12/22/2006

Christmas Pageantry

Thankfully, the annual Festival of Forced Frivolity at the office is finished. There's only one F word missing from that bunch.

Every year when the reindeer games start, I hope there'll be an old fashioned shunning and I'll get to be baby Rudolph. Instead, I find myself in the thick of things practicing my silent scream. Someone spent far too much time this year organizing a friendly competition for the work teams in my area. There were decorations, posters and streamers (let's hear it for the toilet paper!).

There were fun! little tasks designed to pit us against each other while learning about ergonomics. Whee! Listen folks, all I need to know about ergonomics, I learned from my Mom. Sit up straight! (Other useful training modules for the office I've been sentenced to: WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) -- this course teaches you to not drink the liquid paper. And I don't get danger pay?!

The Christmas baking season was very competitive this year with several entrants vying for the ohmygodthatsthebestshortbreadIhaveevertasted award but sadly, they all tasted about the same making it very difficult to declare one person Ugly Betty Crocker.

Peals of laughter rang louder than the telephones and the same people who spent most of the year avoiding eye contact with me smiled so broadly that I marvelled at the elasticity of their near human faces.

Outside of the office and back in my neighborhood, poorly managed light displays blink in quiet desperation. Trees suffer from the indignity of randomly thrown strings of lights and metal forms are strangled by mini lights. You there, at number 42! Is that some sort of Christmas shrimp out front?

Another house down the street has lit up plastic figurines of Santa, the nativity and Frosty all side by each. I love a good mixed message, don't you? And then there are the newly popular inflatable figures, plump and friendly, glowing by night but flat and deflated during the day, laying about on lawns like part of a strange yet festive crime scene.

With many at this time of year railing against the over commercialization of what was meant to be a religious celebration, let me be the one to say Move over baby Jesus, Dale needs a new pair of shoes. If any of you are out there shopping and thinking of me, please keep my Golden Rule close to your heart -- One for you, Two for me!

And with that, Happy Holidays to the lot of you, you big bunch of bloggers.

36 comments:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh the joys of forced frivolity in the workplace. I suffered through one of those yesterday too and the highlight was when one fellow treated us to carols played on his bagpipes. Other than that I felt like I was attending a meeting.

But I have to admit, nothing says festive like a Christmas shrimp!

Bubs said...

I don't think I'm the only person around who is stricken with a near-overwhelming desire to take a sharp object and "pop" those big inflatable yard decorations every time I walk by.

Tanya Espanya said...

And maybe those inflatable decorations look a bit like a used Christmas prophylactic?

chelene said...

Happy Holidays, Dale! By the way, when did you move to California? ;)

Melanie said...

Great post Dale :0) Im kind of glad I don't have a permanent work place, and therefore didn't have to put up with any of that nonsense ;)
I havent seen many decorated yards yet, but maybe people will be putting them up this weekend.

My puter is broked, so if I don't get it fixed, I won't be online til Wednesday. Take care, and have a Grooooooooooooooovalicous Christmas!

Yasamin said...

And then there are the newly popular inflatable figures, plump and friendly, glowing by night but flat and deflated during the day, laying about on lawns like part of a strange yet festive crime scene.

tell me those things don't make you all freaked out! Every time i see one i feel like Frosty's been murdered! or deflated! lol its very depressing.

ps... happy holidays, merry xmas, and Happy Winter Solstice!

SlayGirl said...

Brilliant! My favorites were:
"practicing my silent scream" and
"glowing by night but flat and deflated during the day, laying about on lawns like part of a strange yet festive crime scene."

I hate organized FUN! hate perky fake people. Loved the imagery of your neighborhood. Funny. Btw, nice touch on the end there. I posted something similar recently and got blasted by somebody. I asked for money in a later post...and for a cookie for you btw...will two do?

larry h. said...

Ah, workplace Christmas parties. I miss those this year. One of the downsides of being on an unpaid indefinite vacation. Dale you've been a good sport, and I enjoy your wit and friendly jabs. Here's to you and yours at this time of the year. Merry Christmas (or is it Happy Holidays), mate. Regardless, from the heart, I wish you the blessings of the season.

(And you're right, sometimes the season does have a forced feeling when in fact we should be decent to folks ALL YEAR round).

BeckEye said...

I hate work Christmas parties. Such bullshit. They're more like "I'd rather be at home celebrating with family and friends than you jerks, but since I'm being forced to be here, bring on the disgusting egg nog" parties. But I guess that wouldn't all fit on an invitation.

blog Portland said...

Hey, if the dude is willing to die for us, I'm sure he's cooling with us getting his birthday presents too.

Dale said...

Haha, you know the pain too Barbara. And the thing on his lawn looks like a shrimp. I can't for the life of me figure anything else and I've looked at it from every angle.

What did you see Bubs? You don't have it on tape do you? Heh heh.

Dirty Tanya! Snow cones and con domes, you're right.

Chelene - All the best!! Didn't you get my change of address. It's been a couple of weeks at least.

You're having too much wind and crazy ass weather to have them up Mel. I hope your computer woes are over soon! Have a merry Merry.

I'd rather have visions of sugar plums than carnage and CSI Yasamin!
Happy Everything right back to you!

Two should be fine Slaygirl. I like that you're always thinking of me. That's two of us!

