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Some Things You Might Do, Being As It's Xmas Eve
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  1. Go read Greg van Eekhout's "In the Late December".

  2. Watch To Kill a Mockingbird (I know it's not a Christmas movie, but it's one of the great films about how difficult and necessary it is to be a good and responsible person, which seems apropos). Am I the only guy who sees Atticus Finch as his model for manhood?

  3. Get over to Sci Fiction and read Elizabeth Hand's "Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol" while you still can.

  4. Watch "Night of the Meek", the 1959 Twilight Zone episode where Art Carney plays a drunken department store Santa.

  5. Go listen (at no charge) to "A Very Special Sedaris Christmas" from This American Life. Or "Christmas and Commerce". Or "The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Suit". Or, hell, just go to and search on the keyword "Christmas." They've done some great shows on the subject.

  6. Watch the "Woodland Critter Christmas" episode of South Park. (The holiday doesn't get much funnier hearing than a cartoon squirrel say "Hail Satan!")

  7. Read "Miracle" by Connie Willis (not all her Xmas stories work for me, but this is one of my favorites).

  8. Drink apple cider spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and orange zest.

  9. If you're somewhere cold, go outside, take in a breath of that sharp biting air, and know I'm envious. It's gotta be in the high 50s here, temperature-wise, and it doesn't feel a lot like Xmas, weather-wise. (It does otherwise, though.)

  10. Remember, sauté the garlic in lots of butter and use the resulting garlic-butter-sauce in the mashed potatoes. Just don't throw a bunch of minced garlic in the potatoes when you're mashing them and hope for the best. The results aren't pretty.

  11. Enjoy your extra days off, if you've got them, and if you're stuck working (in the pits of retail, for example), know that you have my sympathy, and that I won't be in your store bothering you, because I've been there, and I know what it's like.

  12. Go on, stick a bow on your head. But for Santa's sake, get the antlers off that poor cat.

  13. If you have the right cultural/social/etc. background: Try to remember what it was like, being a little kid and so excited about Christmas morning that you couldn't sleep, creeping out of bed in the pre-dawn hours to see the mysterious mounds of presents, lit by the twinkle of lights on the tree. Remember that anticipation, that sense of possible wonders in the immediate future? Try to get that sense back, if you can. It's a nice thing to feel, not just on Christmas, but anytime, really -- the delicious possibility that you might just have one or two your own small dreams come true.

  14. Everybody have a merry one, okay?

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