Pet Peeves Holiday Traditions

By Mark Crantz
By Mark Crantz


Many people think that Christmas has become more complex and too commercial.  I have to say nay to those Scrooges. Tiny Tim will still have a bountiful Christmas even if he has a dickens of a time enrolling in No young demographic wants to deal with provider availability, deductibles, and copays when there are holiday sweater parties to attend. If you have been unable to navigate the website and enroll, then take the precautionary step to wear Christmas sweaters without blinking electric lights that do not mix well with spilled holiday beverages. This precautionary action will prevent an emergency room visit without coverage and also save you from experiencing the medical profession’s indifference to saving one-of-a-kind sweaters that have become melted and molded to your body. Take a senior citizen’s word of advice. Stay on your parents’ health coverage or if that’s not possible have your parents pay the mandate’s fine. You didn’t ask to be born.  It’s their responsibility even if your non-enrollment skews the risk pool and requires twice the premium next year for your aging parents.  Again you didn’t ask for them to be born, either.  Tis the season to be merry, not mandated.

I do believe Generation Zs get better presents now. Today, the presents under the tree are stacked high with IPhones, IPods, IPads, Xboxes, PlayStations, Kindles and the endless games and applications that go with this hardware to assure families never speak to each other again without a hashtag salutation first.  “#Thx. #I’m returning the Care Bear phone cover. Yuck, Dad.”

When I was a boy presents were different.  My presents required at least 65 steps of directions to assemble. My parents would be up the whole night before Christmas putting together bikes, wagons, sleds, train sets, and racing cars before we rose early to discredit all their hard work by playing in the large boxes that the toys came in instead. Our cardboard box world was make believe and didn’t require the direction’s 65th step that stated, “batteries not included.” Santa was much more absent minded during my time due to sleep deprivation.

There is one present that remains the same throughout the generations. Whether it’s Christmas present, Christmas past, or Christmas future there will always be the fruitcake.  The late and great comic Johnny Carson opined that there was really only one fruitcake in the world and it just kept getting passed around because nobody wanted it. This tradition makes the fruitcake the most singularly re-gifted item in the world.  While I don’t know anything about making fruitcake, I do believe that batteries are included. That’s a good thing because the box it comes in is not big enough for make believe. But then again maybe it is.  I make believe that inside this box is a brand new IPad Mini Air just for me because I’m so nice and never naughty.


Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago.  He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.”  His recently deceased Border Collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.




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