The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


December 10, 2013

Christmas a humbug? No más, no más

ENID, Okla. — Perhaps Ebenezer Scrooge was right after all.

You remember Eb, the star of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” a mean guy, a miser with serious anger and sleep issues, prone to seeing ghosts in the middle of the night? Yeah, that’s the fellow.

When pressed for his views on Christmas, the pre-ghost Ebenezer spouted the following, “If I could work my will, every idiot who goes around with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart!”

Granted, that’s a bit of an extremist view, but at the moment I can appreciate Scrooge’s enmity toward the holiday.

Christmas is driving me nuts. I am so far behind on Christmas I will be lucky to be ready by Easter.

The presents aren’t bought, the tree’s not up, the house isn’t decorated, the cards aren’t written. Nothing. And the calendar is rapidly filling with Christmas parties, church events and the like. And there are only two weeks to go.

Christmas seems to have snuck up on me this year. They are celebrating it on Dec. 25. Who knew?

Remember when Christmas was simple? When you are a kid, the only thing tough about Christmas is the seemingly interminable wait for the big day to come. For children, the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas crawl past like months. For those of us for whom childhood is rapidly receding in life’s rear view mirror, they speed by like minutes.

I thought I was ahead of the game. On a balmy Saturday in mid-November, I put up my outside lights. I chortled to myself as I watched my neighbors go about their business, while I hung and strung and flung. They would be sorry, I thought, when they are out in the cold, shivering as they hang their lights, while I sit inside my warm and cozy home.

Which would have been true, except a key piece of my display, multiple strings of lights hung in the shape of a Christmas tree, keeps burning out and blowing fuses. So there I am, standing in the cold, pondering the vagaries of ohms and amps and going through string after string of lights, freezing my Christmas spirit off.

The in-house decorating was not going well over the weekend, when I whined to my bride, “I’m tired of Christmas already, and I haven’t even started on it yet.”

She just rolled her eyes and went about her business. She’s used to my little outbursts after putting up with me for nearly 39 years.

But it just doesn’t seem like Christmas. After all, what is Christmas supposed to be about? It’s about decorating, shopping, eating and partying. It is about perfection — perfect gifts, perfect decorations, perfect get-togethers. It is stressful, pressure-packed and diet-busting.

It’s enough to make you want to cry, as boxer Roberto Duran did long ago while quitting during a fight with Sugar Ray Leonard, “No más, no más.”

But Christmas is not supposed to be stomach-churning and stress-inducing. It is not supposed to be about perfection. It is not about throwing flawless soirees or giving the most peerless, most expensive gift. It is not supposed to be about parties or even church programs. It is not supposed to be about sending just the right card or putting up the most magnificent decorative display.

That is all más, Spanish for “more.”

Take the “más” out of Christmas and what does that leave? Christ.

It took the visits of four ghosts to do it (the spirits of Christmas past, present and future, plus the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley), but even old Ebenezer finally came around. Christmas is about love, hope, charity, fellowship and joy, not trees, shiny bulbs, cookies, pies and toys.

Christmas is to be enjoyed and celebrated, not dreaded. What I said about being tired of Christmas, I take back, though I would feel much better if I could keep my darn lights from burning out.

Mullin is senior writer of the News & Eagle. Email him at

Text Only
  • David Christy col. use clip.jpg America: Braving the ‘Dirty 30s’

    The stories I most remember are of my dad and his parents enduring the Great Depression of the 1930s.
    It seems they lived right in the heart of the Dust Bowl as it savaged the Southern Plains, making the Great Depression all the more overwhelming for those who endured.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCES has been a valuable resource for 100 years

    A large part of what OCES employees do is provide valuable services and research for agriculture producers, concerning both crops and livestock.

    July 25, 2014

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg David, Goliath at it again in Gaza Strip

    Israel has long seen itself as David, standing firm against a hostile neighborhood full of Goliaths.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS must come up with future plans for NORCE, SORC facilities after they are closed

    NORCE is scheduled to close in August 2015. Currently, 15 residents remain at the facility, awaiting transfer to a private setting, and there also are 60 state employees on the NORCE payroll.

    July 24, 2014

  • Never leave a child or a pet alone in a car

    With temperatures soaring to near or above 100, parents need to know they can’t leave their children alone in a locked vehicle. In 10 minutes, a vehicle’s temperature can climb 19 degrees. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, and it only takes a few minutes before a child can become dangerously overheated, according to Safe Kids USA.

    July 23, 2014

  • Will Rogers web.jpg Will Rogers Daily Telegrams 7-24-2014

    I am beginning to believe that Mellon is the poorest Treasurer we ever had. I would like to be Treasurer. Here would be my policy, and you see if it wouldn’t be the best thing for America:
    Save nothing, have nothing in there. Then Congress and the entire nation could have nothing in view only what they made themselves.
    A Candidate.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg State of the state: Things are not as good as they could be

    Draper wants to split Cali up into six separate states — Silicon Valley, around the San Francisco Bay Area; Central California, including cities like Bakersfield; West California, including Los Angeles and its suburbs; South California, including San Diego; North California, centered on Sacramento and Jefferson, in the far northern part of the state.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Voters have decisions to make in August races

    Democrats will have two runoffs to decide. One will be choosing their party’s nominee for state superintendent. Freda Deskin will face John Cox. The winner will face Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister in the November general election.
    The other race is for the party nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. Jim Rogers will face Connie Johnson. The winner will face Republican nominee U.S. Rep. James Lankford in November.

    July 22, 2014

  • Going postal

    Waukomis residents have the opportunity to have their voices heard in regard to the future of their post office.

    July 22, 2014 1 Story

  • New dorm

    Breaking ground on a new dormitory at Northern Oklahoma College Enid is another step in the evolution of the campus.

    July 20, 2014 1 Story

Featured Ads
House Ads