Happy Squidmas

Happy Hannukahmass/Christsquid/etc…er, happy holidays. I hope this is a calm and happy time for all of you, and thanks for reading. I would love to hear what you are all doing today, or what you did as a kid.

Me, as a kid in the Fiji Islands, our tree was a surly squid atop a palm tree, with franjipani flowers instead of lights. We would drink our yongona spirits and eat our pork in coconut leaves, and hire a Somoan actor to play Santa Claus and pretend to come down a chimney that wasn’t there. Then we would take a ride on the sea turtles brought to my mom for her biological illustrations, and watch movies my dad brought from the Univ. of the South Pacific. Alas one time he didn’t vet them properly and me and my friends were subjected to a kangaroos as pests snuff flick with machine guns issued by the Aussie government. Mostly, though, I remember driving high into the mountains (volcanic isle remember) to a cabin where you could almost see snow sometimes and there were solemn looking kingfishers on telephone wires and scads of yucca plants. Also remember firewalking one time, but that’s another story…especially as I just discovered all of my mom’s old slides from back then and will be converting them to digital…


  1. says

    Merry day of festive squid feasting to you as well, Jeff!

    What I’ve done/will be doing today? Well, I just returned from Midnight Mass, which means the most meaningful part of the day to me personally is already done. After I read a bit (likely the Italian epic poem I have featured on my blog now), I’ll sleep and then get up and get ready to travel 10 minutes to my maternal grandmother’s house. Spend a couple of hours there with my cousins and other relatives, then head home for some NBA basketball (huge Lakers fan), before more feasting and reading.

    Most of my family’s traditions revolve around Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day. Ever since I was a child, we exchanged our gifts around 8 PM that night, then maybe watched a movie, perhaps It’s a Wonderful Life (like tonight). For some reason, that movie never annoys me like most do, perhaps because it’s so dark until the very end. Usually a few stories are told (and my poor new sister-in-law had to be inducted into the madness this year), often at the expense of another. Nothing like your tale above – kangaroo snuff flick? Sweet! Err…bad!

    Any chance of some of those photos being posted here?

  2. says

    Are you serious about the squid on top of a palm tree, or have you crossed over into gonzo impressionism? I honestly can’t tell! Either way, your childhood sounds cool.

    Well, we dropped the ball this year with our Christmas Skeleton tradition . . . I guess it’s not too late . . . the family across the street have quite a light show going on. Maybe tonight . . .

  3. jeff vandermeer says

    Bill, squid on a tree is a profound religious experience, not to be mocked by blaspheming heretics.

  4. jeff vandermeer says

    o so shall it ever be, thy tentacles as thy rod, and 95 shall there be, and if you but accept them you too will exist thereafter in the glory of squishy eternal life.

    anyone seen the cop show ten-arms and brownbeak?

  5. Bill Ectric says

    It might surprise you to know I once considered the Holy Squidhood but I couldn’t accept the doctrine of the calamari host.

  6. Bill Ectric says

    Larry, there is a subtle moment in It’s A Wondeful Life that many people may not notice. Remember when George Baily tells Potter that he lost the bank’s money? Potter knows it wasn’t Baily who lost it because he was there when Uncle whats-his-name lost it (Potter found it).

    Potter says to Baily, “Oh, you lost it!” and then looks at his assistant. You know Potter realizes that George is taking responsibility for his Uncle’s mistake. Not that it makes a difference to Potter, but there is something about the unspoken knowledge in the scene that stands out to me. For some reason. I think because it’s a good example of detail in storytelling.