Home For the Holidays
Title: Home For the Holidays
Release Date: November 25, 2012
Short stories and poetry to chill the soul and get you thinking twice about what's behind the ornaments on your neighbor's lawn.
"Teach me this magic!"
"Yeah, it might seem a little candy-assed, but when you got kids, you get into the whole cornball of everything. You sing with "The Lion King," and you act like Dora's a fuckin' genius and in a way you actually believe it all because they do. So starting when the kids were about two and three, I got into the holidays all over again.
Started with Halloween. Spook day meant I could wire the house for sound and movement and make lights flash and witches fly, send up plumes of dry-ice smoke and put the doorbell on to make it go "whooooo." Every year there was more shit at the store to test out – the skeleton I put in the front hallway which lurched out at you when the door opened scared off so many trick-or-treaters I had to retire it – but turning the garage into a haunted house brought them back. I reigned unquestioned supreme as Halloween House on Tempest Cove.
Partly that was 'cause all of the Jesus freaks around here got Halloween seen as anti-Christian. These evangelical nuts got all worked up over the fact that their favorite holidays might actually have — saints preserve us, where are my smelling salts — pagan histories. So the competition I might have isn't participating. Oh, sure, their kids go candy-grubbing. Some of 'em even have the little ones show up with pamphlets. But they don't dress up and they don't decorate the house and they give you the hairy eyeball in the H&B when you start checking out the bowl with the mechanical hand that grabs back.
So it didn't surprise me 'tall that Giles Sanderson's house was dark that first Halloween. I thought about egging it, but between the haunted house and taking Dave and Asty around the territory I didn't have time. And then we all crashed out after too many Reeses Peanut Butter Cups so I shrugged my shoulders and let it go.
Then came Christmas.
Christmas, now, that's a different animal. The neighborhood goes certifiable. I shit you not. Every year, we go for a post-meal Thanksgiving constitutional – I need a walk before all that pie – and catch parents with their kids climbing trees and scaling ladders, already putting up the gaudy red and green lights, or staking out those blow-up Santas and snowmen to flap in the breeze for the next whole month. Every house – and I do mean every house, except the ones not occupied – has some kind of decoration up, from Santa in his sleigh on the roof to multiple trees in the window.
Just who needs more than one tree?