December 25, 2011 in Features

The Slice: Cracking the true meaning of Christmas


At long last, people will stop asking.

“Are you ready for Christmas?”

Oh, sure. Everyone means well. It’s a cheerful query. And it is just small talk, after all.

But it makes the holiday sound like an assortment of chores, focusing as it does on the assumption that everyone has a checklist. Or did, anyway, before today.

Of course, you could always answer with questions of your own.

“In a spiritual sense?”

“Are you asking if I am ready to start being guided by love and hope instead of anger and fear?”

“Do you mean am I ready for it to be over?”

If you weren’t quite sure about any of that, don’t worry. You’ll get another chance next year.

SLICE ANSWER: “I would give Spokane civic pride, give Spokane a sense of responsibility for its surroundings … I hate it when I see people who throw trash, don’t clean up after themselves or show disregard for others.” – Karen Mobley

ANIMAL PROTEIN: A recent Slice item about roast beast reminded Laurie Newell of her daughter’s issues with unidentified meat.

“When she was about 9 years old, my husband shot a deer – his first one since we had any children. Of course, there was the expected moaning about Bambi, and the announcement that she wouldn’t eat any of it.

“I was smart enough to never serve it undisguised, so she began demanding to know the ingredients in anything that included chunks of meat or even ground up meat. Often, I would fudge a bit and say ‘ground beef.’ ”

That wasn’t good enough for Newell’s daughter.

The girl would demand to know, “Deer beef or cow beef?”

SHAZAM: I really like reading “Merry Christmas to you and yours.”

Once, I associated the second half of that expression with a goofy ’60s TV character, Gomer Pyle. But I have come to embrace its unabashedly good-natured spirit and open-arms inclusiveness.

So, Merry Christmas to you and yours.

TODAY’S SLICE QUESTION: What’s the surest tip-off that it is someone’s first time in church?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email For reluctantly church-going kids of certain denominations, there’s a wonderful efficiency in Christmas falling on a Sunday.

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