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by David Todd McCarty | Monday, December 14, 2015

I fucking love Christmas. I do. I love everything about it. The carols, the decorations, the weather, the movies and tv shows, giving gifts, the food, hell—sometimes—even the Church service. But I’m a traditionalist. And by that I mean, I like Christmas the way it was when I was a kid. I like an old fashioned Christmas with all the trimmings. Let me explain.

There are rules, so let me start with rule number one.


The Christmas Tree.

A fake Christmas tree has about as much likelihood of making you happy as that fake fireplace on your TV has of keeping you warm. You might as well be that uppity couple who live next door to the Griswolds, Todd and Margot, who live in an antiseptic, plastic existence and who appreciate nothing about the spirit of Christmas.

And I don’t want to hear that you’re allergic. Get behind me Grinch!

There’s a lot that goes into a Christmas Tree. For starters it is so much more than its shape. It’s the smell, the way your hands are sticky after putting it up, and even the mess. You have to water them, even though it doesn’t seem to do much good and your pets think it’s their personal water bowl for the season no matter how much you yell at them. They shed like a nervous Chow and when you’re done with them they all look like a plucked chicken. But that’s not the point.

The effort is half the experience when it comes to a Christmas Tree, so first, you have to go buy your tree.

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by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Everyone wants to be home for the holidays, even if only in our dreams, or so says the old carol. Thanksgiving and Christmas are especially difficult times to be away from home. Our thoughts are packed with memories and emotions that at times, quite literally, define who we are, and where we come from, or at the very least say a lot about what we wish were true.

Nostalgia is defined by the dictionary as “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.” The word is actually a Greek compound, consisting of νόστος (nóstos), meaning “homecoming”, a Homeric word, and ἄλγος (álgos), meaning “pain, ache”, and was coined by a 17th-century medical student to describe the anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home.

It’s literally a longing so strong that it causes pain. Now that’s powerful stuff.

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by David Todd McCarty | Wednesday, November 18, 2015

There is really no more American holiday than Thanksgiving.

It embodies everything we think of as good about America. Celebrating a bountiful harvest. Giving thanks. Sharing with family, friends and neighbors. The promise of good things to come.

Some of you might be thinking, “What about the Fourth of July? What about celebrating the birth of our great nation? Independence Day? Isn’t that the most American holiday?”

No. It’s not. Allow me to explain.

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by David Todd McCarty | Thursday, October 29, 2015

“It’s almost that time of year when underaged kids get into costume and traipse around the neighborhood ringing doorbells and begging for treats.”

When it comes to Halloween, I believe the world is split into two groups: those who love Halloween, and those who think it’s a pointless waste of time and money spent trying to recapture your youth and somehow simultaneously dressing like pimps and whores.

I’m in the second group.

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