... AND TO ALL A GOOD LAUGH

Santa Claus is com­ing to town – and he’s bring­ing a grab bag of Christ­mas jokes to make your spir­its bright

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Contents - ANDY SIM­MONS

’Tis the sea­son to be jolly with our laugh-out­loud jokes and anec­dotes.

THE HOL­I­DAY SEA­SON of­fi­cially starts on the last Fri­day of Novem­ber, when the first shop­per is tram­pled in a rush for this year’s must-have gift. But the hol­i­days re­ally be­gan last De­cem­ber 26, when ev­ery dis­ap­pointed child for­mu­lated a de­mands wish list in prepa­ra­tion for the next haul.

For ex­am­ple, one seven-year-old girl wrote this list, to which her dad added his thoughts.

“Black, light blue, green, pur­ple, and pink North Faces.” Five North Face jack­ets at 100 bucks each? Dream smaller. That is ap­parel meant for se­ri­ous out­doors­men who dangle from be­layed ropes on the south face of K2. The out­door­si­est we get is when we roll down the win­dow at the drive-through.

“A new ra­dio.” Done. I’ll throw in my old Be­ta­max col­lec­tion as a stock­ing stuffer.

“$1000.” You want cash? Clear the spi­ders out of the at­tic. I’ll give you three bucks for it.

“A light-up Ra­zor scooter that is the colour blue.” “Dad, for Christ­mas, can I get hit by a car?”

“A new canape that glows up.” So, like, a glow­ing minia­ture crab cake with a tooth­pick in it? I could maybe do that.

“A pet puppy bor­der col­lie with a peace sign coller and a leash.” Do you see any bor­ders in this house that need pa­trolling, apart from the bath­room door when Daddy is hav­ing his alone time? No.

“A black rist bange.” I don’t know what this is, but done.

DREW MAGARY, from dead­spin.com

Of course, gift giv­ing may not be ev­ery­one’s strong suit. One year, my fa­ther gave Mom a DVD. In it­self it wasn’t a bad gift, ex­cept a) it was a rental, and b) we didn’t own a DVD player.

AMY MAR­SHALL HODGES

Santa’s a pro, which is why kids by­pass par­ents and ap­peal to him:

“Dear Santa, Please text my dad. He has my whole list.”

“Dear Santa, Sorry for what I did in the past, and thank you for the Christ­mas let­ter. I love it. But what I want for Christ­mas is $53 bil­lion.”

“Dear Santa, How are you? I’m good. Here is what I want for Christ­mas: http://www.ama­zon. com/dp/B0032HF60M/ref=sr_1_1?ie =UTF8&qid=1410271945&sr=8-1”

What hap­pens when kids’ let­ters ar­rive at the North Pole? Do Kringle and Co. sell the data to on­line mar­keters? We read the fine print on Santa’s web­site: Santa’s Pri­vacy Pol­icy: At Santa’s Work­shop, your pri­vacy is im­por­tant to us. What fol­lows is an ex­pla­na­tion of how we col­lect and safe­guard your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion.

Why Do We Need This In­for­ma­tion? Santa Claus re­quires your in­for­ma­tion in or­der to com­pile his an­nual list of who is Naughty and who is Nice and to en­sure ac­cu­racy when he checks it twice.

What In­for­ma­tion Do We Col­lect? We ob­tain in­for­ma­tion from the un­so­licited let­ters sent to Santa by chil­dren all over the world list­ing spe­cific items they would like to re­ceive for Christ­mas. Of­ten th­ese let­ters con­vey ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion, such as which of their sib­lings are doo­dy­heads. The let­ters also pro­vide an­other im­por­tant piece of in­for­ma­tion – fin­ger­prints. We run th­ese through data­bases main­tained by the FBI, CIA, NSA, In­ter­pol, MI6 and the Mos­sad. If we find a match, it goes straight on the Naughty List.

What Do We Do with the In­for­ma­tion We Col­lect? Shar­ing is one of the joys of Christ­mas. For this rea­son, we share your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion with un­af­fil­i­ated third par­ties: the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Hanukkah Harry.

