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HELLO SANTA, IT’S ME

Do you know what I discovered this week?  I need to talk to Santa! Reason is I think God has gone AWOL on the world, and maybe Santa can help me find him. I know that Jesus has a birthday coming up, and I’m hoping he’ll show up for all the celebrations in his name. I thought it imperative that I try and reach him to give him the 411 on how wicked we’ve become, and how things are being done in his name that would turn the angels into screaming banshees of despair.

TRANSCRIPT OF PHONE CALL BETWEEN SANTA AND ELEANOR, THE BLOGGER (ET)

(Scene opens on festive lodge in the North Pole in a great room full of people drinking eggnog and singing Christmas carols led by a fat Black man in a red suit with a long white beard. Phone is heard ringing in the background as a little person in a Santa Christmas sweater with elfin ears scurries to answer it.)

 black-santa-sweaters-tipsy-elves-dot-com

Photo credit: tipsyelves.com

ELF:        Santa Claus’ residence—how may I direct your call? If you’ve been naughty, let’s cut to the chase and confess it now, ‘cause ain’t nobody got time for end of year lyin’.

ELT:       Lionel, this is ET. I need to speak to Santa, please. It’s a matter of some urgency.

ELF:        No can do, girlfriend. He’s leadin’ the Christmas carols, and you know how much he looks forward to kicking off the season with a karaoke song fest of carols. Listen …

God rest ye merry, gentlemen

Let nothing you dismay

Remember, Christ, our Saviour

Was born on Christmas day

To save us all from Satan’s power

When we were gone astray

O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy

O tidings of comfort and joy

ET:         Well, “to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray” is exactly why I’m calling, not to mention that I am horribly dismayed. I need to know if Santa knows where Jesus is, because he seems to have gone AWOL. I couldn’t find him in the terrorist attack in Brussels, and I looked for him in the midst of the kidnapping, butchering, and rapes of the young girls in Nigeria by the Boko Haram. When I didn’t see him there I searched for him in the massacre at the Pulse Nightclub, and most recently I’ve been trying to locate his presence in the election of Trump who I hope and pray is on Santa’s naughty list.

 santa-hacked-fb-bob-englehart-caglecartoons-com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, CagleCartoons.com

ELF:        You know that information is classified, ET. I can only talk to you about your sorry-ass behavior. As to the whereabouts of Jesus, unlike Santa, he’s what they call “omnipresent,” so you should be able to locate him wherever humans hang. Oh man, Santa’s singing one of his favorites—this is his jam. Girl, between you and me, give Santa a couple glasses of schnapps and a karaoke machine and that man loses his mind. Listen …

Up on the housetop reindeer pause,

Out jumps Good Old Santa Claus

Down through the chimney with lots of toys

All for the little ones Christmas joys 

Ho, ho ho! Who wouldn’t go? Ho, ho ho! Who wouldn’t go?

Up on the housetop, click, click, click

Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick.

ELT:       This is exactly why I’m calling. Tell Santa I hate this song. It is anathema in Aleppo and the Southside of Chicago. There are no chimneys left for him to slide down with “lots of toys” to foster “Christmas joys” for “all the little girls and boys.” All the little ones in Aleppo are either dead, dying, or on their way to wandering the Earth in a catatonic state in search of shelter and food. All the little ones in Southside are afraid to even go outside. And don’t even get me started on all the other places in the world that are so terrifying that Santa would never be able to land his sleigh without being shot out of the sky or off the rooftops.  Tell Santa that I’m not feelin’ these stupid songs this year, and I am beginning to lose hope, which is why I need to have a little talk with Jesus. Where is he? Why doesn’t he do something?  Lionel, get Santa on the phone, please, before I blow a fuse!

santa-in-turkey-marian-kamensky-slovakia

Cartoon used by permission: Marian Kamensky Slovakia, Cagle Cartoons

ELF:        Girl, you not the boss of me. If you want to talk to Santa then you need to pay to play. I tell you what. Fax me a song for Santa to sing—like a special Christmas pick of yours—and if he likes your song, he’ll tell you where Jesus is and how to get your hope back.

ET:         Great. I’ll be faxing you a Christmas song for Santa to sing next. I actually wrote it to sing at the President-elect’s Inauguration, but he declined my offer to perform. (As if anybody else of any quality is going to do his inauguration—please!) The song is actually a rip off from a Dr. Seuss poem and the Albert Hague melody from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” It shouldn’t be too hard for you to find the orchestration to download to the karaoke machine.

