The Hijacking of a Holiday Classic

‘Twas some weeks before Christmas and all through the town

Halloween decorations came tumbling down.

The very next day signature cups were here

As Starbucks abound brought red holiday cheer.


But I’m not ready; I protest you will see,

Thanksgiving was rushed— was passed by easily.

Christmas scenes at malls were quickly erected

Before the plump turkey was even selected.


Hold onto your bells and red Santa Claus suits;

With commercialists and marketers in cahoots!

Slow down premature spending for goodness sakes;

We hadn’t had time for giving our thanks.


Not to mention out here, all the way out west,

We needn’t a coat—only sweater or vest.

New Yorkers we know that it’s no big charade:

The real Santa shows by ending the parade.


Now that the cooking and the feasting’s been done

And our dear guests and family have all gone,

I relish this now, oh so sweet Monday morn

When I sit silent, not any bit forlorn.


I need just a day—fine maybe even two

To recover from this before something new.

It’s not just Christmas but New Year’s, too,

And thanks to my mom, I’m a little bit Jew.


To gather the gifts and an additional eight,

Which one on what day, when shall we celebrate?

Palm trees do twinkle with festive bright light

Faux evergreens are seen in windows at night.


It’s weirdly warm, supposedly normal—

Strapless can be worn to the Christmas formal.

Ready now, I embrace holiday season;

To delay any longer I have no good reason.


On browsing! On buying! On wrapping! On giving!

At toy stores and books stores, clothes stores and e-stores:

Shop away! Shop away! Shop away, all!


Sam, too, has arrived—our own elf on our shelf,

Each night he reports to the big man himself.

He keeps us in line, or he tries to at least.

But how does a tiny guy tame our two giant beasts?


Four weeks more until school is out once again.

That brings a fortnight of true solid mayhem!

The day that I rest, the day of pure glee,

Is way off on 1-7, 2-0-1-3.


My effort’s complete; here ends my festive rhyme.

Happy prepping to all, and to all a good time!




Home: Coming or Going?

We are officially home, if home is defined by which license plate adorns your car. Other than not being able to find my car as easily in a parking lot, I’m not sure how I feel about yesterday’s very symbolic action of relinquishing my last outwardly visible tie to the East Coast. The New Jersey plates were a distinguishing factor, announcing to all that we are transplants and our roots lay elsewhere. Each of us has now, in turn, left our birth states– California, New York, North Carolina and New Jersey– and only one of us truly returns home.

That would be my husband, who rolls off the plane and into In and Out Burger…and he is home. Ironically, he’s not even here full-time yet, but I digress. He is without doubt meant to be here, a Californian by birth and in spirit.

For me, home is more a compilation of places, people, experiences and memories. To be honest, I’m not sure where I am now along that journey. Is home an end goal, regardless of how long the travel? I can’t help but to recall Odysseus, who was off at battle for ten years and then spent another ten trekking home.

Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns,
driven time and again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy.
Many cites of men he saw and learned their minds,
many pains he suffered, heartsick on the open sea,
fighting to save his life and bring his comrades home.
(Translation by Robert Fagles)

Perhaps a more contemporary anthem speaks to you. Even if you don’t watch American Idol (oh, you know you do),  and couldn’t pick Phillip Phillips out of a line up, this is familiar if you saw any coverage of the “Fierce Five” during the Summer Olympic Games:

Hold on to me as we go,
as we roll down this unfamiliar road.
And although this wave is stringing us along
just know you’re not alone
cause I’m going to make this place your home.

Whether artist, athlete, warrior or commoner, I suppose we are ever pressing forward if only to return home. And that home could be from where we began, to where we return or some place we have stopped temporarily along the way.