Corie Skolnick

Communiqués From Geezerville: All the Taboos

(Photo by Marina Khrapova on Unsplash)

Corie Skolnick’s latest Communiqués From Geezerville column is about the (non-)war on Christmas in her community, and other taboo subjects, like the godheads at Fox.


We’re coming up on the holiday season and, here in Geezerville, holidays require seasonal decorations. It’s what we do. And by “we” I mean “they,” because I’m strictly bah humbug when it comes to seasonal décor. I’m not a fan of willfully and wastefully adding more junk to our landfills or dropping three Bens on Phony Festive Fall Crappola (PFFC) at Michaels in the process. (Dear Committee de Decoratión: Everybody knows the palm trees in California do not turn color in autumn.) But, hey, if that’s YOUR jam, go ahead, knock yourself out. Far be it from me and my lone voice crying out on behalf of the environment to kill someone else’s dream of beautification. Even if it is kind of horribly cheesy.

Little did I know that a veritable storm was brewing here among the good citizens of Geezerville and not the good kind of storm, ’cause you know, we could use the rain.

This just in: Apparently, there are actually TWO storms brewing, or more accurately a storm within a storm. (Lordy, how did all these full-grown adults ever hold down jobs and raise children? So much ado about nada begs this question.)

How it started:

Some of the pro-decoration ladies took it upon themselves to purchase a whopping $346.00 worth of PFFC with the reasonable expectation that the entire community would be in agreement that they could be reimbursed out of the facilities committee’s budget for “enhancements.” Whoa, Nellie! Enter, the bean counters. The bean counters you will recognize from a similar narrative in our national political scenario. These are the folks who tether themselves to frugality in the name of conservative values but only when it comes to expenditures that somebody else wants to make. For example, the whopping and hugely wasteful U.S. military defense budget. The United States spends more on national defense than China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, and Brazil combined. A single F-35 fighter jet will cost over $1.7 trillion in its operating life, yet, if you try wrestling a nickel out of the pro-military-industrial complex folks for such frivolities as pre-K, universal health care, parental leave, or any other humanistic expenditures, you’ll get your hand slapped and your ass handed to you. Much like the Geezerville bean counters are super gung-ho to finance upwards of four grand for “renderings” of the new park (mind you, just for some dude to sketch a pretty picture, not a cent of it will go toward construction) and yet they are leaving the decoration ladies out to dry. Can you see why the most recent HOA meeting nearly ended in fisticuffs?

If you’re reading this, you must think us silly. Fighting over a couple of hay bales and a few whimsical scarecrows. And I would agree. It’s embarrassing. But the shame I feel engaging in such nonsense did not stop me from throwing my wholehearted support behind the decoration committee. (Much as I throw my support behind the Progressives in the US Congress when they champion and prioritize the humanistic standard-of-living expenditures over the bloated defense budget. And with identical futility. Read on.)


Also on The Big Smoke


Now, this is where the decoration debacle here in G-ville gets, what …? Interesting? Wholly uninteresting? You be the judge, my friends.

For the record, I’m not ON the decoration committee, I never have been ON the decoration committee, and the good Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise, I never ever will be invited to serve ON the decoration committee. However, it happened that one fine recent day, I accidentally found myself among the good ladies of décor over at the clubhouse as they were plotting the (unauthorized) acquisition of the necessary PFFC. It may shock my followers to know that I can be circumspect when it’s required, and upon that day I intended to be utterly opinion-less, yet, somehow, also supportive of their efforts. All was going swimmingly until the committee moved on to holiday décor beyond Halloween. The second storm a-brewing. One of the ladies remarked that everything in the plan for Christmas decorations had to be purged of any whiff of religiosity, i.e., NO baby Jesus in the manger, NO Christmas trees or wreaths, not even any color scheme that evokes thoughts of Christmas (green and red), nor Santa Claus.

This assertion was whispered in a conspiratorial voice so dramatically tinged in outright tragic persecution that I may have then whispered, “Oh, for fuck sake.” It’s also possible that I mumbled, “Here we go with the phony war on Christmas nonsense.” I can’t say for certain, but I do know that I did breach my resolve to NOT GET INVOLVED IN CONFLICT when I asked the persecuted Christian lady, “Says who?”