LAU­RENCE HUGHES, from McSweeney’s In­ter­net Ten­dency

It’s time for the Christ­mas light com­pe­ti­tions: neigh­bour against neigh­bour, sub­urb against sub­urb: My daugh­ter and I took the long route through the neigh­bour­hood to ad­mire the Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions. One front yard con­tained a trove of lights, or­na­ments, elves, car­ollers, trim­mings … in short, it was a mess. My daugh­ter summed it up per­fectly when she an­nounced, “It looks like Christ­mas threw up.”

CE­CILLE HANSEN

Do you hear what I hear? That’s right; mu­sic is fill­ing the

air! Have you down­loaded the lat­est hol­i­day al­bum? It had them danc­ing in the streets of Beth­le­hem cen­turies ago! The Lit­tle Drum­mer Boy’s Great­est Hits: In­cludes the songs “Pum Pum Pum Pum,” “Rum Pum Pum,” “Ba Rum Pum Pum,” “Rum Pum Pum Ba Rum Pum Pum,” and spe­cial bonus track “Pum Pum Pum, Ba Rum Pum Pum.”

Source: someecards.com

Hope you like schmaltzy, sen­ti­men­tal hol­i­day movies be­cause that’s what will be play­ing on TV night and day for the en­tire month. In case you’ve for­got­ten any of th­ese films you’ve seen only 47 times, some brief re­views:

How the Grinch Stole Christ­mas:

“Crimes against Who-man­ity”

A Christ­mas Carol: “Bob, Mar­ley” Elf: “A Christ­mas Fer­rell”

It’s a Won­der­ful Life: “Tech­ni­cally,

Stew­art’s a zombie”

The Santa Clause: “Killer gets

com­mu­nity ser­vice”

Source: fwfr.com

Next, the tree. Note: The real trick isn’t pick­ing the right pine. It’s get­ting it in­side your home. But with our 15-point plan, you’ll be trim­ming in no time. 1) Cut the cords that bind the tree to the roof of your car. Al­low them to snap back and strike you in the eye. 2) Curse. 3) Slowly pull the tree to­ward you. 4) Wob­ble un­der its weight for a few sec­onds, then fall down. 5) Curse. 6) Stand up and no­tice the fresh scratches on the roof of your car. 7) Curse. 8) Drag the tree to your front door. Spend 15 min­utes fig­ur­ing out how to open the door while si­mul­ta­ne­ously get­ting the tree through it. 9) Drag the tree away from the door so that you can en­ter the house with the tree fac­ing in the right di­rec­tion. 10) Once in­side, fill the tree stand with wa­ter. 11) Knock all the wa­ter out of the tree stand be­cause you for­got to wait to fill the tree stand un­til af­ter putting the tree in it. 12) Curse. 13) Your tree should now be in the stand. No­tice the fallen nee­dles that have re­duced your tree to half the size it was when you bought it. 14) Down seven cups of eggnog to set­tle your nerves. 15) Curse slur­ringly.

You’re not home free yet. It’s time to get dec­o­rat­ing, and there’s so much more that can go wrong! Se­cur­ing Christ­mas lights to the tree can be a pro­duc­tion. One year, when we fi­nally stood back and flicked on the light switch, I no­ticed that a branch ob­scured our prized an­gel or­na­ment. I grabbed the prun­ing shears, mounted a stool, snipped once, and the lights went

out. My hus­band qui­etly said, “You don’t have your glasses on, do you?”

LYNN KITCHEN Your Christ­mas tree has prac­ti­cally be­come a mem­ber of the fam­ily: the needy, spoiled, flam­boy­ant side that knows when it’s time to go: “All that time spent se­lect­ing and dec­o­rat­ing, and a week af­ter [Christ­mas], you see the tree by the side of the road, like a mob hit. A car slows down, a door opens, and a tree rolls out.”

CO­ME­DIAN JERRY SE­IN­FELD Let’s re­lax and read Christ­mas cards! Far more than just hol­i­day greet­ings, they al­low you to fi­nally see what your ac­coun­tant’s fam­ily looks like. We once re­ceived a Christ­mas card with a pho­to­graph of a fam­ily in cos­tumes and masks. No name, no text, no re­turn ad­dress. We never did fig­ure out who sent it.

GLY­NIS BUSCHMANN

Would you like to learn how to write a boast­ful, overly in­ti­mate hol­i­day let­ter? Our how-to guide can help, il­lus­trated with real quotes.

