Archive for December, 2021

So, this dude I was talking to today inspired me to write a ‘Chronicle’ for the first time in months. For the sake of this entry into the LMC, let’s just call him Andy. This dude and I became friends in 2003 or 4. Then, in 2008, he became my boss. Then, I left his employ, and he became my vendor. Then, I left that job, and we became colleagues. But throughout this journey, we have mostly just been great friends. Now that I manage a sales team of my own, I spend a lot of time apologizing to my friend about my prima donna behavior in the 10 years that I worked for him. None of that has anything to do with what I’m going to write about, and it probably will be scratched in editing, but this is how I warm up. (Hey wait!! It made it!)

It’s the Christmas season, of course, and everything I love about this particular holiday season is all around me. My babies are home; my little Alex Rae brought home her new cat, and while I’ve joked all my life about the atrocities and insignificance of the domestic feline species, Petey is an awesome, chill, little dude, and he makes my daughter so happy that I can’t take it! I LOVE this cat! I (obviously) love having Alex home too. She is the fire, the energy, & the heart of our family home.

My son, Jack, is home as well; a kinder, more gentle soul, you will never meet. Packaged in a giant, 6ft 9inch body, Jack is the “peacekeeper” of our home…not through intimidation though, simply through his own brand of “chill”. If he was into drugs at all, and if I liked The Grateful Dead at all, he’s the kind of chill dude that I would love to sit down with at a Dead concert, spark up a doob and just hang out and take it all in.**

 **(The Large Man does not advocate the recreational use of illegal drugs or the listening to the music of The Grateful Dead at any time. It’s called a “metaphor”, look it up!)

Fathers & daughters, mothers & sons, our total family unit under one roof is the only gift I really need…this year, or any year. I love that part of Christmas, and I know the dozen or so of you reading this love it too.

But, back to my inspiration…

My friend Andy touched on a subject today, and his words struck me like a bolt of lightning, straight to the nuts, while standing in the middle of a swimming pool…”I do everything online now. It kinda dampens the Christmas spirit.”

(When lightning strikes you in the nuts while you stand in a swimming pool, the shock is more intense, and it lingers on an average of about :30 more seconds than simply being struck by lightning in the middle of a field or on a Ferris Wheel. You can look that up too)

My friend’s words froze me in my tracks. It was as revalationary (not revolutionary) as when Kramer first learned about Festivus on Seinfeld. But Andy’s comment was not meant to be funny, he was talking about how he missed the hustle and bustle of actually going to stores and shopping malls, with people and decorations and fistfights over parking spaces.

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style.

In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas.

Yup…I miss it too. Christmas simply isn’t in the air at dubya dubya dubya . amazon .LL Bean .Eddie Baur .Macy’s etc. It’s really convenient, and technically speaking, you can get everything you need for Christmas on your Google machine now, but Christmas isn’t technical. Christmas isn’t experienced via www dot ANYTHING!!  Christmas is about spirit, and Spirit, and Santa Claus, and Holy Mangers, and tinsel and vibrant reds and calming greens and brilliant whites and Elves and ribbons & bows. You ain’t gonna get that online.

AND…this lightning strike to my testicles shot from the words of my slow witted friend is my line in the sand! NO MORE! (Sub-note….this isn’t just a side effect of the pandemic, I’ve been a victim of online convenience for the last 5 or 6 years)

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!MOOOOOORE!!!!!!! I have to change my Christmas shopping habits & style & strategy.

Some of the most pleasant memories of my youth, and even more so, my young adult life, are from fighting the crowds while Christmas shopping. In my younger days, “The Mayhem Years“, as I fondly call them… my buddy DJ and I, usually did our Christmas shopping for the first time of the season on Christmas Eve – and it was awesome!

There was this one time… DJ shattered a Shakespeare Ugly Stik fishing rod while demonstrating it’s (supposed) flexibility. About the time we finished laughing about the destroyed fishing rod, we watched an old man trip over nothing. My stomach hurt for 3 days from laughing so hard!! And, before you readers get all “judgy”, we did stop laughing long enough to tell mall security that there was a dude on the floor in front of Penny’s with head trauma and a possible subdural hematoma. Yes, we were laughing at someone’s misfortune, but we were responsible about it. We heard later that the man who fell recovered, and then went on to invent oat milk. So that shot to the noggin and the hearty laughter of two buddies could be responsible for much relief to lactose intolerant people all over the world. Whether all that really happened or not, who’s to say…still, it was all in good fun, and the joy of that Christmas shopping experience and those beautiful, laughter filled moments have lived with me forever. You can’t get that online…you just cant!

I want that again! I want that for my children. I want that for all of us.

Next year, I’m going to a shopping mall, and I’m taking my kids with me. I’m making my wife go too. We’re going to pay cash at cash registers and we’re going to say, “To you as well!” after the hard-working retail clerks say, “Thank you, and Merry Christmas to you.” We’re gonna get Cinnabons and Orange Juliuses and Chick-fil-a and those pretzel thingys. We’re going to pay people to wrap our gifts. It will be like Christmas in the 70s without having to drive my Chevy Nova.

And…AND…next year, the whole family will be of legal drinking age, so when we’re done shopping and snacking and eating, and watching people fall or break things, we will go to a bar in the mall and we will have a vibrant red, or calming green, or brilliant white cocktail to celebrate the joy of the season and the commerce that it creates!! (And all the Holy stuff too, just sayin’)

And you guys are invited!!

Merry Christmas & Big Love from La casa del Hombre Grande

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