Larry H. - you're a fine fellow and will be back on the Christmas party bandwagon next year I've no doubt. Have yourself a merry little whatever you'd like. I enjoy your comments and posts.

I'd love to see it just once on an invitation though Beckeye, wouldn't you? Haha. Add Southern Comfort to the eggnog and it's mildly less disgusting. Honest.

Jesus is just alright with me Blog Portland. But I have nicer shoes.

Old Lady said...

Bah Humbug! I'm not that bad, really, I too have had enough of the 'falseness of a worn out relation'. I do love the decorating, cooking and presents. I just have stopped thinking that all of that is more important than 'peace, love and understanding'. So to you, my realistic friend, I wish you a holiday of your own making, may it be happy, peaceful and full of love. Throw Mr. Snowman away you old softie!

katie schwartz said...

ah, I do love your sarcasm, child. chaaaapy chaaalidays, bubbie!

Mob said...

I actually laughed loud enough to wake the wife over the Christmas Shrimp line.

I love your curmudeonly take on the holidays, my friend.

The flaccid Santas strewn about people's lawns during the day is quite depressing to me as well.

Geeti Das said...

Happy St. Patrick's, ya big lug!

justacoolcat said...

I Tell You They're Christmas Decorations!

Seriously Officer, I thought the holes were for lights.

Johnny Yen said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one to find those big blow-up things ridiculous and horrible.

Yesterday, I was driving by one that our Chicago wind was moving around. I nearly lost it, because of what it's rhythmic motion, flapping in the wind, made it old Frosty look like he was doing. I'll leave it to your fetid little imaginations. Let it suffice to say that if he'd come to life, like Frosty did, he'd have been hauled to off to jail for the night.

Dale said...

I'm sure I'm not so bad either Old Lady. Why, my heart just yesterday beat a couple of times. What did you bake me?

Sarcasm Katie? What is this sarcasm you speak of?

I never set out to wreck marriages Mob, it just happens! Haha, I'm glad you enjoyed the crankiness. And that thing, no lie, looks like a damned shrimp and I can't figure it out.

It ain't easy being Geeti but you do it so well my little envy bug.

Don't worry Justacoolcat, it's not the size of the bulb that matters!

Johnny, I'm glad you shared that special moment with Frosty, it melted my heart. The answer my friend is blowing in the wind. What?

Old Lady said...

Homemade Fruit Cake doused in BRANDY! It has been curing since Thanksgiving. I'm getting ready to bake the dogs some dog biscuits!

justacoolcat said...

Dale You really know how to make a guy's mini lights twinkle.

gizmorox said...

Not fair, Dale. I leave for a week and you post the funniest things ever, so I have to go through them all at once and laugh myself senseless. I'm blaming you if I can't sit up tomorrow because my abs are too sore. Christmas shrimp indeed.

kate said...

happy holidays to you too... and I hope that you find shoes and not coal in the stockings hung with care! lol

Dale said...

I'll have a little brandy and a dog biscuit please Old Lady. Okay, I'll try a piece of the fruitcake but only to be polite.

Boy, the white stuff is really coming down now Coolcat.

You've been out traipsing around with Chelene Gizmo and that's why you're tired! Haha, she mentioned your visit. Glad I could give you some shrimp appetizers!

Hi Kate and Merry Christmas! If there's any coal, there could be trouble, that's all I'm saying.

Creepy said...

Happy holidays dude, thanks for the never ending laughs.

Dale said...

My certain pleasure Mr. Creepy and thanks for all the good reading over at your site too.

Writeprocrastinator said...

Happy Blogmas!

Reese said...

Happy holidays, Daley ... and be sure to punch a couple of your co-workers in the nuts for me ;-)

Dale said...

You've blogged the Christ right out of it haven't you Write Procrastinator?

Underway Reese - the Happy Holidays part and now I'm officially making resolutions -- to punch one of my co-workers in the nuts each month. I may even rotate which co-workers!
Peace Reese.

X. Dell said...

Mixed message? They could have added a Menorah for Haunnukah and a seven-headed snake for Kwanzaa.

I agree with you. Nothing's worse than a forced or coerced expression of joy. Especially in a competitive office setting.

Dale said...

Next year, I'm setting free a 7 headed snake at the office and we'll see how things work out X. Dell. Thanks for the inspiration.

Coaster Punchman said...

I've always been sad that I was too young to experience real office Christmas parties, like the one in The Apartment.

Tumuli said...

Simply brilliant. Your post reminded me both of why I hate some Christmas traditions -- including the superficial office gatherings -- but LOVE you and your incisiveness.

I couldn't buy you anything, but does my worship count?

Jill said...

At your age, arent't you old enough to know not to drink liquid paper??? At least you didn't try to sniff some fome a liquid paper pen, like someone did at my school!!
Eat some Dixie Lee, it's better for you!!

Dale said...

I know CP! This year my new boss gave us all little bottles of booze which shocked us all. I thanked him for helping to bring alcoholism back into the workplace.

Tumuli, worship goes a very long way. I hope this makes me some sort of false god.

I still fall off the wagon now and then Jill and the next thing you know, my teeth are whiter than ever.

Jill said...

I hope that they are not white like Chandler white, in Friends!!
And are you that poor, that you need liquid paper for teeth whitening??

Dale said...

I'm poor and old Jill.