Tag Archives: christmas

2209. The stolen goose

(Day 2 of a week of retelling traditional folktales.)

The vicar was furious. Someone, some worthless creature, had stolen his goose. It had been intended that the goose would be feasted upon on Christmas Day. “Kill the fatted goose!” had been the pre-Christmas cry in the vicarage for a number of years.

“I want all to sit,” blasted the vicar to the congregation. “All sit! All be seated!”

The congregation sat.

“The person who stole the goose is not yet seated,” declared the vicar.

“Yes I am,” called out Harvey O’Donoghue.

2075. Virginia’s chocolates

Virginia thought she would learn to make chocolates. Not chocolate, but chocolates – those things with something scrumptious like a nut or some fruit jelly encased inside. She had once read about it in a magazine but unfortunately she neither had the magazine nor too much of a memory as to what the magazine said.

But these days there was the internet. Everything could be found on the internet including the making of chocolates. She would find an easy method and follow it to a tee. It was like magic how the centre got into the chocolates, especially if the centre was runny. A nut could simply be dipped into melted chocolate, but runny stuff was another thing altogether. Virginia thought she would begin with a strawberry flavoured centre.

Part of the problem was that Virginia, in the main, was a terrible procrastinator. She would put things off, and put things off. This was not to be the case with her chocolate-making. She would aim to have little baskets of chocolates to give out this coming Easter. She couldn’t mess around. It was almost inevitable that the first chocolates she made would be a disaster, but perhaps by the second attempt she might produce something good enough to serve as an Easter gift.

Virginia went shopping with the list of things required. When it came to flavouring, she wondered, looking at all the options available in the supermarket aisle, whether she should make a variety of flavours and not just strawberry. There was strawberry, and raspberry, and apricot, and lemon, and orange, and… the choices went on and on. In the end, Virginia settled for strawberry and orange. Then there was the mould. She hadn’t realized there were so many shapes available. She chose moulds that were in the shape of vegetables: carrots and pumpkins and zucchinis and so on.

When she got home Virginia wonder if the vegetable shapes were appropriate for Easter. She should have got bunnies and cockerels and eggs. Not to worry – she would make do with what she had.

Anyway, that was last Easter. With Thanksgiving approaching Virginia still hadn’t made any chocolates, but the vegetable moulds would be more than suitable for Thanksgiving. Yes! She would make little baskets of chocolates to give out this coming Thanksgiving. Or perhaps Christmas. Christmas would be better. It was more of a chocolatey occasion than Thanksgiving.

2021. Tinsel and bauble

(This is not per se a return to a daily posting but the stories stopped at Number 2020 and that was last year! So here’s a single story to bring the numbering up to date!)

Christabelle had the most beautiful (and expensive) Christmas decorations. Really, if the neighbours had seen them they would have been embarrassed by their own tree.

Two of the decorations were particularly splendid. Their names were Tinsel and Bauble. It so happened that they both ended up on the same branch of the tree.

“Oh! What a magnificent decoration!” declared Christabelle’s friend, Tawnya, when she visited.

There was still two weeks to go before Christmas, and both splendid decorations claimed that Tawnya was referring to them.

“I’m the most beautiful!” exclaimed Tinsel.

“I’m the most beautiful!” exclaimed Bauble. “Tawnya was enamoured by my beauty not yours.”

This went on for weeks. Christmas was over. New Year’s Day came and went. Tinsel and Bauble detested each other. Hate would not be too strong a word.

When Christabelle put the decorations away, Tinsel and Bauble happened to be placed next to each other in the same box.

It was going to be a long year.

1895. Cruel names

Merry was called Merry because she was born on Christmas Day. Clearly her parents didn’t realize that the proper spelling of Mary had also some connection with Christmas. Merry spent her entire life, as a punishment for her parents’ lack of knowledge, saying, “No! That’s not how you spell it!”

Just over two years later, when her little brother was born, it was New Year’s Day, so he was named “Happy”. It was a providential name because when he grew up and began a career in looting he shot a couple of policemen and was known within close circles as “Trigger Happy”.

