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The Christmas season, for my purposes, is at last over.

December 24, 2005, 5:52 PM

It is Christmas Eve, and I have officially finished for the day at work, which I did at 4 PM. That means that for me, Christmas is over. Opening the presents tomorrow morning is nothing compared to dealing with a bunch of cranky Christmas shoppers.

Meanwhile, there’s nothing like working retail to suck the Christmas spirit right out of a person. The phrase “Merry Friggin’ Christmas” comes to mind. And if that offends your sensibilities, then “Happy Friggin’ Holidays” to you.

And in the break room, we cozied up to reading the children’s letters to Santa Claus that were published in The News Leader today. I tell you… that was high entertainment. The letters were printed verbatim, complete with original spelling and punctuation errors, so Sis and I had fun reading them literally. As both of us enjoy Strong Bad Emails, we have no qualms over making fun of someone’s punctuation and spelling. Still, the letters ran the usual course. Children asked for a long list of very expensive toys, and so there will be some very disappointed little children tomorrow morning, when they didn’t get the three different game consoles they asked for. Same for the kid who asked for a horse and two frogs. Then for one kid, the term “oversharing” came to mind, as he said how he was a big boy who poops in the potty. All of us were thinking that this was too much, and the phrase “I did not need to know that!” came to mind regarding his restroom practices. Of course, there was a fully grown adult male who recently told me in the checkout line, in front of his wife, no less, that he wasn’t wearing any underwear. The wife and I were both telling him, “Oversharing!” Then there were some nearly-illegible Emails, where we couldn’t make out the writer’s intent regarding the words, and where the sentences were far from complete.

Then of course there’s feeding Santa. I have a feeling that we’re going to have to leave a big bottle of Pepto-Bismol out for Santa and all of his reindeer. You see, quite a few of these children in the paper have told Santa that they will be leaving cookies for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer. And if you figure that Santa will be eating a couple million cookies, and that the reindeer will be eating a couple million carrots, I think that the Pepto-Bismol will be a welcome end to the North Pole’s major case of gastrointestinal ailments. Imagine Santa Claus and the reindeer for a moment doing the dance from the commercial: “Nausea, heartburn, upset stomach, indigestion, diarrhea! Yay, Pepto-Bismol!” Still, after all that, Santa will have a major case of the trots. Of course, the best phrase about what to leave for Santa came from Calvin’s father, as in from Calvin and Hobbes: “I think ‘Santa’ would probably rather have a cold beer.”

All in all, the letters to Santa were interesting, and provided lots of entertainment.

Though again, I’m just glad that the Christmas season is over, and that on Monday, people will be shopping for themselves once again. It’s always nicer when they’re shopping for themselves.

Web site: How to tell if you've been really bad this Christmas...

Song: "Four pounds of back-bacon, three french toasts, two turtle necks, and a beer... in a tree!" (Full lyrics here)

Quote: A thought... Strong Bad should answer these letters to Santa. It also crossed my mind to write a nearly illegible letter for next year asking Santa whether he preferred filtered or unfiltered (referring to cigarettes).