“A Social Call” by Ambrose Bierce

Xmas:
The most glorious misanthrope, Bierce, gives the best holiday greetings.
-The Voice before the Void

“A Social Call”

Ambrose Bierce

Well, well, old Father Christmas, is it you,
With your thick neck and thin pretense of virtue?
Less redness in the nose—nay, even some blue
Would not, I think, particularly hurt you.
When seen close to, not mounted in your car,
You look the drunkard and the pig you are.

No matter, sit you down, for I am not
In a gray study, as you sometimes find me.
Merry? O, no, nor wish to be, God wot,
But there’s another year of pain behind me.
That’s something to be thankful for: the more
There are behind, the fewer are before.

I know you, Father Christmas, for a scamp, Continue reading

“Jesus H. Christ” from Wikipedia

Xmas Special:
Happy birthday, Harold.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Jesus H. Christ”

Wikipedia

This article is about the phrase. For the religious figure, see Jesus.

“Jesus H. Christ” is a common phrase used to refer to the religious figure Jesus Christ. It is a vulgarism and is uttered in anger, surprise, or frustration, though sometimes also with humorous intent. It is not used in the context of Christian worship.

Christian divine monogram iota eta sigma IHC JHC Jesus H Christ

1. History

The earliest use of the phrase is unknown, but in his autobiography, Mark Twain observed that it was in general use even in his childhood. Continue reading

“The Children’s Friend” by Arthur J. Stansbury

Xmas Special:
The genesis of the American Santa Claus and his flying reindeer and his fearsome moral adjudication.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Children’s Friend: A New-Year’s Present to the Little Ones from Five to Twelve”

Arthur J. Stansbury

Old Santeclaus with much delight
His reindeer drives this frosty night,
O’er chimney tops, and tracks of snow,
To bring his yearly gifts to you.

The steady friend of virtuous youth,
The friend of duty, and of truth,
Each Christmas eve he joys to come
Where love and peace have made their home.

Through many houses he has been,
And various beds and stockings seen;
Some, white as snow, and neatly mended,
Others, that seem’d for pigs intended. Continue reading

“The Yearly Lie” by Ambrose Bierce

Xmas Special:
Hail Bierce.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Yearly Lie”

Ambrose Bierce

A merry Christmas? Prudent, as I live!—
You wish me something that you need not give.

Merry or sad, what does it signify?
To you ‘t is equal if I laugh, or die.

Your hollow greeting, like a parrot’s jest,
Finds all its meaning in the ear addressed.

Why “merry” Christmas? Faith, I’d rather frown
Than grin and caper like a tickled clown. Continue reading

“Krampus” from Wikipedia

Krampusnacht Special:
Winter is the darkest time of year.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Krampus”

Wikipedia

In German-speaking Alpine folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure. According to traditional narratives around the figure, Krampus punishes children during the Christmas season who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved children with gifts. Regions in the Austrian diaspora feature similar figures and, more widely, Krampus is one of a number of Companions of Saint Nicholas in regions of Europe. The origin of the figure is unclear; some folklorists and anthropologists have postulated a pre-Christian origin for the figure. Continue reading

“Hunting the Deceitful Turkey” by Mark Twain

Mark Twain’s Birthday Special:
Twain bestows personality upon your holiday meal.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Hunting the Deceitful Turkey”

Mark Twain

When I was a boy my uncle and his big boys hunted with the rifle, the youngest boy Fred and I with a shotgun–a small single-barrelled shotgun which was properly suited to our size and strength; it was not much heavier than a broom. We carried it turn about, half an hour at a time. I was not able to hit anything with it, but I liked to try. Continue reading

“A Pause” by Frances Vejtasa

Summer Vacation Special:
Odd old North Dakota poetry, humorous, weird, haunting.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“A Pause”

Frances Vejtasa

I leaned against an age-hewn stump,
While pausing on my way;
A child sat on the green-grown slope,
To rest her feet from play.
“The day, it too will fade,” said I,
Who am old and slow and gray;
She caught the thought and voiced my mood:
“And the leaves, they’ll blow away.”

“And youth and love, they flicker out,”
My mind had a tragic sway;
The child looked up with woeful eyes,
“Santa, too, has passed away.”

“Three Kings of Orient” by John Henry Hopkins, Jr.

Kings Day Special:
Gold the valuable, symbol of kingship; frankincense the incense, symbol of deity; and myrrh the embalming oil, symbol of death.
⁓The Voice before the Void

The Magi Journeying - Les rois mages en voyage - James Tissot - Three Kings painting camels

“Three Kings of Orient”

John Henry Hopkins, Jr.

We Three Kings of Orient are,
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain,
Moor and mountain,
Following yonder Star. Continue reading

“Yule Cat” from Wikipedia

Xmas Special:
Christmas monster. (Iceland has the coolest stuff.)
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Yule Cat”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Yule Cat (Icelandic: Jólakötturinn or Jólaköttur) is a monster from Icelandic folklore, a huge and vicious cat said to lurk about the snowy countryside during Christmastime and eat people who have not received any new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve. The Yule Cat has become associated with other figures from Icelandic folklore as the house pet of the giantess Grýla and her sons, the Yule Lads.

The threat of being eaten by the Yule Cat was used by farmers as an incentive for their workers to finish processing the autumn wool before Christmas. The ones who took part in the work would be rewarded with new clothes, but otherwise get nothing and thus be preyed upon by the monstrous cat. The cat has alternatively been interpreted as merely eating away the food of ones without new clothes during Christmas feasts. The perception of the Yule Cat as a man-eating beast was partly popularized by the poet Jóhannes úr Kötlum in his poem “Jólakötturinn.”