The best part of the whole book is the introduction. It's too perfect not to share.
Husbands Can't Win At Christmas Time
by Art Buchwald
Washington - The American woman is probably the strongest, most sufficient, well-educated and well-balanced woman in the world. The only thing she is unable to come to grips with is Christmas.
Mention Christmas to an American wife and she'll immediately panic and start screaming hysterically and clawing the rug. The holiday season seems to have the same effect on American women as LSD does.
I think my mistake this year was unknowingly bringing the subject up.
I came in the living room the other night singing: "Deck the hall with boughs of holly," and my wife suddenly sat up and said, "My God, I forgot the holly."
"Of course we need holly," she screamed. "What are the children going to say if we don't have holly?"
"They have a tree. Isn't that enough?"
"The tree's not tall enough. I know it's not tall enough. And the stand's no good. I should have got a taller tree with a better stand."
"I'm sure the tree will be just perfect," I said, kicking myself in the ankle.
"Besides, the children are more concerned with what's under the tree than how high it is."
"I know I didn't get them enough things," she cried. "Jennifer has one more present than Connie. But Connie has a bigger present, so if I got her the same number, Jennifer would feel cheated. Now Connie will probably feel cheated. Why didn't I use my head?"
"IT DOESN'T MAKE any difference," I said, trying not to bite my tongue. "Here, let's open our Christmas cards. Now isn't this a beautiful card from Bill and Sarah Lewis?"
"Oh, my God." My wife jumped up. "I forgot to send Bill and Sarah a Christmas card! I knew I was working from the wrong list."
"Well, there's no sense crying over spilled eggnog," I chortled.
"Eggnog? We have to go to the Trowbridges tomorrow night for eggnog, and I have to get to the hairdressers; and how can I get to the hairdressers if I don't find something for Joel; and I haven't bought anything for my mother, and even if I did I wouldn't be able to get near the post office to mail it; and I've got to buy Mary a present; and I haven't even ordered a turkey yet; and I've got to get to the dressmaker; and I haven't seen the kids in two days; and I haven't done a thing about the house bills and..."
SHE WAS shaking.
"It's all right, dear," I said, holding her tenderly. "It will be over in a few days. You have to be brave and remember that even Christmas goes away."
"I guess I got carried away," she said.
"It's all right. Anybody can get carried away. If you think you're in a state, you should see Kay Evans."
My wife went white. "Oh, my God. We don't have anything for the Evanses."
I started to bash my head against the wall.
Yes, the crazy spans the ages.
1970 or 2011, we women are NUTS!
Happy Christmas planning!