Next year, we’ll do Christmas without the zombies

Last-minute shopping can be dangerous, especially if there's a sale.
Last-minute shopping can be dangerous, especially if there’s a sale.
As is our tradition, my wife and I made an excellent plan to get our gift wrapping done so that, on Christmas eve, we could bask in our accomplishment while drinking warm, spiked beverages and gazing introspectively at the twinkling Christmas tree lights, until we pass out.

And, as is our tradition, we once again found ourselves locked in the bedroom with rolls of ribbon and wrapping paper strung across the bed, passing the scissors and tape back and forth like a frantic game of “hot potato.”
As expected, our bedroom quickly resembled a CSI Christmas crime scene in which the holiday spirit had exploded…

Horatio: [Removing cool shades] Looks like someone made the naughty list. [Puts shades back on]
Omar: I think I’m going to be sick.
Horatio: [Removing shades] Put a bow on it and wrap this with yellow crime scene tape. [Puts shades back on]
Omar: Seriously, I think I’m going to vomit.
Horatio: [Removing shades] We’ll need more than Rudolf to shed some light on this. [Puts shades back on]
Omar: [Hurling]
Horatio: [Removing shades] I don’t think those are the cookies Santa had in mind. [Begins to put shades back on]
Omar: [Grabs shades and crushes them with his boots]
Horatio: Hey! I thought you were hardened to this kind of work!
Omar: [Regaining his composure] The corpses I can handle! But the way you take your sun glasses off to emphasize your melodramatic one-liners makes me want to vomit!

Actually, our last-minute wrapping frenzy was only the final phase in a much broader holiday frenzy campaign, which began, of course, with a last-minute shopping frenzy.

This can best be described as a cross between The Amazing Race and The Walking Dead, with us moving through the city, guided by our list of objectives, while simultaneously fighting off hoards of mindless shoppers who, if lured by the scent of a sale item, were capable of biting.

In fact, if not for my wife’s quick-thinking diversionary tactic of tossing an empty Kidle Fire package at an unsuspecting service representative, we may have never escaped the electronics section at Best Buy.

The second phase of our frenzied holiday campaign was putting out decorations.
Because my wife meticulously wraps and packages each decoration and places them in clearly labeled boxes after each holiday season, the process of putting up the decorations is easy.

However, because I then take these boxes and, at the end of each holiday season, meticulously bury them in the farthest reaches of our crawl space as if it was the tomb of an Egyptian pharaoh, what should be a relatively quick and easy removal process deteriorates into an emergency extrication situation once I lose my sense of direction and begin having a panic attack.

I tell myself there’s only one way in and out, and I can’t possibly get lost or trapped. That’s usually about the time I find the plastic skeleton I stored after Halloween and which, in my panicked state, I am convinced are the remains of Gerald Rivera.

Which doesn’t help.

Needless to say, my wife and I have vowed to do things differently next year and have made a plan to avoid another frenzied holiday season.

It’s an excellent plan.

Traditionally speaking of course.

(You can write to Ned Hickson at

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

9 thoughts on “Next year, we’ll do Christmas without the zombies”

  1. You really do live life on the edge! not sure my anal sensibilities could cope with such drama and I don’t have shopping elbows. Shame. All done and now you can relax… right?

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