The Festive is upon us.

Hey, I know you've been wondering what my neighborhood looks like, all lit up and Christian in the holiday season, so here you go:


There you see Crazy Joe, the guy who reads the paper all night long, no matter how cold the weather. I'm over on the right, skating my little heart out. Henry's in the newsboy cap, throwing himself at the camera lens. And in case you're wondering why that building is emanating an unearthly glow, well, we don't ask questions, round these parts. We just avert our eyes and we keep on skating.

I tricked you! What! That's not my town at all. Yuletide Fool's!

(Yes, that's right. Jesus loved a good prank.)

So among the Christmas decorations my mother foisted upon me—I mean lovingly offered—was my parents' famed Winter Village, a collection of ceramic figurines and buildings and teeny tiny lights that they hauled out at Christmastime. I balked, because after all, the Winter Village! That's a big commitment to, you know, tiny ceramics. It's a hop and a skip to Hummel figurine collecting, after this. But my parents insisted. The Winter Village is meant for the children, they shouted, to see the wonder and delight in their little angelic faces, and children don't come around their house much anymore, unless it's to ring the doorbell and run away screaming I TOUCHED OLD MAN BRADLEY'S HOUSE BLAAAAARGH.

So we put up a mini version of the Winter Village on our mantelpiece. We don't have a flat surface large enough for the entire Winter Village community, the Winter Village nursing home and Winter Village cell-phone store and Winter Village Great Wall of China. Also our cat wants nothing more than to walk across a table, chucking delicate figurines onto the floor with one swipe of her deadly paw. And she hasn't figured out how to reach the mantelpiece. Yet.


Here we have Santa, sitting on his giant Ice Throne, wondering why no one is coming to greet him. "They all like that smaller Santa right in front of me. Who would put one Santa right in front of another? Probably a Jew," he's thinking, and he would be right. A Jew who cursed a lot and wondered how he got himself into this mess, marrying a Catholic, installing her Norman Rockwell diorama in order for her to better praise Jesus.

After Scott finished cursing and arranging, Henry announced that we had to "do the festive." This apparently meant turning off all the non-Winter Village lights and sitting together on the couch, while Scott sang "do the festive!" to the tune of "The Hustle" and Henry held forth about the Universe blowing up with one push of his self-destruct button. So pretty much it was a dress rehearsal for Christmas.

Do the Festive!