ELF:        Okey-dokey, Smokey. But I’m makin’ no promises that he’ll talk to you …

(As quick as you could say, “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way …” I heard Santa’s voice begin to sing the song that I wrote to send to the President-elect for Christmas. What Santa thought of it, I will never know because he never came to the phone to tell me where Jesus was hiding out.)

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CHRISTMAS SONG FOR PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP

You’re a cruel one, Mr. Trump

You really are so bad,

You’re as nasty as a pit bull, Twitter hateful as can be, Mr. Trump,

You’re a pussy grabber with a greasy gigantic-ass rump!

trump-on-naughty-list-rick-mckee-the-augusta-chronicle

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

You’re unstable, Mr. Trump,

Your heart’s a callus troll,

Your brain is full of ca-ca, you have vipers in your soul, Mr. Trump,

I wouldn’t go near you with a nine-thousand-foot-ass pole!

trump-and-santa-john-cole-the-scranton-times-tribune

Cartoon used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune

 You’re unqualified, Mr. Trump,

You’re one of Moscow’s mules,

You have all the believability of a con man on the run, Mr. Trump,

Given a choice between you and Putin I think I’d choose the Russian skunk!

vlad-the-elf-milt-priggee-www-miltpriggee-com

Cartoon used by permission: Milt Priggee, http://www.miltpriggee.com

 You’re a tax cheat, Mr. Trump,

The king of bankrupt casino slots,

Your heart’s an alt-right slushy with duped Evangelicals crushed on top, Mr. Trump,

You’re a thrice-married, serial cheating, braggart meatloaf topped with rancid orange slop.

bad-santa-milt-priggee-www-miltpriggee-com

Cartoon used by permission: Milt Priggee, http://www.miltpriggee.com

 You’re incorrigible, Mr. Trump,

You’re pushing our country off the rails!

You don’t care about poor people, climate change—Muslims even less, Mr. Trump,

Your cabinet picks are an appalling pile of Ayn Rand minions from the sewers of Hell!

trump-cabinet-steve-sack-the-minneapolis-star-tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

 You’re undignified, Mr. Trump,

You’re classless as a boar,

Your head is unintelligent—your vocab’s 4th grade score, Mr. Trump,

The three words that best describe you in my mind, and I quote:

“Disgusting, Dishonest, DEPLOO-OR –

RA-BLE!”

santa-donald-marian-kamensky-slovakia

Cartoon used by permission: Marian Kamensky, Slovakia

***

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA” MOMENT)

I am discovering that life has always been a crap shoot for humans (remember the plagues, the Crusades, the Dark Ages, the French Revolution, WWI, WWII, and the atom and hydrogen bombs?). There have always been wars and rumors of wars, crooked politicians, crazy kings, and maniacal despots who make their corner of the world a living hell for those who don’t deserve it. None of these horrid leaders have anything to do with the reality and goodness of God, but everything to do with the wretchedness, selfishness, and cruelty of the human heart.

Many of us in America are feeling pretty hopeless at the election of Mr. Trump. We see what we thought was a progressive country turning back by 100 years with the election of this man if something doesn’t stop it from doing so.

I am very afraid.

But this Christmas, I am going to remember why I worship a god born in a manger. I celebrate Christmas because of the hope it gives me. Hope that in the midst of pain and suffering, a child was born to represent the love that is the character of God (pure, accepting, and unvarnished), and to show us humans how to live in that love. I am strong in my faith that my hope will not be derailed and that the love of Christ will prevail. In the meantime, I’m sending President-elect Trump a Christmas present: My promise to make my own future by joining the resistance movement that constantly mocks his “unprecidential unpresidential” choices, antics, and tweets for as long as he is in office. There is nothing a narcissistic personality hates more than to be mocked and ridiculed. Merry Christmas President-elect Trump.

And Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Peace-filled holidays to all who travel here.

born-into-this-world-bob-englehart-politicalcartoons-com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, PoliticalCartoons.com

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INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT HOPE

“We are feeling what not having hope feels like,” Obama told Winfrey in a recent interview when asked if she felt her husband had kept his campaign promise about ‘hope and change.’ “We feel the difference now,” she said. “Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept. And Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was a nice slogan to get votes. He and I and so many believed that … what else do you have if you don’t have hope? What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?”—Michelle Obama/Oprah Winfrey Interview

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”Desmond Tutu

“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.”Bradley Whitford

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The worst thing that can happen in a democracy – as well as in an individual’s life – is to become cynical about the future and lose hope.”Hillary Clinton

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WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? Check out http://www.eleanortomczyk.com

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS? Monsters’ Throwdown and Fleeing Oz are both on sale at Amazon (Paperback and Kindle).

