Friday, 24 December 2010

A Merry Whatever!

Bits of torn wrapping paper, fir needles, and balled-up Kleenex decorate the carpet. The holiday tang of Vape-o-Rub fills the frosty air of our halls, and the merry echo of deep, bronchial coughs reminds us that it's that time of year again!

Our cats are racing up and down the stairs, excited by all the packages coming in, the crinkle of foil and wadded-up paper, the smells of baking, the crisp tsk-tsk-tsk of scissors, the stressed-out, sometimes panicky voices: "Have you written one to Auntie Freda?" and "Are you sure you wrapped the ones for my cousins?"

This morning, I fished an old used tea bag out of a corner of the kitchen. God knows how it got there, but in the dark room, without my glasses on, it looked exactly like a dead mouse frozen in rigor mortis, deposited there by my cats as a gift. I let out a scream as it flew from my hands. And then I saw that what I'd mistaken for the tail was really the string, and what looked like the body was really the almost-dry clump of leaves -- and that the dead mouse was nothing more than an innocent tea bag.

The mice are all outside, safe for the time being in their little mice beds under piles of leaves in the icy hedges. The birds are nibbling at the seed in the feeder: the cats have left them to it for a change. Small miracles around here. May I now hope for peace on earth, goodwill to men?

Whatever the case, Merry Christmas to all of you and your families, a very Happy Hannukah, and the best of holidays to every single one of you, whatever you believe!

Please join me in praying for a more peaceful and prosperous 2011 for the whole world.


Carole said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours too Mary. Have a wonderful holiday season.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Hey, even us raging Atheists have a Christmas tree, with an angel on the top, no less. We'll be enjoying the company of family and friends and frenzied grand kids.

Have a wonderful holiday and we'll look for you after the passing of what's left of this year.

Kim Ayres said...

Hope you have a fun festive time :)

Falak said...

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Happy holidays, Mary!

Robin said...

Merry Christmas, Mary! May no more old tea bags posing as dead mice try to trick you.

Vijaya said...

My household sounds a bit like yours with the kittens creating mayhem. They've been eating the bits of cedar and barfing up their breakfast ... a fine thing to do wake up to first thing Christmas Eve. Right now they are sleeping like angels as we prepare to go to the children's liturgy. At rehearsal they (the kids, not the kittens) were absolutely cherubic!

Peace and joy to you and your readers this Christmas and in the New Year, my friend.

Carolie said...

Merry Christmas, Mary! I'm so glad to call you friend. Peace, joy and love to you and yours -- and the whole world!

Kappa no He said...

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas too. And the New Year, it's right around the corner. I predict many exciting and wonderful things happening for you in 2011!

Mary Witzl said...

Carole -- Thank you! I hope you got through yours with less stress and bother than we did.

Robert -- I'm emerging, exhausted and shell-shocked, from underneath piles of used wrapping paper, leftover coffee cake, and snow. Thank God Christmas comes just once a year.

Kim -- Some of it was festive and a bit of it was fun. The flu and feuds were less so. Are you snowed under out there too?

Falak -- Thank you -- you too! You're in a bright, sunny place, aren't you? I keep having dreams about flowers and imagining I'm back in Cyprus.

Medeia -- Thank you, I'll try! (Sadly, the moratorium on dead mice and birds only lasted seven hours.)

Robin -- Thank you -- that would have been beautiful, but it wasn't to be. The evening after I wrote that, a real live dead mouse (how's that for an oxymoron?) was in the very same spot, waiting for me to step on. Ah well, there's never a dull moment in this household.

Vijaya -- And here I was, thinking our cats were the only ones who enjoyed chomping on evergreen! I'm beginning to despair of our house plants. Either the cats learn not to poison themselves on Japanese peace lilies or I put them behind glass (the peace lilies, of course, not the cats).

But I'll happily exchange wishes of peace and joy!

Carolie -- Amen to that, and I'm happy to call you friend, too! I hope you have a great 2011!

Kappa -- Thank you for those good wishes and kind words, and here's to a wonderful and prosperous 2011 for you too! Right now I'd almost settle for a clean kitchen and somebody else prepared to tidy up mouse guts and bird feathers. How did I end up with so many bloodthirsty cats?

Miss Footloose said...

Too bad one of your kids didn't shoot this teabag incident on the video of their camera!