Open strong, seiz­ing own­er­ship of the bat­tler role: “What was [the year] like for you? Did the flood wa­ters rise and storms of life rain on you? If so, we un­der­stand…”

Brag about any new job de­vel­op­ments – es­pe­cially if you don’t de­serve them: “I got pro­moted this year to VP … shows how lit­tle they re­ally know about my past!!!”

Be cre­ative! Even good news can be de­liv­ered so the reader cringes: “[My wife has] felt al­most ev­ery neg­a­tive feel­ing you can have dur­ing a preg­nancy – nau­sea, fa­tigue, rashes, arthri­tis, sci­atic nerve pain, hip pains, and strong emo­tional con­di­tions.”

If you want to ce­ment your sta­tus as least favourite dis­tant cousins, just write the most dreaded words in the English lan­guage: “We thought it would be cool if we shared what’s go­ing on as a Pow­er­Point pre­sen­ta­tion.”

BRAN­DON SPECKTOR

Sources: worstchrist­maslet­ters.blogspot.com There are those who live by the credo that it is bet­ter to give than to re­ceive. With­out them, we wouldn’t get as many presents, or this glo­ri­ously mixed-up ex­change. An ad spot­ted in a news­pa­per: “Con­grat­u­la­tions Ge­orge B. for pleas­ing 15 women for an en­tire day! We were all ex­hausted and very sat­is­fied.” The next day’s ad: “Our sin­cere apol­ogy to Ge­orge B. Our in­ten­tions were to thank him for a gen­er­ous hol­i­day shop­ping trip, which he ar­ranged. Any in­ap­pro­pri­ate in­nu­en­dos were un­in­ten­tional.”

Source: clam­orly.com Wait, we all know that presents are not what Christ­mas is all about. Let us pause while th­ese chil­dren re­mind us about the story of Christ­mas: What an­i­mals were there when baby Je­sus was born? “There was a don­key, a sheep, and a cow there as well as Mary and Joseph. It sounds quite crowded.”

HANNAH, AGE SEVEN

What gifts did the three wise men bring? “They brought Je­sus presents of gold, frank­in­cense, smurr, and sil­ver. But I think he would have pre­ferred wrestling toys.”

JAY, AGE FIVE, from the Daily Mail

OK, enough pre­tend­ing. Give us the presents al­ready! Scene: Christ­mas morn­ing, and I’m open­ing my gifts. Dad: “Open that one next, sweetie.” (He points to a box, which I open. In­side is one of those ob­nox­ious singing-and-danc­ing robot Christ­mas trees. I’m a bit shocked, as I had pointed out how much I hate th­ese things when we went

shop­ping to­gether just the week be­fore.) Me: “Uh, weren’t you lis­ten­ing when I said I thought th­ese were the most an­noy­ing things ever?” Dad: “I know, I know. But … open that one next.” (This time he points to a long, heavy pack­age. I open it up to re­veal a sledge­ham­mer.) Me: “Is this for what I think it’s for?” Dad: “And you thought I wasn’t pay­ing at­ten­tion!”

From no­tal­waysre­lated.com

Even the fam­ily pet takes part. My First Toy My first toy Has wood for me to claw My first toy Has string for me to bite My first toy Has a hole for me to hide in My first toy Is called, “Oh, dear God, no! My gui­tar!” My first toy Is the best toy of them all.

FRANCESCO MARCIULANO, from the book I Knead My Mommy, And Other Po­ems

by Kit­tens The gifts are opened, the eggnog con­sumed, and your kid has be­gun a de­mands wish list for next year. If you’re feel­ing woozy, it may be be­cause you’ve con­tracted at least one of th­ese sea­sonal mal­adies:

Gingervi­tis: A Martha Stew­art-like state of per­fec­tion­ism man­i­fested when build­ing elab­o­rate gin­ger­bread homes.

Sea­sonal Af­fec­tion Dis­or­der (SAD): An ex­ag­ger­ated emo­tional re­sponse (typ­i­cally shriek­ing and air-kiss­ing) trig­gered by see­ing in­signif­i­cant ac­quain­tances at an­nual par­ties.

Gift-apha­sia: Loss of mem­ory that causes the ac­ci­den­tal re­cy­cling of gifts back to the same peo­ple who gave them to you last year.

BOB MOR­RIS, from the New York Ob­server

IL­LUS­TRA­TIONS: NIS­HANT CHOKSI

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