***

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS 2015

A cynical poem, ripped off, truncated, and bastardized (as only this blogger can do) from the illustrious Clement Clarke Moore’s poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”—first published in 1823.

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xmas-stockings

Photo Credit:  Eleanor Tomczyk

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Earth

 Every mortal was trembling, fearing another ISIS curse.

 The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

 in hopes that St. Nick would make it past any terrorist scare.

ISIS vs Santa Marian Kemensky Slovakia

Cartoon used by permission: Marian Kemensky, Slovakia/Cagle Cartoons 

 The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

 while visions of a major toy haul danced in their heads.

Advertising for Santa David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star/Cagle Cartoons

 My man snoring like a freight train, and me staring at the stars,

 had just settled our brains—dreaming of the coming movie premiere of Star Wars.

Star Wars John Darkow Columbia Daily Tribune Missouri

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri/Cagle

 When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

 I sprang from my bed to see what the fuck was the matter.

 Away to the window I flew like a flash,

 Pulled open the blinds, and gasped at the crash!

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

 gave the lustre of midday to objects below,

 when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

 but an Amazon drone entangled with eight tiny reindeer.

Amazon Drone Santa Crash Marian Kemensky Slovakia

Cartoon used by permission:  Marian Kemensky, Slovakia/Cagle

 With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

 I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

 More rapid than eagles, his security team they came,

As he whistled and shouted and called his reindeer by name:

Santa Security David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star/Cagle

 “Now Dasher! Now Dancer!

 Now, Prancer and Vixen!

 On, Comet! On, Cupid!

 On, Donner and Blitzen!

 To the top of the porch!

 To the top of the wall!

 Now dash away! Dash away!

 Dash away all!”

Santa Crashes Pierre Ballouhey

Used by permission: Pierre Ballouhey, France/Cagle Cartoons

 And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

 the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

 I pulled out my Glock pistol as I surveyed the ground,

 while down the chimney Santa came with a bound.

 He startled me—this man all dressed in fur, from his head to his foot,

 Was this really Santa all tarnished with ashes and soot?

 Only one large box had he stuffed in his sack,

Not copious gifts I thought would be in his pack.

santa

Santa Wallpaper/Google

 I freaked out! I admit it! This white man had scared me!

 (Officer:  “I was standing my ground—trying to protect my family!”)

  Plus where was my fur coat, my coach bag, my Samsung telly?

SC’s body shook as he screamed in surprise, when I shot him in the belly.

Homeowner shoots

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune/Cagle

 He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

He moaned when I screamed: “I’M SORRY!” in spite of myself.

 “I didn’t know you were Santa, I truly lost my head

But may I ask what you brought me before I declare your ass dead?”

Peace on Earth II Taylor Jones El Nuevo Dia Puerto Rico

Cartoon used by permission: Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico/Cagle

 “PEACE—LITTLE MOFO,” groaned the jolly ol’ man.

 “It’s what you’ve been asking for, it’s all part of the plan.

 The Babe in the manger, love, peace, and forgiveness in repose,”

 You know, Christ the Son—who lived, who died, and on the third day arose.”

Peace on Earth III Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle/Cagle

 Santa sprang to his sleigh while to my knees I did fall,

 “I’m getting’ to old for this shit, he said to them all.”

 But I heard him with grace exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

Only Begotten Son Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle/Cagle

“Happy Christmas you poor, pathetic, confused humans, and to all a good night!”

christmas-house

Photo Credit:  Eleanor Tomczyk

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE TOMCZYK HOUSEHOLD TO YOU AND YOURS

Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me, you, and every human being on Earth in 2016!”

***

 (This is my Christmas card to all my readers.  I’ll be taking a break until the New Year to spend time with my family who are arriving from here, there, and everywhere.  Not to mention my precious grandson who I can hardly wait to smother with hugs and kisses.  It will be great to step away from all the bad news for a season (I’m sure it will still be here when I return) and concentrate on what is most important in life—family.  Merry Christmas everyone, and wishing you a very peaceful New Year!

***

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out www.eleanortomczyk.com

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS?  Monsters’ Throwdown and Fleeing Oz are both on sale at Amazon (hardcopy and Kindle).

Peace for Christmas David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on December 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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SANDY CLAWS (An Adult Xmas Tale)

Do you know what I discovered a long time ago? I don’t believe in Santa—never did as far as I can tell because he never came to my piss-poor neighborhood on Christmas Eve. He was such a foreign entity that for years I misspoke his name and thought it was “Sandy Claws.” The first time I ran into a rather inebriated, raggedy white Santa was at an orphan charity event in an enormous warehouse with hundreds of other foster kids, and even though I asked for a father Sandy Claws gave me a used handbag. Of course, there was a good chance that most of the kids in that warehouse were asking for the same thing, and Santa might have run out of fathers by the time he got to me. Just sayin’—to be fair.

