Wednesday, December 14, 2005

And now, from the "When Santa Loses It" files and Yahoo! News...

(A photo of one of my idols - courtesy of

Sudiegirl sez: Ah yes...the Yuletide spirit. In a backhanded way, this makes me think of a "Sudiegirl's dad" story (and quit rolling your's heartwarming, now!)

My dad bought a Halloween decoration from Hallmark one was a little vampire bat on a string with a spring-hinged jaw.

However, he proclaimed since it cost $6.00, he was going to use it for as many holidays as possible to get his money's worth. Little surprise that when Christmas came, that little bugger was holding mistletoe. Ah, the warmth of it any wonder that I'm in therapy? Read on...and I'll do what I do. After all, it's what I do!

Macabre Christmas Display Makes Statement (well, that's one way to put it)
By DAVID B. CARUSO, Associated Press Writer
49 minutes ago

It's usually easy to tell where a person stands in the culture wars, but whose side is someone on when his Christmas decor is a blood-spattered Santa Claus holding a severed head? (Well, hopefully the side that doesn't piss off Santa Claus, since he's holding a KNIFE and someone's bloody head!)

Joel Krupnik and Mildred Castellanos decked the front of their Manhattan mansion this year with a scene that includes a knife-wielding 5-foot-tall St. Nick and a tree full of decapitated Barbie dolls. Hidden partly behind a tree, the merry old elf grasps a disembodied doll's head with fake blood streaming from its eye sockets. (Obviously, St. Nick has some issues...maybe he got dumped at the senior prom or something?)

In a telephone interview Wednesday, Krupnik explained that his family thought it would be a fun way to make a comment about the commercialization and secularization of Christmas. (Well, that's a stretch, but...OK...I'm game...I'll listen to the other side.)

"It is a religious holiday, but they have turned it into a business. And it shouldn't be," he said. "We didn't put it up to offend anybody. It was just something that came out of our imagination." (Yeah, but I guess I don't get how it's protesting the commercialization of Christmas. Maybe I didn't take enough philosophy classes or something. Is there something I'm missing here?)

More than a few people passing by the brownstone were a little puzzled about the message behind the massacre. There were a few signs the macabre theme is a year-round thing — the facade of the building was covered with leering gargoyles. A statue of Death, hooded and grim-looking, stood outside. (Ah...the good time happy house. Actually, it sounds like something I would have tried to pull together once upon a time.)

Peter Nardoza, 81, of Manhattan, shook his head and chuckled.

"Sick, sick, sick," he said. "What kind of a world is this that we live in?" (Well, apparently one where Santa Claus and the symbol of Death can live in peace and harmony, man!)

Ronnie Santiago, a deliveryman on his route, speculated that something bad must have happened once to the homeowner at Christmas. (NO! DO TELL!) A few spectators wondered whether the campy gore would bother children. (It wouldn't bother any kid I know...unless they think it looks fake.)

The family is far from the only one making an editorial comment this year on how Americans celebrate Christmas, although it may be the only one doing it by depicting Santa Claus as a killer. (I'd have to agree...I'm not a big Santa fan, but I prefer Billy Bob Thornton's incarnation of "Santa", or the "Santa" in "A Christmas Story"..."You'll shoot your eye out, kid.")

Pope Benedict XVI complained this week that Christmas festivities have been "subjected to a sort of commercial pollution." Christian conservatives have launched campaigns to reintroduce a religious component to Christmastime decor in schools and public squares, chiding even President Bush this year for sending out cards wishing supporters a happy "holiday season."
(I'm still not sure what to think about using "holiday season" instead of "Merry Christmas". I don't think it's necessarily a bad idea to go generic when you don't know what someone celebrates. And as I mentioned in a previous post, it's what is in the individual's own heart that matters as far as how to perceive the holidays, and if you don't do Christmas, for whatever reason, that should be OK. But it should also be OK to DO Christmas if you want to! It's more a matter on figuring out your audience, to use a show biz phrase.)

But despite the home's gruesome exterior, some visitors appreciated it.

Bucky Turco, 31, of Manhattan, said the display captured how he felt when watching someone costumed as SpongeBob SquarePants promote products at Rockefeller Center.

"This is brilliant," said Turco. (It was elaborate, I'll give it that.)

Walter Garofalo, a musician from Brooklyn who wandered by wearing a black bandanna covered in skulls, was awe-struck.

"I wonder if these people would let me use this as our next album cover," he said. "It's perfect!" (I think I'll actually buy that album if that band can use the existing decor! Dude!)

Sudiegirl's final opinion?
Have yourself a merry bloody Christmas!