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December 18, 2012 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Crushed by the Christmas views

He was struggling.

Staggering up just in time for each scheduled appearance like a drunken Bad Santa.

Painting by Egger-Lienz, 1923.(Public domain. The Yorck Project.

Painting by Egger-Lienz, 1923.(Public domain. The Yorck Project /

Too light-headed from the effort?


He started out so well – exemplary.

A bright spot in the neighborhood.

Always nodding congenially as you walked by.

He just glowed with the holiday spirit.

Dicken's Christmas Carol frontpiece, 1870 (Image. Barnard. Public domain, expired copyright:life of author+70yrs.

Dickens’ Christmas Carol front piece, 1870 (Image. Barnard. Public domain, expired copyright:life of author+70yrs/

But neighborhood cliques are sometimes petty – wanting to bring things down.

There were whispers he was full of hot air.

Puffed up with self-importance.

Just plastic.

(He’d been spotted at Wal-Mart of all places!)

Engraving by Eytinge, 1843. Christmas Carol (Public domain. life of author +100

Engraving by Eytinge, 1843. Christmas Carol (Public domain. life of author +100 yrs/

He weathered a few storms, but it seemed to take the wind out of him.

The shine was off.

Slowly there was change. A loss of confidence?

His stance became limp – almost defeated.

He began to look like he would go which ever way the wind blew.

Then suddenly, without explanation, he was gone.

Everyone hesitant to ask.

Uncomfortable with the thought that neighborhood opinions had boxed him in.

Painting by Monet, 1868-1869. (US Public domain, expired copyright, artist's life +70 yrs/

Painting by Monet, 1868-1869. (US Public domain, expired copyright, artist’s life +70 yrs/

Finally the woman of the house was approached.

“The pressure,” she said, “was too great.”

“And he just couldn’t be tied down here.”

“Afraid he’s gone down in history.”

So the block was a little quieter. Views darker.

Awkward conversations about what had happened.

How to explain it to the kids.

He’d been a favorite with them.

Gonna miss that inflatable Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.

This hole thing has left Santa flat.

Santa's feeling down.

Santa’s feeling down.

So let’s cheer him up by singing along with Brian Wilson: Little Saint Nick.

(Run, run reindeer! Just love that part.)

Merry jingles,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Related posts:

“Reindeer Practice Run?” Rudolf arrived early?  He was running along the freeway. Really. There’s proof. (2011)

“Christmas Decorations Bounce and Rebound. Delighted” Inflatables invade the neighborhood, (2011)

“Boxed in. Strung out.” To light? To inflate? To dream of Christmas yard decor (2012)

Rudolf scene's better times

Rudolf scene’s better times


  1. Ally Bean / Dec 18 2012 8:57 pm

    I’m sorry to hear of Rudolf’s demise. Some decorations are more special than others. We had a cool swirly lighted Christmas tree that attached into the ground with stakes. One very windy day the tree came loose & got mixed up within the branches of a nearby birch tree! It was a sad twisted sight to see. The birch survived, but the swirly tree was a goner. Still miss that tree…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 19 2012 4:06 pm

      Thanks for that funny swirly tree story. Have to chuckle. Real life is as funny as I Love Lucy sometimes. Thanks for hanging some glittery comments here


  2. katecrimmins / Dec 18 2012 9:08 pm

    At least it wasn’t vandals with a dart gun!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 19 2012 4:04 pm

      I don’t think we could have taken that..although there was concern about rudolf-napping. Hard to believe so many decorations have been stolen across the area. Santa, someone has totally missed the point. Thanks for bouncing over


  3. heretherebespiders / Dec 18 2012 9:37 pm

    Har… I thought of this story from last week over here!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 19 2012 4:08 pm

      Oh Christmas giggles. That was one BIG Frosty the Snowman. (Please don’t let Walmart sell anything that big….it would be like that puffy guy in GhostBusters movie…) Appreciate the holiday merriment, thanks


  4. jmmcdowell / Dec 18 2012 9:53 pm

    I guess everything has to run its course and be done. But I wish it didn’t have to be true of treasured holiday decorations!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 19 2012 4:11 pm

      Poor Rudolf. Our neighbors went into to Walmart for cokes and came out with inflatables – happens in the best of families. Then Rudolf started having problems. THey went back to try and get another one, but they were sold out. By then we had all decided it was the cutes thing – bobbing that head and all. Bet they are still calling around trying to find one…still time before grandchildren….and to all those that ask – it wasn’t Molly. She is smiling about something else entirely. Hope you have plenty of merriment surrounding you.


  5. jmlindy422 / Dec 18 2012 10:03 pm

    I was hoping this would end as it did! Run, run, reindeer is the best part of that song.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 19 2012 4:13 pm

      I love that song – it has been winding across my head – had to write it in somehow – and voila, my neighbors’ Rudolf blew a seam. Thanks for caroling along!


  6. PiedType / Dec 18 2012 10:24 pm

    Love your take on the inflatables. Sounds like all those in the Denver area could be under a foot of snow tomorrow. (And you know what that probably means for Estes and RMNP!)


