Moor or Less: Of Christmas lights, Chocolate Charlie and loaded cigars

I like multi-colored strands of lights for our two trees — one small real one from Roseland Garden Center and our nine-foot artificial one — Fake Fred II. My wife, on the other hand, is one of those who prefers all white lights.

She likes consistency. I like contrast. We both like compromise.

Yeah, well sort of. Our two trees are adorned with her white lights but I get to use one strand of multi-colored lights on the rubber plant in the back of our house.

It looks very nice.

Well, at least I get to use multi-colored lights on our rubber tree.


“That’s not a Christmas ornament you’re trying to hang, you dork,” my wife said. “That’s an old cat toy.”

Hmmm. Well, at least it made me think of the Mad Kitster, our dearly departed demented cat who used to hide under the Christmas tree and then jump out and bat any person under 6-foot-6 with her paws.

 The Mad Kitster wasn’t messing around. She was quite a deterrent to any kids who wanted to shake their gifts before the magic morning.

Loved that cat, even though I am more of a dog person.


If we don’t have at least one strand of lights that don’t work, it doesn’t seem like the holiday season is complete.

After doing painstaking work on one strand only to have half of its lights stay on, my wife, usually the duchess of decorum, drop-kicked them across the basement floor.

Ha, ha, ho. That lights up my mood.


It’s just as well that Chocolate Charlie — made in good old South Bend, Indiana, by Claeys Candy — isn’t available year-round or I would be … well, round myself.

The side of the box says there are 22 servings (at 140 calories each). That’s a laugh. If I’m lucky, a box might last me three days.


It’s really not Christmas to me until I’ve seen these three holiday movies — “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” (the George C. Scott version of Scrooge preferred) and Ralphie’s “A Christmas Story.”

By the way, some of my favorite names in cinematic history have come from characters in those movies — Clarence Odbody AS2, Nigel Fezziwig and Scut Farkus.

Can you place the character with the correct movie? Two are cool little dudes and one is a classic bully.


Christmas cards? Not so much.

If you don’t get one from me, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love you. I just don’t want you to feel obligated to send me one in return.

I vowed that when one of my grandkids became taller than me that we wouldn’t make them all pose for a Christmas card in matching pajamas. Two of them now look me in the eye and a couple others are closing fast.

So no more matching pajamas? Not so fast. It seems the grandkids still like wearing them (at least one day a year) while looking like some cheesy scene out of “The Sound of Music.” Who would have guessed?

Maybe we’ll have a card after all


Favorite Christmas songs? I love “Sleigh Ride,” especially when sung by The Ronettes and an absolutely beautiful one, at least for me,  is actually from the Grinch movie — “Where Are You Christmas?” by Faith Hill.

And then there is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra doing the “Carol of the Bells” on steroids version to liven things up.

Of course, I like many of the church-singing ones, too, like “O Little Town of Bethlehem, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “We Three Kings.”

Sadly, I can never get the childish take of the latter hymn out of my head: “We Three Kings of Orient Are/Tried to Smoke a Rubber Cigar/It was Loaded and Exploded  …. and so forth.

If you would like to share your favorite Christmas song, movie, tree or decoration story with me, I would love to hear it — or at least see it at [email protected].

Merry Christmas.


All I want for Christmas is a five-tool shortstop (for the Cubs, that is).