Have you captured the spirit of the season, yet? Are you having a little trouble? Is there a Scrooge in your circle of family and friends, a Humbugger? A man, of course. Women love the season.
So I'm going to give you gals a little advice on how to get old Ebenezer on track:
1) Take him shopping. Not one of the big out-of-town malls. Shop local. It's easier on the stress level. All right, here we go: not a lot of parking here. Let's circle the lot of couple more times. Boy, I'd love to get one of those "handicap" stickers. How small do you have to be to get into one of those "small car" spots? Some of these drivers are rude, eh? Look, there's two guys actually fighting. Maybe we should go home and try again tomorrow.
2) Watch It's a Wonderful Life together, even if it's for the 100th time. Men love it, especially that part when the little girl says, "Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings." Don't be fooled if he starts cheering for old man Potter, the bad guy. Make sure you get it on tape so you can watch it again.
Ditto, the Miracle on 34th Street is another old movie featuring a sappy little girl and a guy who believes he is really Santa.
3) The tree: send your man for the tree. It'll make him feel like a man. And not one of those cultured clones from the grocery. Give him a saw or an axe and send him out to the woods, or the neighbour's, for that matter: they're gone to Mexico for Christmas and they have a couple nice blue spruce in the backyard.
4) Take your man to the Santa Claus parade. So it's raining a little and every time you pass someone with an umbrella you worry that you're going to get your eye removed. Take some shelter under a store awning and enjoy the floats. A big favourite is that guy pulling a child's wagon with a bucket inside (float 47) for the horse poop. There are invariably hundreds of children from local dance studios and various military cadet corps. Heaven help us if we're ever invaded!
5) Ask the neighbourhood kids' choir to drop around and sing Silent Night (ironic, eh?). Remember to sedate the dog first. You know what happened last year! Tough to get a tetanus shot Christmas Eve.
6) Stock up on the booze, especially if your mother and father are coming around. Nothing smooths out the conversational flow like a couple glasses of good scotch. Just as long as your mother doesn't start lecturing about the true meaning of Christmas. You don't want to be damned to hell two years in a row.
7) Buy your Scrooge that snowblower he's always wanted. Doesn't matter if there's no snow; you know how men and their machines are, he'll be out there Christmas morning pushing it around, sucking up the leaves and bothering the neighbours. Those bylaw guys won't be working Christmas anyway, will they?
8) Let him watch the football, as long as he's willing to let you watch the Michael Buble Christmas special. Tit for tat. You might even talk him into Tony Bennett if his team is winning the game. You know how much he likes K.D. Lang and she's always on with Tony. You might have to agree to some Christmas nooky to pull that one off! If you're lucky, he'll fall asleep on the couch.
9) Don't buy him any of that self-help literature or those dopey Wayne Dyer tapes for his stress. You know how he feels about meditation. And don't even mention yoga lessons!
10) Let him go to the charity strip-a-thon at the Haney Hotel. Nothing says Christmas like sticking a $5 bill in a dancer's G-string!