Warning: This post contains content and images that may be harmful to young children.
My father is not known for his Christmas spirit. Because of this he is affectionately referred to as the Grinch, Ebenezer, or Scrooge. It’s not that Dad doesn’t like Christmas; he simply refuses to give in to commercialized distractions. He’s not a crusader in the tug-of-war over the holiday, but he takes a stand in his own home to make sure we stay focused on the Feast of the Nativity and that we don’t get carried away by the hullabaloo of the season.
At times, Dad takes his stance to the extreme. He bah-humbugs his way through the holidays and spouts about prisons, workhouses and the surplus population but only to prove his point about the commercialization of things. Still, that doesn’t stop us from teasing ol’ Scrooge and giving him ample opportunity to bah-humbug.
Our dear family friends are very good at instigating my dad. Every Christmas Eve, Uncle J and Aunt S shower him with presents of Christmas cheer, whether its a musical Christmas tie or an outdoor light-up nativity scene. This year, Uncle J took me into his confidence a few weeks before Christmas. “I need your help with Operation Ebenezer!” I don’t know why Uncle J always asks me! (He roped me into helping with the nativity scene, too.) I’m the worst at keeping these kinds of secrets. But I caved in and he gave me an overview and a list of tasks.
Operation Ebenezer commenced on Christmas Eve. Our families gathered for our annual dinner and rosary, and Uncle J and I slipped away during dessert. The radio appropriately blared my dad’s theme song: Mr. Grinch, as we drove the few blocks to my parents’ house. Uncle J took a big risk this year challenging Dad’s intense dislike of the mainstream Santa Claus: he put an inflatable, light-up Santa on the front porch!
At first, the old man was a bit dumfounded and almost speechless when he saw the red glow. He grumbled, but soon decided he liked the present. “I needed a new punching bag!” he exclaimed gleefully.
The next morning I found the following email in my inbox:
J and S,
Upon returning home from the Rosary, to our shock and chagrin, we found our home vandalized. Some wicked delinquents, or worse, disfigured our house with a jack-booted, red-suited figurine holding a torch. Obviously, this is a thinly veiled threat of violence to come if I do not give up my beliefs in Scroogism. However, I am made of sterner stuff and will not yield to such intimidation. As the Prophet Ebenezer said, “Are there no prisons, are there no workhouses?” Well, whoever did such a dastardly deed will indeed be looking at incarceration. My initial investigation has revealed possible accessory to this crime within my own family. This Fredo will be banished to New York, a veritable briar patch of dancing liberals. A man’s domicile is his castle and I shall make fortifications and tactical reinforcements to withstand future attacks. I shall cut off the electricity to a certain outlet utilized by the perpetrators. That’ll show ’em.
Merry Christmas, indeed.
I’m not a Communist Mike
So he wasn’t entirely speechless, but the inflatable Santa survived being beaten and choked on its first night and it remains standing guard on the porch. Based on that, Operation Ebenezer was a success, except for the part where I was found out… (Sorry, Grinch! You make it too easy sometimes!)
Note: I felt the warning was necessary to ensure no children would see the photos of Santa being choked or beaten. They are almost too much even for me!