Ho Ho — Nooooo!!!

Hi Readers! Normally I write about how we should avoid Worst-First Thinking — thinking up the WORST case scenario FIRST and proceeding as if it’s likely to happen, immediately. But in this case, I was wrong! Look at what happened to this reader’s family just last night!

Dear Free-Range Kids: There’s a jolly stranger sneaking in my house tonight… my kids talked to him and now he’s coming here!

I am so sorry I even suggested that it is EVER safe for a child to speak to a stranger. I can only hope the guy leaves quickly and that your kids are snug in their beds (with a pivoting, infra-red baby monitor on, of course), visions of agave plums dancing in their heads. What a close call! – L.

These kids are ASKING for trouble.


29 Responses to Ho Ho — Nooooo!!!

  1. AnotherAnon December 25, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    Did the guy invite the kids to sit on his lap? Because if he did, he probably belongs on a sex offender registry.

  2. Emily December 25, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    I hear a lot of perverts and wackos are wearing beards these days to hide their identities.

  3. pentamom December 25, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Merry 25th of December to you and yours, Lenore.

  4. TaraDL December 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Don’t worry kids! There’s another strange lady who comes and steals your teeth!

  5. missjanenc December 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Merry 25th of December? God forbid people say Merry Christmas. Oops…I was just politically incorrect and mentioned the deity. Now I’m sure I’ll be shut down for some sort of separation of church and state violation.

  6. Uly December 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Can you be shut down for being annoying? It’s not enough for you to celebrate your holiday, you have to be the language police as well, Jane?

    Aaaaaaand… breathe. I am calm, cool, and collected, and am not going to allow my desire to shove a ball of tinsel down my sister’s throat to bug me anymore. Happy whatever, guys. Even you, Jane. I guess.

  7. pentamom December 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Miss Jane — I usually wish people Merry Christmas, if I don’t know them. But I know that Lenore IS Jewish, therefore I KNOW that Merry Christmas is not appropriate. But as a Christian, I still think it is a good thing to be merry on this day, so I wished it to Lenore and her family.

    BTW, we share first names, Jane, and I hope you are having a merry Christmas, too.

  8. Jenny Islander December 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Merychippus to all and to all a good time!

    I heard that this weird who goes to all the kids’ houses started his career by anonymously giving money to three vulnerable girls. Clearly grooming behavior.

  9. Linvo December 25, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    I hope they made him sign in and out! A background check on this guy would take a while to do…

  10. mollie December 25, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    “He sees you when you’re sleeping
    He knows when you’re awake
    He knows if you’ve been bad or good…”


    You lost me at “he sees you when you’re sleeping.”

    Sometimes growing up Jewish has its perks.

  11. hineata December 25, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    Is it Happy Hannukah at this time of the year, Lenore? Actually we don’t have many Jewish people around here, so we don’t celebrate the holidyas, which is a shame. One thing I loved about Malaysia is that you get days off to celebrate Hari Raya, Diwali, Chinese New Year and Christmas, all at different times (usually) of the year. Being mainly a Euro nation is a bit boring that way…!

    Merry Christmas everyone :-).

  12. catspaw73 December 25, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    Happy Holidays to everyone.

    And please excuse Hineata on other threads, shes layed up with her leg in cast and is bored, so engaging in a hobby of hers, arguing, sorry have a robust debate :-) about one of her current fav peeves, gun control 😀

  13. hineata December 26, 2012 at 1:49 am #

    God bless you too, Catspaw….Was going to give you choccies for feeding the chook, but might hurl grapes instead, LOL!

    Am sorry to hear some of you are experiencing rough storms etc… haave just had our hottest Christmas in 70-odd years. Didn’t hear that strange man above my house, BTW…those furry animals they say pull his vehicle probably died of heatstroke!

  14. Owen Allen December 26, 2012 at 3:33 am #


  15. Captain America December 26, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    You know this might be a funny thing to say, but Christmas has been SO commercialized that the actual religious content has been whitewashed away. . . I’m thinking of how banal the local “Christmas station” music has been: the radio station plays zero tunes with any Christian content. It’s kind of intellectually preposterous in one way, but those folks who want to sell stuff really have subverted the original purpose of the celebration.

    I think Jewish people might not be TOO off-put by Merry Christmas when even agnostics and pagans use the term.

  16. KMary December 26, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Hmm lots of well-wishing and wondering which is the PC term here. Everyone, I thought you knew by now: Happy Festivus! :-)

  17. Lollipoplover December 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    The big red guy got into our house yesterday and left yet another one of those tiny, remote-controlled helicopters for the boy. He got the same one last year, loved it, but lost it on the roof outside during a wind storm the day after Christmas.