Santa Loves Rich Kids More Meme

I never taught my children to believe in Santa Claus. First of all, we lived in Israel the first few years of their lives, and it seemed an unnecessary burden to saddle little kids with the concept of a fictional character laden with presents, who would come to our house but didn’t bother going to the houses of our Israeli neighbors. Besides, my kids were already shouldering the burden of believing in Jesus—the Son of God—born to a virgin and a carpenter just a few miles south of their home town. Also, my husband and I had worked our asses off for the gifts we gave them and felt the hero worship should flow back to their very caring and loving parents who were sacrificing on a daily basis to give them a wonderful life.

Consequently, my only grandson doesn’t believe in Santa Claus because my daughters chose to follow my lead. But his grandfather, my husband (WW), believed in SC until he was twelve years old. (For my Johnny-come-lately readers, my husband is white and grew up in a very white, very middle-class, and very Norman Rockwell household and neighborhood. Santa was practically a god in their home, and he went to every house in the town except for the poor black children and the Jews—at first. But then many of the Jews in the town, who were very wealthy, got pressured by their kids to add a Christmas tree during Chanukah and introduce Santa along with the menorah (much to the chagrin of the local rabbi), so that they could keep up with the Goyim. The poor little black kids in the town, on the other hand, didn’t have parents with enough money to get a nod from white Santa, soooo “bupkis mit kuduchas” which is Yiddish for “shivering shit balls!”) When my husband accidentally found out that Santa didn’t exist, he had already exorcised the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny from his heart, and God got the boot shortly afterwards. His twelve-year-old theory was “if the parents lied to me about Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, why should I believe them about God?” Good point.

Santa Disappoints Bizarro

Cartoon by Dan Piraro: www.bizarro.com

My six-year-old grandson didn’t need to be told there wasn’t a Santa. He figured it out almost from the beginning of his travels on Earth and has been taking his requests to the Big Guy ever since. Because all of his prayers to date have been answered except for one (can’t share his one unanswered prayer—he asked me to keep it confidential), Little Dude is quite confident in his knowledge and faith of God. (One Christmas, when he was five years old, he stuck a declarative Post-it note on my refrigerator like Martin Luther did on the Wittenberg Door which read: “I love Gob.” I didn’t bother to point out his backward “d” and he didn’t bother to tell me why he wrote the note and posted it on my refrigerator. It’s still there to help me through my bouts of daily doubts.)

Me-Maw’s boy thinks it’s a very cool concept that God found a way to infuse the Earth with his presence by slipping in incognito as a baby through a mommy named Mary. Unlike it does to most adults, this makes perfectly good sense to Little Dude, because mommies are just about the coolest things on Earth (“except when they take things much too seriously,” as he has been heard to pontificate on occasion). And if you asked him why Jesus decided to introduce himself to the Earth in such an inauspicious way as a baby, he’d probably answer: “Why not?”

God Come Down to Earth Bill Day Cagle Cartoons

Cartoon Used by Permission: Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons

Quite recently my grandson revealed his thought process as to the gift-giving system he is sure that God has set up between Himself and mankind. Ever since Little Dude was a baby he has traveled underground on the subway, above ground on the bus, or occasionally taken taxis to his various destinations. It soon became apparent to him that taxis were the preferred method of getting from point A to point B, especially after getting stuck at eye level in a sea of adult asses—barely able to breathe—squishing him during rush hour as he waited for the next train to pull into the station. He hated the subway with a passion and would throw a hissy fit every time he had to descend the underground stairway. His final outcry to God to send his family a car had to have been when he ran face first into a subway tunnel pole (almost knocking him out cold) while trying to keep up with his mom as they ran to catch the train home from school.

Fast forward six months after Little Dude’s “kissing-the-subway-pole incident,” and my grandson can be seen comfortably perched in the car seat/backseat of his new family car that he has made no bones about letting people know he asked God for. He is languidly sipping from a strawberry/banana juice box, snacking on chicken nuggets, and reading his latest National Geographic Kids Magazine (did I forget to mention that he’s brilliant?).  His mommy breaks his concentration by uttering a “soto voce” prayer that is often heard on the lips of city drivers: “Oh God, please give me a parking space.”  She has been driving around and around for twenty minutes in NYC trying to find a place that is within at least a half-mile of their apartment. (As most city dwellers know, getting a decent parking place can mean the difference between only having to carry several bags of groceries and your child a few yards to your home or getting towed and spending a king’s ransom to retrieve your car.) But as my daughter reiterates her frustrated plea to the God of the Universe a little bit louder and more urgently, Little Dude decides to set the record straight as to how God answers human prayer requests for gifts:

“That’s not how God works, Mom. He’s not gonna answer that prayer.