    • PiedType / Dec 19 2012 1:03 am

      Okay, so maybe not a whole foot. But a bunch.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 19 2012 4:01 pm

      Oh, look – it’s White Christmas outside – oh, sorry, just Walmart bags and tissues. Nothing is prettier than fresh snow in CO. Don’t let the tourists stomp it all! Thanks for tossing a few flakes this way


  7. jannatwrites / Dec 19 2012 5:22 am

    Some of those inflatables deflate holiday spirit, as they are strung out in clumps (like melting scoops of ice cream). But a Santa without Rudolph? That’s just depressing!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 19 2012 3:59 pm

      You are right. There are like melted ice cream. There’s a really cute tropical Santa around the corner – he’s new…must get pix. Thanks for stopping the sleigh to comment


  8. EllaDee / Dec 19 2012 5:56 am

    Great fun! I petitioned the G.O. to purchase an inflatable Santa on a motorbike to spice up our outdoor festive decorations… but the G.O. isn’t feeling the competitive festive spirit… yet 😉 I won’t show him this though… he doesn’t need to know that spending the $90 may be a deflating experience.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 19 2012 3:58 pm

      Oh I think inflatable Santa on motorbike it the best idea ever! Must see pix. Poor Rudolf- somehow he was defective and the store was out when they tried to get another one. It really was cute. SOme of the inflatables here have been used for 5-6 years so normally they do hold up. MAybe Rudolf was unavailable because he does have to travel to the North Pole to hitch up the sleigh? Thanks for floating this way


  9. gingerfightback / Dec 19 2012 8:23 am

    My Xmas has been cancelled after reading this – too too sad.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 19 2012 2:11 pm

      The stark contrast of events at Christmas is important. Time to reflect on how precious and frail life is – and the importance of family. Counting on you to do that (Nobody can celebrate life better than gingers, right?) Wishing you warmth for body and soul. Thanks for leaving a thought


  10. / Dec 19 2012 12:37 pm

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Great story


  11. robincoyle / Dec 19 2012 11:45 pm

    Our neighbor has a blow-up Santa on a Harley. Classic. The wife hates it, the husband loves it. He is front and center of their yard, next to her tasteful and expensive Christmas decorations. I should sent her this post. In fact, I will send her this post.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 20 2012 3:27 pm

      That is just too funny. Can you sneak a pix of Santa on Harley? Christmas is about happiness and joy, right? Thanks for wrapping up a comment about that puffy guy,


  12. Sunshine / Dec 20 2012 4:45 am

    Oh, dear…better luck next year?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 20 2012 3:30 pm

      Sadly, with their vintage snowglobe inflatable also gone, their yard is a one inflatable display this year….sort of like a one wheeled bike? Wait, the season isn’t over yet -there’s still time…and stores to call. Nothing is impossible for Santa. Must believe! Thanks for prancing over here to chat.


      • Sunshine / Dec 21 2012 6:35 am

        I bet these could be found in the after sale– for next year…perhaps. 😉


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 22 2012 3:34 pm

          You know what is really sad? ALl the stores here put their closeout sale prices on 90% of their Christmas decorations about 2 weeks ago. Some stores have already cleared out the holiday aisles and brought in stuff for January / New Years.
          Rushing things a bit much.
          Hope all that rushed out holiday joy pours into your home. Jingle on.


          • Sunshine / Dec 23 2012 5:52 pm

            We are really slaves to the marketing industry…


          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 23 2012 6:30 pm

            Only if the elves choose to be? Luckily elfin boots can be made for walking..or skiing depending…Thanks for sledding over with a comment!


  13. Kourtney Heintz / Dec 20 2012 4:01 pm

    I love those inflatable Christmas decorations. One of the houses in town has an amazing carousel but it is always on its side. So sad.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 20 2012 6:43 pm

      We had wind gusts of over 53 mph last night…Santa may really be on the rooftop today. They certainly make it more interesting to walk around the block. Thanks for breezing over to chat.


  14. shoreacres / Dec 20 2012 10:38 pm

    I just can’t quite get with the inflatables – I’m a string-up-the-lights sort, myself. I’m not opposed, I just wouldn’t do it. Still, the thought of someone losing Rudolph is flat sad. Well, Rudolph’s flat, actually, Oh, my….

    Well, on we go. Christmas is coming, no matter what – crank up the carols and light a candle. Maybe the Mayans will stop by for a little egg nog!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 20 2012 10:48 pm

      You don’t suppose those inflatable are signals to the aliens that are supposed to arrive…..if they start floating up, I’ll grab a couple and call you (I got the carols and the inflatables are already lit?)
      Eggnog. Nooooo! I knew I forgot something….so not wanting to struggle through traffic again
      Thanks for bouncing over with a comment. Merry on!


      • shoreacres / Dec 20 2012 10:51 pm

        Have you tried the Promised Land brand? It’s got fewer calories and less fat than some of the commercial nogs, and is just as tasty – or even more so!


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 20 2012 11:37 pm

          Will look for that brand – usually pick up Oak Farms (local dairy), but haven’t seen that one there. Thanks (and you do not want to know how many phone calls I have already had this afternoon… eggnog is sounding really really good right now.)



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