There was a third child in the family. He was called Roger; short for Roger Mortis. The parents thought it a huge joke because he was born on the very day that Grandma died. Spelling was not the parents’ greatest strength so “Rigor” was registered as “Roger”. Otherwise if he had been born on an ordinary day of the year they had in mind to call the baby Plain Jane if a girl, and Joe Blogs if a boy. And then Grandma stepped up to the plate. Roger had escaped from having a life lumbered with silliness.

Honestly, a number of people were relieved that the parents didn’t create further children. “I’m sure any uncreated children would be more than grateful that they never came into this world,” declared a neighbour, Ms. Stacey Meldrum. Stacey herself has a host of kids. I can only remember the names of three of them; Tabernacle, Vernacular, and Genuflection. After these three Stacey developed an interest in organic chemistry.

1865. Early shopping

(Dear Faithful and truly-tried Readers – sometimes it’s rainy and dull outside (it is winter here) and blogging takes on the flavour of the weather. So since I’m twiddling my thumbs I thought I’d go silly for a time – which is why my nomenclature on this blog is now Cloven Ruminant. (You can still call me Bruce – and anyway, Cloven Ruminant is better than Split-hoofed Cud-chewer). Quite a number of excellent bloggers are configured in a pseudonym so I thought I’d do the same and free myself from the shackles of expectation. Those shackles of expectation can at times be nullifying to ones creativity, so I’m breaking free! One never knows what riff-raff the cat might drag in when using another name. Incidentally, the goat gravatar is not a selfie but a picture of Billy my Goat. I’m younger and more beautiful. Anyway, here’s today’s story. Thanks – Cloven Ruminant).

Goodness! It was only July and already Malvina had finished her Christmas shopping. She had six children, five in-laws, and seventeen grandchildren. It was so much cheaper to buy suitable gifts throughout the year. Not only might they not be available closer to Christmas, but sometimes during the year things were on sale. Given the large number she had to buy for, every little saving was a great relief for Malvina.

As each gift was purchased, Malvina would wrap it carefully in Christmas paper and pencil the name of the person-to-receive. One year she had attached little cards to the gifts with the person’s name, but by the time Christmas arrived some of the cards had fallen off and she had to open the gifts to see who should get what. These days, as it neared Christmas, she would attach name cards.

And so it was! Here it was in July and already the Christmas shopping was done, the gifts were wrapped and well-hidden in a suitcase at the back of her bedroom closet. She had to hide things particularly well because all seventeen grandchildren were budding sleuths. So far, thankfully, they had never ventured into her bedroom closet.

Goodness! It was only September and already Malvina had finished her Christmas shopping. She had six children, five in-laws, and seventeen grandchildren. It was so much cheaper to buy suitable gifts throughout the year. Not only might they not be available closer to Christmas, but sometimes during the year things were on sale. Given the large number she had to buy for, every little saving was a great relief for Malvina.

Goodness! It was nearly Christmas and Malvina hadn’t even started her Christmas shopping. Usually she shopped for gifts throughout the year, but this year the time had flown. “I don’t know where the time goes to,” she said. She thought she had bought some gifts earlier, but she couldn’t find them. Usually she hid the gifts in a box in the cupboard in her garage but there was nothing there. How the years melded into one another. She must have shopped for the previous year!

1836. Reap what you sow

Carol disliked Christmas immensely. It wasn’t because of people teasing her about her name, it was because everyone seemed to get Christmas presents and she didn’t get anything. All the other kids at school got presents, like Judith who got a doll when she already had one, and Marlene got a kitten.

It wasn’t because they were Jewish or anything either. Nor were they Christians. Her parents didn’t give her anything for Christmas but they seemed to go from one office Christmas party to another, and they even had a party at home with all sorts of decorations and lights and a tree.

On Christmas morning, no one pretended to come down the chimney, even though Carol left a peanut brownie that she had pinched from the cookie jar in the kitchen. But it was still there in the morning, and her parents slept in until eleven o’clock. To fill in the time waiting for them to get out of bed, Carol watched television on her own. And when they got up they never even said “Merry Christmas”.

“That’s because your parents are very busy,” said Marlene’s mother, Mrs. Brocklehurst. Carol spent quite a bit of time at the Brocklehurst’s house. Carol was dropped off there by her mother whenever she was having guests for an afternoon tea or dinner or something.

