Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas is One Big Giant Mystery—by Linda Kozar

If you're wondering—yes—there is a sinister undercurrent to the Christmas season, aside from the real meaning of Christmas, of course. There are the weird traditions. Like mistletoe. The creepiest guys always manage to position themselves underneath what I like to call the "green menace," similar to whales filtering unsuspecting krill through their teeth. Like maybe if the creepsters stand there long enough, a girl's eventually going to cross their path. But smart girls always bypass the menace. Nothing good ever happens under the mistletoe. In fact, if you're not careful, you might even wind up with someone else's retainer in your mouth. That happened to a girl I know. She wasn't very smart.

Think about it. Christmas is one big giant seasonal mystery waiting to happen. For instance, what’s inside all those packages? They’re wrapped up in shiny paper and tied up with bows and sitting right out in the open, just begging to be unwrapped. But only certain people know what's inside them. Like the select few who carry around the nuclear codes embroidered on the elastic band of their underwear. Top Secret stuff. Some kids employ the “accidental tear” technique where a gift happens to suffer an unfortunate rip or two from an errant mountain lion that somehow wanders into the house and decides to take a random swipe at certain gifts arrayed under the tree. If interrogated, said children will swear by this story. Then there are the stealthy re-wrappers. With the skill of a brain surgeon, they carefully cut the clear Scotch Tape with a razor. We’re talking professionals! Then, the rewrap artist carefully unwraps the gift, taking great care to make sure the wrapping paper is intact and not too wrinkly or crinkled to arouse suspicion. The bare gift is then noted, surveyed and approved or disapproved of, then rewrapped and set under the tree in the same spot.

And speaking of mysteries, what’s in Aunt Mabel’s turkey dressing? No one knows. One thing is certain, there's always a cat hair or two to be found. There are ingredients enveloped in bread cubes that no one, aside from a forensic investigator could identify. Are there crickets and earthworms folded into the warm clumps? Aunt Mabel was always a bit odd. AND she did give all the kids one of those Tequila lollipops with a worm inside last Christmas. Sure, it was a joke, but who’s kidding who? Aunt Mabel might be one of those arachnid-eaters, heralding the addition of insects to the American diet. Earthworm cookies. Grasshopper crunchies. Anything could happen with this woman. Anything. For all I know, the dried cranberry on my fork is something horrendous, something from another world. The insect world, specifically.

For that matter, what’s in the family fruitcake? Look inside and you’ll see. There are fluorescent fruits inside the dark mess of “cake,” fruits that I’m pretty sure would glow like Fukushima if I flipped off the light switch. Like those cups and saucers in the antique store around the corner. The cake is dark. Most dark cakes are all chocolat-y goodness. But not this kind of cake. It’s a cheat. A chameleon. You think it’s some kind of brownie, but it’s a cake composed entirely of some kind of dirt or clay mixed with sugar, but not too much sugar, just enough to make the thing still taste slightly brickish. Like a regular brick, but with alien fruit inside. Literally alien fruit from another planet and dropped to the earth via a saucer-shaped ship. When I snap my fingers, you will remember how your parents made you taste fruitcake when you were a kid. Oh, the humanity! One bite. Maybe a small slice. Somehow, your parents make themselves believe that your face will light up as you sink your teeth into the dank quagmire of the cake, and you’ll ask for another piece. Because fruitcake is so good, right? At some point long ago, your parents deluded themselves into believing they actually liked fruitcake. Was it mass hypnosis? Crowd-speak? Peer pressure? All I know is that somewhere, some slimy alien without tastebuds is having the last laugh. Maybe not a laugh. More like a chortle.

Anyway, I hope you have a merry, and somewhat mysterious Christmas. And if you need more mystery in your life, I'll mail you my slice of fruitcake.

Check out more of my Christmas books. Curl up with a nice cup of hot cocoa or cinnamon apple cider and relax!
My Christmas Books

Linda Kozar, is a successful author of over 16 books, speaker, and radio host of Chat Noir Mystery & Suspense and Network Coordinator for the Along Came A Writer Network on BlogTalk Radio. Founder, former president, and current board member of Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers, she was the recipient of ACFW’s Mentor of the Year award 2007. She is currently a PR Director for the Christian Authors Network and is a member of Chi Libris, ACFW, RWA, AWSA, and CAN. Linda and her husband of 28 years, Michael live in The Woodlands, Texas and enjoy spending time with their two grown daughters, wonderful son-in-law and their spunky Jack Russell Terrier, Gypsy.