Thanksgiving is over and the next holiday will be Christmas. It is really not my holiday, as I decided a few years back that I was no longer going to be a Christian. Yes, I believe Christ was an important prophet and teacher. I also believe that Buddha, Mohammed, Moses, Confucius, Gandhi, George Fox, Zoroaster and others were important prophets and all have something to teach us. I try to be opened minded, respectful and tolerant of all religions. That is if said religions are being used to do good in the world. We have all seen too many crusades and jihads doing evil in the name of religion.
That being said my family is made up of mostly Christians and will be celebrating Christmas. To me that means I will have to suffer with a phobia I have. You see, I am allergic to boxes. Not just in a physical way, but in a mental way also. To me they represent things like packing up and moving. Moving to me represents change, and I can be slow to accept change. I note every time I have ever moved to a new residence has always been on the hottest day of the year or the coldest with the most snow fall of the year.
At Christmas time, I will be crawling into my attic, dragging out heavy boxes of Christmas ornaments and the artificial Christmas tree. It means spending time helping decorate the tree and house. It seems like a waste of time when I’ll be packing it all back up after a few weeks. It’s not that I’m lazy (OK maybe a little) but it seems like time wasted that could have been better spent. All the time decorating and shopping in the Christmas season would be better spent volunteering to help those less fortunate. Wouldn’t that really be more in keeping with the spirit of the holiday? The first Noel seems to have been replaced by the first one through Wal-Mart’s door on Black Friday gets the Xbox 360.
Here is a poem I wrote a few years back about my box phobia:
I Like My Beer In a Mug…Don’t Box Me In
It’s hot today I comment,
as I open my lunch box
looking for a cool drink
like a thermos of iced tea
but the only thing I see
is a small box of cereal.
Why would my wife pack this?
I refuse to pour milk into a box of cereal.
Cardboard makes a terrible bowl
but it’s not really cereal
it’s actually orange juice.
Orange juice in a box??
I imagine paper cuts
and very bloody lips.
At home I open the fridge
still looking for a cool drink.
It’s stacked with boxes of Kool Aid.
I like my Kool Aid in a pitcher,
any old pitcher will do.
It need not have a smiley face
but it surely shouldn’t be in a box.
For Christmas, I got a box of wine.
Ask any self-respecting wino and
he’ll say wine in a paper bag yes,
wine in a box—sacrilegious.
Imagine a couple in love
sitting at a Paris Café
at an intimate table,
on it sits a box of wine—on ice.
I ask your opinion,
is that a romantic picture?
Well Christmas is over,
its time to put away
what must surely be
the great invention
of the 20th century
the artificial Christmas tree.
My wife says we need
a new box to store it in.
I ask her, “Where do we find such a large box?”
She takes me to a box store.
They sell nothing but boxes,
little boxes, big boxes, white and brown boxes.
It’s actually a franchise.
I’d sooner own a hat blocking business.
Insurance costs on employees
must be out of sight,
what with the danger of paper cuts.
My wife recycles boxes
so more boxes can be made.
It’s a vicious circle,
a plot against me.
Scientists now study
the power of pyramids.
Future archeologist will study
the mystery of the box.
They will find
the day a tavern owner
started serving draught beer in a box.
The Youngstown tramps: “Eddie Loves Debbie”
I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land. ~ John Stewart