He’ll give you a car, but he won’t find you a parking space.

You’re pretty much on your own with that one.”

Christmas Wish White Priviledge David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon Used by Permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

When Little Dude comes for Christmas maybe we’ll have a chat about his assurance of God and his lack of belief in Santa—“out of the mouths of babes” and all. I’m fascinated by his childlike faith. As an old fart, mine is a bit jaded. I get why he doesn’t believe in Santa—what can a fat ol’ white man in a red suit do to answer my primary Christmas request that no amount of money can buy: Peace on Earth?  I need a real source of power, but God doesn’t seem to be responding yet, no matter how hard I pray. Can’t He see we’re not getting any better, no matter how much technically smarter we become?

I will tell my grandson that my faith is strong as to the “why” of God’s great reveal through the Baby Jesus: hope.  (If one strips away all of the horrid Christian misrepresentations through the years of who Jesus is and whom he loves (all-powerful and loves everybody)—the poor, the disenfranchised, the lonely, the broken, the misunderstood, the battered, the abused, the raped—both men and women alike, the hope that the baby born in a manger brought and brings to Earth is revolutionary. What I am most hurt over and where my faith is wavering is regarding peace on Earth: peace in Ferguson, peace in the Middle East, peace amongst the races, peace among the nations of the Earth, peace for women enslaved in backward countries, and peace in individual households. Peace—that is the Christmas gift I want God to give to the Earth this holiday season. Maybe my grandson will say that God won’t answer that prayer because he gave us the Earth as a gift, but we’ll have to work out peace between each other on our own.

Christmas Peace in Ferguson Bob Englehart The Hartford Courant

Cartoon Used by Permission: Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

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I am discovering that I am going to take a break from blogging until the New Year in order to spend some splendid time with my family (and my delightful grandson) who are coming from far and near following the “star” called home. We shall spend time together cherishing one another, eating and drinking too much, playing games, seeing theatrical shows, going to museums, and exchanging copious gifts. We’ll sing Christmas carols starting with my favorite: “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.” But the greatest gift that we will give each other this Christmas that Jesus gave to the entire world is love.

Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

From the Tomczyk household to you and yours.

Peace on Earth IV  Parker Florida Today

Cartoon Used by Permission: Jeff Parker, Florida Today

“I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark.”—Dick Gregory

“No matter what, I always make it home for Christmas. I love to go to my Tennessee Mountain Home and invite all of my nieces and nephews and their spouses and kids and do what we all like to do – eat, laugh, trade presents and just enjoy each other… and sometimes I even dress up like Santa Claus!”—Dolly Parton

“We have domesticated God’s transcendence. We often learn about God at about the same time as we are learning about Santa Claus; but our ideas about Santa Claus change, mature and become more nuanced, whereas our ideas of God can remain at a rather infantile level.”Karen Armstrong

“I ain’t here to argue about his facial features. Or here to convert atheists into believers. I’m just trying to say the way school need teachers, the way Kathie Lee needed Regis, that’s the way I need Jesus.”—Kanye West

“God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world: peace in the hearts of all men and women and peace among the nations of the Earth.”—Pope Benedict XVI

ALL QUOTES ARE FROM http://www.brainyquote.com

Reason for the Season Cardow The Ottawa Citizen

Cartoon Used by Permission: Cardow, The Ottawa Citizen

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WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT www.eleanortomczyk.com

WANT TO GIVE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY A GREAT BOOK ABOUT HOPE FOR CHRISTMAS? BUY MONTERS’ THROWDOWN AT AMAZON NOW!

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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MONSTERS’ THROWDOWN KINDLE EDITION

Do you know what I just discovered?  Amazon has released my new book, Monsters’ Throwdown, on Kindle! 

frontcover

Kindle Edition Cover of Monsters’ Throwdown

I haven’t slept since my book launch last week, and I was still whirling like a Dervish but at a slower speed—more  like a windup toy whose battery is finally running down—when my husband, WW, tried to inform me of the release of the Kindle Edition of my book.

ME:        “Oooooooh, myyyyyy Goooood, IIIII’mmm fiiinaaally pubbbblished!”