Well, the answer was a little vague … it was only presumed that somebody (not a Christmas-celebrating Christian) would surely file a grievance with the board if Christmas decorations reflect … well … Christmas. I persisted.

“Who? Who is complaining?”

Again, the vague answer was something, something “the Jewish community.”

To which I said, “Are you SURE? Are you sure that these objections are not the fantasy of somebody who thinks there’s a war on Christmas? Because you saw that thinly veiled anti-Semitism up on Fox News, yet again, and … of course it is!”

Nothing would have stopped me then. I despise intolerance, ignorance, and the Republican Fox-fed persecution of Christianity in equal measure, so, I dove into the abyss:

“I live with a ‘Jewish person’ and, I promise you, he won’t care. He probably won’t even know what it all means. He’ll just think it looks pretty. Go ahead. Ask Pablo what a ‘crèche’ is and I’ll give you a thousand dollars cash on the spot if he can tell you. I mean, the guy’s got a PhD and we took a course on Comparative Religions from The Great Courses once, but, dude … He. Does. Not. Care. if you decorate for Christmas. If anything, he’ll just suggest giving a little equal space and time for ALL THE OTHER MAJOR RELIGIOUS CELEBRATIONS. Problem solved!”


It didn’t go well. And not just because the convo was veering unquestionably into the two major taboos, religion and politics. I had besmirched the NETWORK. Sean Hannity, Fucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham are the patron saints of Geezerville.


It didn’t go well. And not just because the convo was veering unquestionably into the two major taboos, religion and politics. I had besmirched the NETWORK. Sean Hannity, Fucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham are the patron saints of Geezerville. The discussion was summarily truncated, but not before somebody mentioned “Ramadan” with an actual tremor in her voice. I possibly, okay, probably, took the Lord’s name in vain.

I can bring the receipts here. Though, like Ronald Reagan’s son Ron Jr. and for similar reasons, I’m an atheist myself, I know multiples of Jewish people, a few Hindus, and plenty of Buddhists. I also know more than a few Muslims. It just so happens that I was in seven Muslim countries just before the Christmas holidays in 2019 and just before the pandemic started and there were Christmas decorations up EVERYWHERE. Okay, maybe not the mosques, but everywhere else, especially the malls and the hotels. And I can’t tell you how many delighted little head-scarved girls were standing in line to get a picture in front of the Christmas displays. I canNOT think of a single soul who would object to Christmas decorations. Not one. But I DO know a whole army of Fox-watching, gullible Christians, including some blood relatives, who believe that the rest of the world wants to deprive them of celebrating the birth of Baby Jesus. (A Jew, after all.) And gobs of these goobers live right here in Geezerville.

So, I’m going to do this because it needs to be done.

Attention! Attention! Residents of Geezerville! Turn off Fox News! (Also: OANN, Newsmax, and any Sinclair Radio talk show. Just NO!) Stop with all the “war on Christmas” bull shittery. Tell Bill O’Reilly (bombastic self-appointed protector of Christianity) to take a flying leap (… off of that mountain of debt he’s incurred to pay all the women he was sued by for EXTREMELY un-Christian acts of a carnal nature). Nobody, and I do mean NOBODY, is warring on Christmas. You’ve been suckered. Scammed. Lied to. Deceived. Period. End.

So, go home and turn on the telly and watch Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life. Then, take a few cleansing breaths and put up your Christmas decorations and watch absolutely no one*, not a single Jewish person or Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist, or even Atheist, take exception to them (unless you make the poor choice of adding tinsel, which everyone knows is and always has been an abomination to the environment).


*I cannot speak for the Scientologists ’cause who knows what those guys are all about?


Corie Skolnick

Corie Skolnick is the author of two novels, ORFAN and AMERICA’S MOST ELIGIBLE, both published by india street press the publishing subsidiary of indie record label, Mannequin Vanity Records. She is a contributor to the non-fiction anthologies, ADOPTION REUNION IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA AGE and ADOPTION THERAPY. Her essays have appeared in THE BIG SMOKE AMERICA and NAILED MAGAZINE. She writes regularly for the travel website, She is a San Diego State University/Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series selectee. Her first novel, ORFAN is in development as a feature film.

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