A Public Service Message from the Department of Interior Peace of Mind, Division of Responsible Time Management (DIPM/DRTM)
The hour is late and the dog (allegedly) ate your shopping list. Many of your thoughtfully selected gifts remain back-ordered, unwrapped or unmailed. Some are too big for their assigned Priority Mail envelopes and boxes.
Your gingerbread house needs a paint job, shutters, a new door and sugar-frosted spackling for conspicuous cracks that developed in the foundation. One of the carefully crafted gingerbread children in front is inexplicably missing a leg. You’ve seriously considered creating a ginger-ambulance, a ginger-stretcher and ginger-paramedics, which you would totally do if you just had more … time. And four chocolate Oreos for ambulance wheels.
You’re convinced that other minor details – like reserving a turkey, replacing the SUV’s water pump, picking up family at the airport and listening to the rest of that phone message about a gas leak – can wait. You’re not worried, because you secretly enjoy the thrill of a good 11th-hour multi-tasking holiday sprint. Plus, there isn’t much you can’t fix fast with duct tape, the springs inside a ballpoint pen, a zip tie, two paperclips, chewing gum, a postage stamp or whatever else is on-hand.
If that sounds like you or someone you love, then this an intervention:
A Message from Your Friends in the Division of Responsible Time Management and Compassionate Outreach
A quick scan of the list below is worth a brief holiday timeout. It will help you to discern whether you have any telltale symptoms of Holiday-MacGyverism Syndrome (HMG).
Top 10 Warning Signs of HMG
10. You’re pleased to discover that last year’s fruitcake still makes a great doorstop – especially if you cover it in duct tape. Aunt Aida will be none the wiser.
9. You ran out of wrapping paper, but that’s okay. You still have aluminum foil plus some duct tape you found online that sortof looks like ribbon.
8. You think repurposing a flare gun is a good idea.
7. Those automatic year-round drop-down outdoor Christmas lights under the eaves would work FINE if you hadn’t mined the remote control for parts when you were fixing the lawnmower last July.
6. The extra cases of beer you stashed in the snowdrift for this year’s party would still be cold if the local forecaster hadn’t been uncharacteristically accurate when predicting an unseasonably warm holiday this year.
5. You thought that promising new “Milk and Cookies for Santa” app you reprogrammed to initiate rapid, open-fire cookie-baking when Santa triggered the remote chimney device wired to a camping stove was pure genius.
4. You’re still telling your grandchildren about the year you saved Christmas by repurposing an old fan belt when a substitute reindeer chewed Santa’s sled-reins in half, providentially landing the entire team on your rooftop.
3. You rarely regift because most everything – even monogrammed toasters, umbrella-hats and ugly ties – can be mined for parts.
2. If your clothes dryer bites the dust while you’re drying everything from milk-soaked Christmas stockings to Grandma’s cranberry-stained linen tablecloths, you don’t panic. You are confident that you can either a) fix it with aluminum foil, a blow-torch and duct tape, or b) make a perfectly functional clothesline from duct tape while repurposing a leaf blower and two large hairdryers to remove any excess frost.
1. The Butterball Turkey Hotline and most toy-store assembly departments have blocked your number.
If this sounds like you or someone you love, call 1-800-MacHelp to talk to one of our compassionate – but nonenabling – elves.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good – and only marginally MacGyvered – new year.