bicycle, to be my special present. My mother allowed one quick ride, then stuck it under the tree where it stayed until Christmas day.

Day after day it sat there, this red bicycle, so sleek, so fine, so out of reach, like some pretty young blonde classmate sitting right in front of you at her pop-top desk just fingertips away but forbidden by schoolyard convention in spite of your vague yet consuming prepubescent yearnings.

I can remember my first unassisted bicycle ride, probably like you remember yours. The supporting hands fall away, you pedal for your life. You find a balance and you fly. At that moment I felt I could do anything.

That lovely red Christmas bicycle - the loveliest thing in the whole world!

Oh, to feel that way about something - anything! - again.

It would be like Christmas all year long.

Thank you for reading, my friends. Be of good cheer ... stamp out Christmas hypocrisy ... read ZUG. It’s good for you.

Copyright © 1996 Steven R. Van Hook