Mike Buzzelli

Column Mike Buzzelli

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and published author. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine, and an active board member of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, the Carnegie Arts Initiative and the Carnegie Screenwriters. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

It ain’t over till it’s over

December 27, 2013

It’s over? We’ve been planning Christmas since Thanksgiving. Some people have been planning it since Halloween. Now, it’s over. Crumpled wrapping paper, bows without packages and little pieces of tape were thrown into a big, blue Glad bag. Most of the pine needles and pieces of tinsel are lodged in the vacuum cleaner. There were a few broken ornaments (every year we lose one of these glass treasures from the '50s). We lost a Wise Man. I can’t tell if it was Balthazar, Melchior or Caspar. I hope it was the one with the frankincense. I’m partial to myrrh. Once, I got 26 points on a double word score in Scrabble with myrrh.

The usual things happened: We didn’t have the right batteries. One of the toys is broken already. One kid played with the cardboard box his toy came in. We all ate too much (wait, didn’t that just happen on Thanksgiving?). All of these are Christmas constants.

It always happens way too fast. We shop, we wrap, we bake and then we’re cleaning up.

My Christmas was earlier than most this year. My mom has been working at Target, and they were open Christmas Eve. So, Dec. 20, we had an early Christmas party. I hadn’t bought all of my presents yet, but squeaked by with all the ones I needed that night. I am not a last-minute shopper, but I thought I had one more weekend before the holiday. It was like sliding onto home base.

OK. I will admit to shopping at the Super K one year at 2 a.m. on the 23rd/24th. Mostly because it was a hard candy Christmas and I was waiting for a paycheck to clear before I could spend any money. Things weren’t quite that rough this year. Though, I have racked up quite a bit of money with the Marquis de Sade … I mean my dentist. Many faithful readers will note that I have been paying that man to torture me since October. My mouth has been under construction almost as long as Route 28.

But I digress, like I do. I managed to get everything for our early Christmas party, show up and have a great time. The 25th was slightly disappointing since we had our get-together five days earlier. I exchanged my gifts with my nieces and nephews.

I had a few extra places to squeeze the last bits of Christmas joy out of the holiday, just as I would squeeze a nearly empty tube of Crest for the last bit of toothpaste (proper maintenance of my teeth is very important to me, now more than ever).

On Christmas Eve, I decorated cookie cut-outs with my niece and nephew. I had a little Christmas there. On Christmas Day, I went to my Aunt Judy’s house for the last stop on the wild Christmas ride. By 9 p.m., the vehicle came to a complete stop. Christmas is a lot like a wedding. You build up the excitement, plan everything and it’s over before you know it. It was still a blast, though.

I am now making plans for New Year’s Eve, which I am sure will be over before you know it. Hope you had a great holiday. Let’s get on with the next one!



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