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 Christmas-shopping list. Many of your custom-selected gifts remain back-ordered, unpurchased, unwrapped or unmailed. Some are just a bit too big or unwieldy 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 replacing the SUV’s water pump, reserving a turkey, picking up friends 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 and pretty much 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.
During this joyful yet occasionally stressful season, most of us are busy with countless important, relatively important and if-I-get-around-to-it tasks. Even so, 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 a not-so-terribly-rare condition known as Holiday MacGyverism Syndrome (HMG).
Top 10 Warning Signs of Holiday-MacGyverism Syndrome (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 plenty of aluminum foil plus that duct tape you found online that sortof looks like ribbon.
8. You volunteered to teach early-start English and your brilliant yet very literal young student still misspells reindeer as rain-deer. He doesn’t understand your explanation of WHY this usage is different from the idiom, “raining cats and dogs.” He still thinks he’ll need a MUCH stronger umbrella if he ventures out on Christmas Eve. You’ve thought about building him one.
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. Nevertheless, it left you – and Santa – crying over a small explosion, spilled milk, burnt cookies and one partially melted boot. Plus the dry-cleaning bill for Santa’s charred suit and pet-therapy PTSD counseling for Rudolph who developed a sudden phobia of being “Lead Deer.”
4. You’re still telling your grandchildren about the year you saved Christmas by repurposing an old fan belt when a substitute reindeer from the temp agency (DeerPower, Inc. – Because nothing flies like a deer) … chewed Santa’s sled-reins in two providentially landing the whole team on your rooftop.
3. You rarely regift because most everything – even monogrammed toasters, umbrella-hats and ugly ties – can be used for parts.
2. If your clothes dryer bites the proverbial 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. In addition to putting out Christmas cookies and milk for Santa, this year you’ve added a custom-fitted glow-in-the-dark clown nose with lighted, battery-operated redundancy just in case Rudolph is under the weather or still in PTSD pet-therapy.
Despite your assurances that “I can stop anytime I want,” your family and friends remain skeptical, because:
a) you’ve developed a reputation,
b) the North Pole, the Toys-R-Us Assembly Department, AND the Butterball Turkey Hotline have blocked your number, and/or
c) your children and/or grandchildren were heartbroken after Santa inexplicably skipped your house AGAIN last year and blamed it on the new GPS … again.
Undeterred, you have added a p.s. to your daughter’s letter to Santa to assure him …
“I can FIX that.”
If this sounds like you or someone you love, call our 1-800-MAC’HELP hotline and talk to one of our compassionate – but nonenabling – elves.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good, and only marginally MacGyvered, new year.