WW:     “Hey, Cutie.  I’ve got more good news for you:  Amazon just released Monsters’ Throwdown on Kindle.  Now all your digital readers can get a copy of your book before Christmas.  Isn’t that great?

ME:        “IIIII ammm soooooo eeexciiited, IIII caaan hhhardlly ssstannd iiit, but I’m sooo damn tired.”

WW:     “I can see that—you’re beginning to sound like you’re drunk.  Looks like someone could use a nap.  How about giving your readers a quick shout out about the digital format of Monsters’ Throwdown and curling up on the couch for a nice afternoon siesta?

ME:        “Sssuuure . . .  They just need to check out (YAAAAWN) the link below.  In the meantime, have you seen my down pillow and my Snuggle blanket?”

BUY NOW!

Dear Blogger Friends and Faithful Readers:

My family is on its way here this very moment via trains, plains, and automobiles.  I will be taking off my blogging hat for the next couple of weeks in exchange for the hat of a mother who administers lots of hugs and kisses to world-weary adult children; I will also be ignoring social media during that time for the slobbery kisses of an adorable 5 year old that I’ll be reading bedtime stories to from a book that I can hold in my hands as we cuddle together, and I rock him to sleep while “visions of sugarplums dance in his head.”  Please note that I’ll be thinking of you all with a heart full of love and grace.  Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas to you all!  I’ll return with more hilarious blogs the first week of January.

Merry Christmas Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Used by Permission:  Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Santa Baby: Do You Feel What I Feel?

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  I have issues with Santa—have had them ever since I became cognizant of his existence.  In fact, I hate him!  As I was editing my first Christmas remembrance in my book, Monsters’ Throwdown (due to be released next week just in time for Christmas), it brought back painful memories of my attempts to get white Santa’s attention to stop by my poorer-than-dirt ghetto house and leave me a present or two as a poor-black-child.  I wrote letters, I said prayers, and I set out cookies and milk, but still no Santa (now that I am an adult, I have a strong suspicion that the rats who were as big as cats ate Santa’s snacks).  Once I started encountering Jews and discovered they got no visits from Santa either—whether they had been good as could be or not—I knew that fat white dude in the red suit made us all feel pretty much like pond scum by not showing up with presents for us.

Santa Sign David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

As I got older, I realized Santa’s lack of shimmying down certain chimneys had more to do with economic inequality on my part and religious preference in the lives of my Jewish neighbors; although later I would discover that a few of my Jewish friends had Christmas trees along with their Menorahs, and Santa had made a deal with their parents to drop by on Christmas Eve just like he did at the homes of some of the Christians.  Talk about having one’s mind blown.

I pretty much forgot about the likes of Santa until I had my own children.  We moved to Israel when my older child was two months old and our younger child was born there.  I was having enough trouble helping them understand the difference between Israel’s “Kippi Ben Kippod” from “Rechov Sumsum (an Israeli coproduction of Sesame Street)” and America’s Big Bird from Sesame Street. Teaching my children about a Santa who didn’t bring the other neighborhood children presents wasn’t worth it.  Plus, it never occurred to me to teach them about the fantasy of Santa given my history with the dude, although our neighbors did help us find a fir tree from a kibbutz in Galilee so that we would feel more at home on Christmas Day since they knew it was a religious holiday for us.   By American standards, it was probably one of the ugliest trees one could possibly imagine—decorated with strings of popcorn, cranberries, and ringlets of colored paper.  But to us it was magnificent because it was provided by our Israeli neighbors who all came down to our apartment to “ooh and ah” at it.  All of my neighbors went out of their way to wish us “Merry Christmas” and we wished them Happy Chanukah at the appropriate time during all the years I lived there.  (Did I ever mention how my Israeli neighbors were the salt of the Earth and always made me feel very welcomed as an ex-pat?)

***

Then one year we came back to the States for Christmas vacation and my older child was sitting on my mother-in-law’s lap while her grandmother was reading my child a story about Santa Claus.  “Who is this?” asked my mother-in-law as she pointed to a picture of Santa.  The more my baby looked at the picture in total confusion, the angrier my mother-in-law became in demanding a definitive Santa recognition.   Finally, my three-year-old broke out into a heartbroken sob out of fear and confusion because she felt she was making her grandmother, whom she was seeing for the first time, very angry about her failure to identify a fat man in a red suit with an enormous beard.  As I ran to rescue my baby from this stupid emotional quagmire, my mother-in-law turned beet-red and went ballistic:  “I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO FIND THE WORDS TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH THIS DISTURBS ME THAT YOU’VE NOT TAUGHT THIS CHILD ABOUT SANTA CLAUS!”  As I ran from the room cradling my frightened baby, I shouted:  “Ask her who Pippi Ben Kippod is—then maybe she’ll pass your stupid fantasy-man test.”  When we returned to my beloved Israel, I got an envelope from my mother-in-law containing only an Ann Lander’s column titled:  “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!”  (Did I ever tell you that I suspect my mother-in-law always hated me, and her words had the ability to make people feel like crap—no matter what the age?)