    I heard him playing with it this morning. It’s nice to wake up late to kids playing with toys. But he did the same stupid thing as last year- he took it outside (and swore there was NO wind) and a giant gust put it on the highest spot on the roof. He was pissed, but wanted to get it back before the snow started and ruined it.

    He tried going out the bathroom window with my old lacrosse stick to catch it but no luck. He also tried his fishing rod with a big hook but it was too high. I finally caved in and helped him. I got the ladder out and we pulled it up to the second level. I went up to the (terrifying) top while he spotted the ladder(it was on a slope). We got it! He held the ladder as I descended and I wondered why the hell I risked breaking my neck for a cheap toy when we could have just bought another (probably on discount by now).
    But he said, “And next year, I’ll climb up to the very top and get it, Mom.” Totally worth it.

  18. SKL December 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    On another note, I noticed that the Santa my kids saw this year did not sit them on his lap. He just had them stand there and talk to him. (They are 5 and 6, so it’s not like they are too big and awkward for that IMO.) I can’t help but wonder if this is because of paranoia against overprotective parents who think every man who touches a child is a sicko.

  19. pentamom December 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    I’m not concerned about people being “put off” — I just don’t think it makes sense to wish people a merry something they don’t celebrate. To me it’s like wishing people a happy birthday when you know it’s not even close to their birthday. It’s not necessarily offensive, it just doesn’t make any sense.

  20. catspaw73 December 26, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Today’s political cartoon. Kinda relevant to the Sandy Hook hysteria

  21. Stafir December 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Honestly the way I see it…I’m a christian, believe in it, all of that.

    I will wish everyone a Merry Christmas, its the Holy Day I celebrate and the one I have faith in. To refuse to say the name of the Holy Day…means that I have little trust in my own faith. So to all I say Merry Christmas.

    In return..I expect other religions to treat me the same way..and give me wishings of their own religion.

    And to that final point…that means i don’t get offended when other wish me, well whatever their religion..whatever their faith tells them to bestow upon me. So I expect the same of others.

  22. pentamom December 26, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    Stafir, I understand what you’re saying, but I just don’t think it wild make sense for someone to wish me a Happy Kwanzaa — how can I have a happy Kwanzaa if I don’t have any kind of Kwanzaa at all?

    But on the other hand, I wouldn’t be the least bit offended if someone did it — clearly, it was a kindly intended wish from the wisher’s own point of view. That’s something to appreciate, not take offended at.

  23. pentamom December 26, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    *take offense*

  24. Gina December 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    Any wish for Happy Anything comes from a place of kindness. It’s the intent that matters.
    I was raised Jewish (sort of, the “Long Island suburbs” style)…I am no longer affiliated but I believe in God. Merry Christmas does not offend me.
    If someone is being kind to you, in any way, why would you be offended?

  25. walkamungus December 27, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    As an atheist, I take wishes for a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays in the holiday spirit — sometimes with holiday spirits, *ahem* (bourbon preferred) — and will reply in kind.

    For those with a touchy and wide-ranging circle of acquaintances, well, Miss Manners has said that New Year’s greetings are always appropriate.

  26. gap.runner December 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    I was brought up (very non-religious) Jewish but still appreciate when people wish me a Merry Christmas. I just smile and say, “Thank you. Same to you.” At this time of year people are being kind and getting into the spirit of the holiday time. People don’t wear badges out in public identifying their religious affiliation like they had to in Nazi Germany, thank goodness. Therefore it’s impossible to know if the person you’re talking to celebrates Christmas or not.

    Or we can just use the holiday greeting that my boss used last weekend as he left work: “Merry everything and happy always!”

  27. SKL December 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    We all use the days of the week without offense, even though they are named after gods most of us don’t worship.

    If someone tells me “happy Monday,” (ha!) I don’t get pissy about it. Christmas happens to be a specific day on the calendar – which is a paid day off work for most. So I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to be happy on that day.

    But if you don’t, I think you just need to suck it up and be happy it’s only one day per year.

  28. SKL December 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    PS, most of the people I deal with are not Christians, but they smile genuinely when wished Merry Christmas (and they wish it to others too). Likewise just about everyone I’ve encountered. People need to be a little adventurous and see what happens if they try it. The world isn’t going to implode over those two little words.

  29. missjanenc December 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    Uly, my, my, a little constipated aren’t we? I was making a joke but you obviously didn’t get it. I am aware that Lenore is Jewish, however I don’t think she’s going to melt when Christmas greetings are offered. After all, it is a legal government holiday and I know there are religiously-blended families who put up a Menorah and a Christmas tree.