Anyway, that was years ago. These days Carol’s parents are in a retirement home. Carol’s mother is bed-ridden and her father is in a wheelchair. Carol never visits them. It’s not that she’s mean or anything; it’s just that it never occurred to her.

1699. Let’s talk turkey

(Today’s story is the final in a trilogy of absurd yarns.)

A peasant woman was in need of a turkey for Christmas, so she went to the queen and said if you give me your Christmas turkey I’ll teach it to talk, and that way it will entertain the court before it gets its head cut off and put in the oven.

The queen thought it an excellent idea. It would make a delightful change from the annual humdrum things they do every Christmas. But please, the queen added, don’t teach it to speak in that horrid peasant’s accent. Try and give it some class.

A while later the peasant woman informed the queen that the turkey could speak, and with the most delightful middle to upper class accent. The trouble is however, said the peasant woman, the only sentence the turkey knows is “The queen is having a torrid extramarital affair.”

“Off with its head!” screamed the queen. “Off with its head! I don’t want that horrid creature dead or alive anywhere near the palace.”

Enjoy!

1685. A wonderful Christmas gift

You’ve no idea the trouble Ivy went to, to get twelve lovely photographs of the wonderful family who lived next door. There were five in the Winchcombe Family: Mum, Dad, and their three beautiful daughters. The Winchcombes were about as ideal next door neighbours as one could hope for. And every Christmas they would bring Ivy a basket of the tastiest homemade shortbread possible. Glorious!

The trouble was that Ivy always had trouble knowing what best to give them in return. She’d done chocolates at least five times. And then she got this idea. Wonderful!

She would get a calendar printed with a different family photograph each month of the year. Ivy started early gathering the photographs together. It was a difficult task because she didn’t want to let her secret out. The photos were perfect. There was a beautiful one of the family gathering mushrooms in a green field. Another shot was of the family at a fair ground. The loveliest photograph of all was an official portrait taken of the family sitting on a rug in front of a lake. With swans. And trees. And flowers. And… oh lovely! Just lovely!

Ivy was so pleased with the calendar when it was finished that she couldn’t wait to give it to the family. But she must be patient. She mustn’t jump the gun. Only a week to go!

And then the three girls called in with a basket of Christmas shortbread and said that their parents were getting a divorce.

1499. I’ll take you there

Andrew lived with his grandma in a little cottage. He helped his grandma grow vegetables and flowers. He also helped his grandma milk the cow. The cow lived in the shed out the back.

A big snowstorm came. Andrew was sad because the weather reminded him of the day his mother died. Grandma said that if he looked into the frosty night sky he would see lots of stars brightly shining. Perhaps his mother was looking down.

Andrew made a great big star out of silver foil and hung it in the window so his mother would know where to look.

A little later Grandma was busy making cinnamon cookies in the kitchen. There was a knock at the door.

“I’ll get it, Grandma.”

Andrew opened the door. The winter wind swept in.

There stood Three Kings. What a glorious sight! They were dressed in cloth of gold studded with jewels. They wore crowns and had rings galore on their fingers. They carried gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

“We have been following a star,” they said. “We saw the star in your window and wondered if this was the right place.”

Andrew said he didn’t think it was the right place, but there were some people in the shed out the back sheltering from the snow. They might know something about it.

“I’ll take you there.”

And that is how Andrew changed the history of the world.

1468. Jingle all the way

Whenever Clive reheated something in the microwave he would burst out singing at the top of his voice, “JINGLE ALL THE WAY”. Quite frankly, it drove Eustacia crazy. Eustacia was his wife.

There he goes again! The microwave has just beeped finish and off he goes. JINGLE ALL THE WAY.

“Why do you always sing JINGLE ALL THE WAY when the microwave finishes?” asked Eustacia.

“It’s pretty obvious,” said Clive. “It’s easy enough to work out why.” That annoyed Eustacia even more. Not only did he sing something meaningless, but he accused her of stupidity for not knowing why.

And then it struck her. How obvious it was. When the microwave finished it went:

Beep beep beep
Beep beep beep.

That was:

Jingle bells
Jingle bells.

JINGLE ALL THE WAY sang Clive.

Now it really drove Eustacia nuts. She couldn’t use the microwave without hearing Jingle Bells.