All I Want For Christmas
Promise not to scoff at me and I’ll tell you what I want for Christmas. All I want is … well, a necktie. Lies for me. A necktie isn’t the only thing. I still want worsted socks from Mom, warm and woollies she knitted with her dear ol’ aged fingers.
I want gifts from Dearest Duck, even though I won’t be buying her diamonds, unless you count those in the brand new pack of playing cards I intend to wrap for her, for those evenings when she hosts the Card Club — and I have to hide out in the basement until the gaggle is gone.
“Harry, my hard- to- shop- for Honey,” Dearest Duck said last week, “give me some hints about what you want for Christmas.”
Since then I’ve been to Chapters, snapped pictures of expensive books and texted the images to Dearest. I ’ve been to Mark’s Work Warehouse, clicked pictures of the latest Wind River shirts and sent a text to Dearest’s phone. I’ve been to Canadian Tire, sneaked up on a set of socket wrenches and tapped a text.
There’s no way I want a set of socket wrenches. Dearest Duck knows better than that. The socket wrench picture I texted for badness.
Nary a text of a necktie image, you notice.
While I do want a necktie, I don’t want Dearest Duck to lodge it beneath the tree.
The necktie I want from Santa Claus.
Pause for Reflection: Except for occasional weddings and an increasing number of funerals I don’t wear neckties anymore.
There was a time though when I knotted a necktie daily, a skill I learned soon after my age reached double digits. Those were the days when schools demanded uniforms — pants and blazers and ties choked under chins.
For frig sake, when I attended MUN professors freaked if a necktie noose didn’t squeeze a scholar’s collar as tight as the drawstring-strangled throat of Granny’s coin purse. However, in defiance of staid ol’ Englishmen, neckties were paisley patterned or peacock-coloured like psychedelic fields of flowers.
I’m hoping a tie from Santa will
In a kind of monkey-see,
monkey-do, monkey snatch the dough, even here in Dunderland, in Christmas Wonderland, we’ve aped an American Thanksgiving tradition and turned it into Canadian
bring memories of more innocent times.
“Harry, I’m off to The Mall. It’s Black Friday.”
“Be safe, my Duck. And don’t forget, bookstores are seldom as crowded as Walmart.” See what I mean? In a kind of monkey-see, monkeydo, monkey snatch the dough, even here in Dunderland, in Christmas Wonderland, we’ve aped an Ameri- can Thanksgiving tradition and turned it into Canadian crazy.
Oo p s . Forgive me for that momentary diversion of stumpclimbing and chest-thumping.
I want a necktie for Christmas because once upon a time in the years before Santa flew in choppers, along with a Roy Rogers colouring book and — p’raps — a pack of coloured pencils, Granny most always gave me a necktie.
“It’ll make you look like a little minister,” she’d say on Christmas morning. Allow me to backtrack. Last year all I wanted for Christmas was a James Bond watch. I didn’t get it.
Dearest Duck gave me — and I don’t know what this gift says about our conjugal concupiscence — a pair of flannel pyjamas.
Sometime betwixt bedtime and daylight, Santa squooze down our chimney and left something I didn’t know existed anymore, a pair of overshoes the same size as my feet.
The year before that, my letter to Santa begged for an iPad. I didn’t get it. Dearest Duck surprised me with a pair of fur-lined slippers and a tin of those Quality Street candies she loves.
I confess I named St. Nick a fat frigger when I ripped the ribbons from a royal blue Mary Maxim sweater from whose back a bloody big moose, uglier than Jabba the Hutt, glared defiantly at any hunter brave enough to point a rifle in his direction.
“I dare you,” Moosey seemed to say. “Aim at me and I’ll jumped off this sweater and, like Rudolph gone rogue, I’ll trample your guts into the muck.”
So, back to my Christmas wish for a simple necktie like Granny lovingly used to give her first- born grandson.
After Santa’s weaving elf has completed the warp and weft of my necktie, maybe his most artistic elf might hand-paint a design at its widest point.
A painting of a Mountie would be nice, sitting stiff in the saddle, holding a flagstaff and looking as splendid as any Royal trooper.
Santa, please bring me such a necktie.
Failing that, how about a pocketknife? Thank you for reading. Merry Christmas!