Category Archives: SethBlogs’ Holiday Cards

SethBlogs wishes you a merry holiday, from New Year’s to Festivus.


When I was growing up, Halloween seemed magical. (Not just because it was a time that ghosts and witches were imagined to be real, and not just because as kids we could knock on the doors of neighbours and strangers, who subsequently gave us candy that we were allowed to eat.) Every Halloween, during our trick-or-treating years, my mother was able to conjure costumes for my siblings and me out of thin fabric.

I remember (sometimes on Halloween, itself) my mom coming home from work and asking us what we’d like to be as though anything was possible. If we couldn’t think of something, she would suggest some options from her magic workshop, and then upon us making our selections from the future, she would set about creating them. I think that may have been my favourite part—watching my mom create something out of nothing recognizable was both exciting and, in retrospect, inspiring.

For the Halloween in which I was seven years old, the small town we were living in was feeling rather rainy. So, after work, my mom asked my dad to go to the store to buy a collection of as many coloured garbage bags as he could find, and then, as always, she turned to those of her children still of trick-or-treating age and asked what we’d like to be.

A few hours later, we travelled into the damp night wearing costumes that were intricately-detailed as always, but also shiny in the dark, and perfectly rain proof because they were made out of plastic bags. The next day, at school, all students in the elementary school were taken in our costumes on a parade of the city. It was still raining, and so while some of my classmates moaned about water-logged limbs, I remember smiling around every sparkling puddle.

Perhaps in part due to my warm mood, I won the costume contest (I think it was for the whole school, but my memory might be exaggerating for effect), and I was given a decent prize for it, too. If I may boast for a moment, I was aware that it was unjust for me to win an award for my mother’s talent, and I told her, at the time, that I thought she should get the proceeds, but she insisted that I’d earned it by wearing the costume so well. I’m glad to say that I wasn’t convinced. (In retrospect, I now like to think I learned something that day about how the world sometimes rewards the wrong people.)

Growing up, my siblings and I knew that my mom could create anything because the evidence was always around us. Instead of buying a Barbie camper or Hot Wheels race track, my mom built them for us, and they were better than the ones on TV. I think as a result I see creativity not merely as an expression of one’s individuality, but more significantly, as a means by which to solve a problem.

It seems to me that some want to instill creativity in youngsters by telling them they can create anything and then praising whatever they produce. Perhaps this works for some, but it certainly wouldn’t have worked on me. I have never had a natural talent for putting things together, and I was smart enough as a kid to recognize that my four much-more-skilled siblings could produce results much more impressive than my own. But that doesn’t mean I’m not creative. When I see a problem now, I am able to imagine plenty of possible solutions (and then to choose from them the option that could actually fit my particular limitations).

For instance, when I was in university, I was invited to a costume party with the theme of “white trash.” I was offended by the idea, and yet I wanted to attend the gathering, so I found a white garbage bag, and with a few incisions, turned it into a shirt. It was the least impressive costume at the event, but it may have been the most creative. I’d learned from the best.


As we reach the eve of Christmas this year
I ask you to lay down your holiday sneer

I realize that some environmentalists may have a legitimate beef with our annual holiday upgrade in consuming products, but, aside from that inconvenient gaggle of apocolapse-alerters, I’m not sure why so many seem to talk of resenting the commercial aspect of Christmas.

We live in a world where things come in handy, but at Christmas time, participants don’t look for these items for ourselves (well, we don’t set out to, anyway), but instead we spend time thinking about our favourite people and then trying to find a thing or two that they may not normally buy for themselves, but which they may nevertheless enjoy. And so, various entrepreneurs, big and small, lineup to provide locations for us to set our annual scavenger hunt. I have no quibble with such service with a profit.

I’m told that the results are rather healthy for the economy, too, as retailers apparently can acquire up to 40% of their yearly profit from the pleasin’ season. Given the world’s current financial troubles, maybe that’s a good thing?