Santa Judgmental

My grandson (the child of the daughter that my now dead MIL terrorized about the recognition of Santa), went to see Santa the other day.  Apparently, it did not go well.  He refused to sit on the dude’s lap and pretty much lost it when he was coerced into coming within 20 feet of the fat man in the red suit.  Later that evening during our phone call, I asked him why he didn’t want to get next to Santa and tell him what he wanted for Christmas.  My five-year-old grandson astutely said:  “I didn’t like him—I didn’t like the way he made me feel—he made me feel all waggy and crunchy inside.  Anyway, Santa don’t bring me presents, Mommy, Daddy, Mama-Mama, Mema, and Grandpa brings me presents on Christmas!”  (Did I ever tell you that children have the ability to make us feel very clear-headed by their assessment of life, if we carefully listen?)  I’m sure my mother-in-law was turning over in her grave when she heard him say what he did about dear ol’ St. Nick.

As I was pondering whether the dislike of Santa could be passed down through a person’s DNA, I heard about three news stories concerning words:

Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Palin Uncovering War on Christmas—“Americans saying happy holiday tantamount to disowning Jesus—ram Merry Christmas down their throats in the name of Jesus!”

Pope Francis releases his “The Joy of the Gospel” and chastises the world “not to forsake the poor”—his words are challenging and riveting

Nelson Mandela dies at 95—his collective words and actions humble us and make us want to do better with our lives

Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Palin’s caustic words (they both have criticized our new Pope for being a socialist and a Marxist) made me feel all “waggy and crunchy” inside and made me want to cry, but the words by Pope Francis and the legacy of words left behind by Nelson Mandela made me feel so good, that all I could do was go out into the street and wish everyone I saw, “Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, and Merry Christmas with all my heart!”  When I saw the joy in the eyes of the people I had greeted, I knew that I had touched them with the true spirit of Christmas, and I felt really good, because I could tell I had made them feel good with my generosity of heart as well.

Pope Nativity Scene Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Used by permission:  Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

I am discovering that Maya Angelou was correct: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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“I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark.”—Dick Gregory

“Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Claus. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don’t, who will?”Jon Bon Jovi

“Our family was too strange and weird for even Santa Claus to come visit… Santa, who was jolly – but, let’s face it, he was also very judgmental.”—Julia Sweeney

“You know, in a way, ‘Dear Santa Claus’ is rather stuffy… Perhaps something a little more intimate would be better… Something just a shade more friendly….How about ‘Dear Fatty’?”Charles M. Schulz, The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 5: 1959-1960

***

IN REMEMBRANCE OF MADIBA

Your heart of forgiveness, your words of grace, and your brotherly love will be greatly missed.  You made us all feel that we could live better lives if we tried.

Mandela Meme

RIP NELSON MANDELA

1918-2013

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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So this is Christmas

Sandy Hook Memorial middletowninsider dot com

Image from middletowninsider.com

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  It is almost impossible to try and write something funny and Christmassy when the lives of so many innocents have been so cruelly and stupidly destroyed.   It is also impossible to type when tears of sorrow and compassion keep blurring my vision as I read the list of names and ages of the victims of the insanity that happened in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14th.  I tried, I mean I really tried hard to move on and be glib and funny about a Christmas story about a fat Santa Claus who goes on a diet, but the words in my mind got eclipsed by snippets of lyrics of a Christmas song being sung by Céline Dion on the Muzak loop playing in my home to foster the proverbial Christmas cheer.    I’ve heard this song a thousand times but only really listened to it a few minutes ago:

So this is Christmas

 And what have you done?

 Another year over

 And a new one just begun

A very merry Christmas

 And a happy New Year

 Let’s hope it’s a good one

 Without any fear

This painful anti-war song was written by John Lennon in 1971 and purposely released at Christmas time (now it has become an empty catalogue standard of “chirpy” Christmas songs devoid of meaning) as part of Lennon and Yoko Ono’s anti-war billboard campaign of 1969.

