Ornaments and Electricity, A Christmas Story

Odd Christmas, but still ???

It’s too late for Christmas, I know. The ornaments are taken down and the electricity is put to greater uses than just studding little colored lights into the night. The model villages are back in their boxes, the little freight trains wrapped in tissue paper. Although the days are a bit longer, winter seems to stretch ahead forever. I’m beginning to long for Spring, but I’m still drawn to the Christmas behind me. Maybe it’s because there are no little lights at Spring, no ornaments but eggs, no uses for electricity but those of everyday. What the hell happened to Christmas?

I wonder if Christmas is the antidote to increased and increasing speed. Suppose the dragging out of all the ornaments and the hanging and plugging-in of all the little lights slows Time – is meant, in fact, to slow Time. The anticipation of Christmas is what always gets to me; that somehow there will be this respite, this Holiday, this suspension of everydaydayafterday. When the tunes of the Holidays slip subtly into my hummings – even Adam Sandler’s wonderfully stupid Chanukah song – and I find myself adrift in wishings for snow on the ground not up on the mountain to ski on but around my house, on my porch, on my roof, so deep that the little lights I’ve strung outside shine through it with magical significance; when I actually begin to seriously consider the bizarre religion from which the holiday ostensibly springs, the true insanity of the consideration, even, of Virginal Motherhood; when I combine Goths and fir trees and Palms and Kings and stars and reindeers into something that I look forward to, then I’ve lost it again that year, like every year before.


The Christmas Story

So Big Jesus says to Little Jesus one day in a place outside of Ajo on the Res line, he says Dude, why do we celebrate, on this day of all days, this feast, this eating, this mass, this hunger for companionship and snow? Why?

And Little Jesus sits back and looks at the sea of longnecks on the table before them and listens for a careful minute to Los Lobos on the juke and thinks to himself that it’s nearly December and looks at his brother and says; Dude. It’s because we are the twins with no Father.

Bullshit, says Big Jesus and towers himself up into a whirling hobobo of a wind of hell and flies halfway down the Alamo Wash and back and sits down and lets the air whirl around him, knocking over several longneck bottles. Bullshit, he repeats.

Well, says Little Jesus, Mom always said so and I’d like to point out in her defense that we didn’t see much Fatherly presence when we were kids.

Every dude in a brown dress in the big white plaster and mud church was called Father, says Big Jesus defensively.

Not the same thing, says Little Brother. The Electricity was our Father, that’s what I think. And like the Hopi dolls and the ones made by O’odhams to look like the Hopi dolls and like the white man with his little Christmas villages with the moving ski feature and adorable snow-covered houses and carolers and so forth and the Zuni guys with the little turquoise animals and all the little bundles and precious things that look like other things and mean something to somebody, the Electricity is good at running through them, whether through wires or mysterious Old People secret methods, and lighting them up literally and figuratively, much like our Father did with Mom the Virgin.

I don’t think that’s funny, says Big Jesus. It’s stupid to think of Mom as a model railroad and Dad as electricity.

I don’t mean it to be funny, it’s not funny. It’s sad to have no father says Little Jesus. There is a big pause.

I guess we are each other’s father, says one or the other of them, it doesn’t matter which.


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