Cherish is the Word

Prompt: Cherish

merry christmas rabbit

My Christmas presents this year:

  • “Happy” perfume
  • Terry’s Dark Chocolate Orange
  • Computer headset
  • Poncho
  • Red gloves
  • Tablet stylus
  • Beatles’ Eight Days a Week documentary DVD
  • Sketch-a-Day Journal
  • The Interpreter of Maladies (novel)

What I cherish:

  • My family, friends, and dog
  • Chocolate


Prompt: Saintly

Hello Wednesday!

Doesn’t it sometimes feel like the really good people have gone underground, and so we have to put up with the terribles in the news all the time?

News fit for television and Internet tends to be sensational, allegedly sexy, and catering, so they say, to the lowest common denominator. Who sets that bar except the people feeding us the news?

The news media is currently under fire from the current American administration, which, if you adhere to to the belief that “the enemies of my enemies are my friends” means that the media are our great allies. And some of them are.

The media shapes our outlook and our attitudes in profound ways. We are under the impression that daily life is more perilous than ever, when the opposite is true. We are well informed on the lives of celebrities, but wallow in ignorance about relevant issues at home and abroad.

I don’t think the media reservoir that spews out trivia and hysteria and the pricks of life masquerading as trends, will change until we demand more and better. It’s hard to demand more and better when you don’t even know what the options are, however.

May I present a couple of my favourite cartoons, tenuously related to today’s prompt, saintly, and one that is completely unrelated, yet seasonal and delicious?

cartoon bibilcal writings

cartoon son cooperating

cartoon don't need a tree

Until we meet again…


Caramba! Que pasa?

Prompt: Bounty


I couldn’t find a credit for this gem of a take on the classic “Night Before Christmas” poem, but I love the life and spirit of it.

Tejano Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa,
Not a creature was stirring — Caramba! Que pasa?
Los ninos were tucked away in their camas,
Some in camisas and some in pijamas,

While hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado
In hopes that old Santa would feel obligado
To bring all children, both buenos and malos,
A nice batch of dulces and other regalos.

Outside in the yard there arose such a grito
That I jumped to my feet like a frightened cabrito.
I ran to the window and looked out afuera,
And who in the world do you think quien era?

Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero
Came dashing along like a crazy bombero.
And pulling his sleigh instead of venados
Were eight little burros approaching volados.

I watched as they came and this quaint little hombre
Was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre
“Ay Pancho, ay Pepe, ay Chucho, ay Beto,
Ay Chato, ay Chopo, Macuco, y Nieto!”

Then standing erect with his hands on his pecho
He flew to the top of our very own techo.
With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea,
He struggled to squeeze down our old chiminea,

Then huffing and puffing at last in our sala,
With soot smeared all over his red suit de gala,
He filled all the stockings with lovely regalos–
For none of the ninos had been very malos.

Then chuckling aloud, seeming very contento,
He turned like a flash and was gone like the viento.
And I heard him exclaim, and this is verdad,
Merry Christmas to all, and Feliz Navidad!

The Layover

Prompt: Plop


Envy spent her first Christmas after the divorce in Santiago, Chile.

She didn’t want to spend it with her parents, or Cash, or even Virginia. She actually wanted to spend it with Marcos, but she supressed that thought. It wasn’t healthy to long for the companionship of someone who tried to kill you as you slept.

It was a gruelling flight via AeroMexico, with a four-hour layover in Mexico City, which was ok because her friend Molly was living in Mexico City, and all the family came out to have breakfast with her at the airport. She had been a bridesmaid at Molly’s marriage to Rafael, and they now had three young sons. Envy was surprised how much fun it was to be met at an airport, especially this one, which was boisterous, loud, and celebratory, as masses of people greeted travellers with joyful abandon.

Santiago was a busy, bustling, impressive, but smelly city— possibly more aromatic because of the unseasonably warm temperatures, pushing 40C. It was quiet and cool in her hotel room, and the intercom played soothing jazz renditions of Christmas carols. She wondered how to turn that off.

She visited the Plop! Galeria, which was nicely situated in a gallery and museum district, and finally met Pati Aguilera, with whom she had corresponded for months, and who happily shared her knowledge of the illustrations on display. Envy chose several prints in addition to a set of Patricia’s own works, to take back to the little gallery she was planning to open on St Xavier St. She envisioned a kind of Plop! North. Some day she would seek out more local illustrators, but for now she wanted to show the work that had so inspired her to open a gallery in the first place.

She then took her book of Nerudo poetry and spent the afternoon at La Chascona Casa Museo, where the dappled shade was cooling, the book inspiring and transporting, despite the number of tourists.

On Christmas Day, after talking to mama, dad, Cash and Virginia, who seemed to be having a very delicious, very tense Christmas dinner, Envy called Molly, and spoke to Rafael for almost an hour (as Molly was busy with children and food).

Rafe. He was “in real estate” and wondered if Envy would show him around the city next week when he was there on business. She said she would be delighted to, of course. They also talked about horses, Pablo Neruda, enamel vs latex paint, crabgrass, his eldest son’s obsession with moths, the War on Drugs, and San Diego. He was handsome. Molly was still quite beautiful. Envy was as plain as wax paper, and on the rebound. She tried to suppress a few more thoughts. It was hard.

She would not layover in Mexico on the return trip. Nor would she show Rafael the neighbourhoods of the city without a chaperone. She would ask Stuart to accompany them. Molly had not been a bridesmaid at Envy’s wedding— she asked, but Molly was seven months into a vomitous pregnancy. They had grown apart, naturally, but it was Molly who stayed up all night with her when she burned her eyes, and Molly who taught her how to hitchhike and how to kick someone in the neck. Sure, time and distance had caused them to grow apart, but she still considered Molly a great friend. Didn’t she?


Thanks for Rubbing

Prompt: Generous Genies
Remember those lovely genies who grant wishes? Well, you’re one and you’ve just been emancipated from your restrictive lamp. You can give your three wishes to whomever you want. Who do you give your three wishes to, and why?

russels christmas magic

I like it in the lamp. It’s cosy, and I have Netflix. But I got a FitBit for Christmas so it was nice to add a few steps. Thanks for rubbing!

To Ken: Freedom from illness.
To Jim and Joanne: Peace in your hearts.
To my family: Prosperity and more moments spent together.

Merry Christmas to all!