I was a sophomore in college when billboards by Lennon and Yoko proclaiming “War is Over If you Want It” were posted in various places.  I remember how much I hated the Viet Nam war because friends of mine were being killed and emotionally destroyed there, and I supported the Lennon/Yoko protest.   But life goes on, other wars came and went, and are still going on, but such is life, because I’m “dreaming of a white Christmas” like most Americans.   But today I read the words of a Newtown resident who wondered if the rest of America would go on with their lives while the people of Newtown stayed frozen in their grief, and I knew that for me not to take the proper time to grieve with the residents of Newtown would be inhumane and uncompassionate.

And so Newtown, Connecticut, I will not move on with life today as if “Jingle Bells” and “visions of sugar plums dancing in my head” were all that mattered in my life.  I will take the time to grieve with you and try to figure out what I can do as an individual to stop the madness happening in our country with our stubborn love affair with guns.  I will pray for you for the comfort that only God can give at these moments while I wrestle with my own understanding of why a loving God would allow such a heinous thing to happen to you and to the sixty-one other episodes of mass murder in our country since 1982—not to mention the thousands of lives that are cut short on any given day and on any given inner-city street in Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles and beyond by guns.

shattered onlyinbridgeport dot com

PARTIAL LIST OF MASS MURDERS WITH SEMI-AUTOMATIC WEAPONS IN AMERICA IN 2012

(Courtesy of Mother Jones Magazine via the Melissa Harris-Perry Show)

Feb. 22nd:  Atlanta, GA (Health Spa)—4 people killed, by semi-automatic handgun

April 2nd:  Oakland, CA (Oiko University)—7 people killed; 3 wounded by 45 caliber semi-automatic handgun

May 30th: Seattle, WA (Café)—5 people killed; 1 wounded by a 45 caliber semi-automatic handgun

July 20th: Aurora, CO (Movie theater)—12 people killed; 58 wounded by 12-gauge shotgun, AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle, and 40 caliber semi-automatic pistol

Aug. 5th:  Oak Creek, WI (Sheikh Temple)—6 killed;3 wounded by 9m semi-automatic handgun

Sept. 27th:  Minneapolis, MN (Factory)5 killed; 3 wounded by 9m semi-automatic handgun

Dec. 11th:  Portland, OR (Mall)2 killed; 1 wounded by AR 15 semi-automatic rifle

Dec. 14th:  Newtown, CT (Elementary School)—20 children (6 and 7 year olds) and 7 adults were killed by a Glock and Sig Sauer, and a Bushmaster rifle (normally used by paratroopers)

Lilly Condolence

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”Psalm 34:18

“Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.”Frederick Buechner

“I believe that man will not merely endure. He will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.”—William Faulkner

“These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness, and worship without awareness.”—Anthony de Mello

The gun slaughter of our children, family, friends, and neighbors can be over if we want it!”Eleanor Tomczyk

***

HOWTHEHELLDIDIENDUPHERE ANNOUNCEMENT:  I will be taking the next two weeks off and will return during the first week of January.  I wish you and yours a loving and grace-filled  Christmas holiday season.  I pray that the peace of Christ would permeate all our hearts.

   Hug your children—hold them close!

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Waiting for Santa

Well, my loyal and wonderful readers, I’m taking a break for two weeks to spend time with my delicious family.  They are pouring in from all parts by trains, planes, and automobiles.  The tree is up, the stockings have been hung with care, and I have enough food to feed an army.

Besides being the chief cook and chubby-cheek kisser of all peeps from three – eighty-three, I am on guard Christmas Eve as the Santa lookout.  The Sucker never, ever showed up to my house in The Cleve when I was a child, sending a strong signal that I was perennially on his “naughty” list.   (I’m inclined to believe the dude doesn’t exist.)  I have several years of “memory photos” of the rats eating Santa’s cookies when I hid in a closet with the door cracked to catch him in the act of consuming his midnight snack.

 

Google Image/originally uploaded by pyza

So now that I’m an adult who realizes one has to have a family to “eat the Santa cookies” in order to keep up the ruse, I’ll be standing guard Christmas Eve just in case while WW puts together a thousand piece train set for our grandson.  To help keep myself awake I’ll think about how, if I were a god who wanted to express his divine love to a gnarly bunch of ragamuffins who were constantly acting the fool against each other and the Earth, what better method could that god have used than to sneak in under cover as a baby and hang out in our midst for a few years to show us how to treat each other.

Google Image

To some it is hard to believe, but I actually think it’s pretty clever—hidden in plain sight.   And so with all the hope, love, peace and joy that Christmas offers from God incognito in a manger, Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine.

See you on January 5th!

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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