Meanwhile, on a social level—where I think the collective Bah-hum-bug crowd is really directing most of their disapproval—I will admit that I find Christmas shopping in the malls to be fun. And I’m someone who hates shopping like being blocked by an escalator-stander!

As I walked through the congested nostrils of the Megatron Mall today, I felt a sense of cultural community: we were all in it together. And in a town where we normally don’t like to look each other in the eye too often, we strangers smiled at each other like we were old friends. In fact, I was even patient with the slow-walkers—apparently late-minute gift-collecting is one habitat in which all speeds of walkers can co-exist peacefully. If there was stress in the air, I didn’t smell it; and if my random acts of smiling were annoying anyone, they didn’t frown so.

So Merry Christmas (Eve) shopping, everyone, and a happy new sneer!


As singletons are surrounded by the coupling behaviours of others today, many will call in a hitman to help them with their own romantic hopes. Yes, today is the busiest day of the year for the world’s leading magical matchmaker, Cupid.

In spite of this rather obvious lineup for the legendary love doctor’s services, millions hope against Cupid’s finite arrow supply that their request will get through to him today. So I’d like to make a heart-felt suggestion to those feeling pressured by card company commercials to find a card partner: why not try Cupid another day?

You may be surprised to discover there are days of the year that Cupid is actually bored for customers and so will resort to random matchmaking. (Ever wonder why your best friend is dating that jerk? That, was just Cupid playing romantic roulette.) Indeed, you may be surprised by the great bargains you can get on the Cupid’s non-busy days. Consider:

April 30th: this is the day in Canada that taxes are due. Few people seek out a date with whom to fill out their taxes, so for much of that day, Cupid just flies around without a target in his dosier.

December 26th: Whereas lots of people hope to have a date for the hug-based holidays, Boxing Day is about stuff! Few people care if they have a date for the lineup at their favourite store, so give Cupid call!

February 15th-28th: Those who don’t find a date on Valentine’s often feel that fate has forsaken them, and so they spend a least a couple weeks renouncing their interest in romance, and so it’s a slow time to be Cupid.

Labour Day (and the week that follows): This is the first week back at school and the start of the new TV season, and so it is a time of year—more than even New Year’s week—that people feel they are getting a fresh start on their existence, and so they delude themselves into thinking they don’t need romance. It’s such a slow time for Cupid that he often spends the week target-shooting at celebrities (which is why so many of them, poor kids, can’t keep a marriage).

If none of these dates appeals to you, then, by all means, apply for Cupid-services on Valentine’s Day, but here are two tips to get in Cupid’s line of fire on this busy day:

(1) Be vague: If you get too picky with Cupid (asking for someone who’s “smart, funny, likes hiking by day, and curling up on the coach by night,” etc), he has to spend his busy time looking for that delightful person you have defined in mind. But, if you’re nice and general (“looking for a human, who reads SethBlogs, has never been murdered,” etc), then Cupid can just find a crowd of people, shoot your arrow in, and you’ll have a match!


(2) Be very specific: If you itemize your list of requirements precisely enough (ordering someone “smart, but not too smart, vegetarian, but not vegan, disagrees with SethBlogs on the evils of escalator standing,” etc) then, if, by chance, Cupid meets up with such a one-time person, he’ll have only you to fire at them. It’s a risk because Cupid may not come across your nuanced mate, but if he does, do I sense love at first vegetarian bite?

That is all. Now go out there and break a heart!


Congratulations from the New Year’s Regret Collection Agency! You may already be the winner of a brand new year! Your N.Y.R.C.A. agent will collect your regrets on your way into your new set of four seasons. We appreciate your business, and hope you will consider us again this year.

As you begin on this new year’s worth of existence, you will be bombarded by “feel good,” pressured-packed propaganda that speaks of a fresh slate on which you can imprint any new life that you’d like. But we at the N.Y.R.C.A. would like to remind you that New Year’s resolutions are just mean-spirited criticisms meant to change you and your naturally-earned habits.

Instead, why not simply be yourself and once again pay us your regrets at the end of next year?

Happy Nearly New Year: we have agents standing by to take your call.