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The Slice: Pay no attention to the chorus of boos

Here are four reasons people stopped Christmas caroling.

Don’t know/don’t like neighbors.

Can’t sing/don’t know the words.

Fear of provoking gunfire.

Would involve in-person human interaction.

More on hiding Christmas presents: “Pick a place that is never visited,” wrote Terry Martin. “I put my husband’s gift in the closet where we keep the toilet paper.”

Another reader, who asked that I not print her name, said that if the gift is an item of apparel she simply hangs it among her own clothes.

Then there was this from Jan House who recalled a year when, well, I’ll let her tell it.

“Gifts were wrapped and left in the open in our master bedroom, with numbers on Post-it notes corresponding to the well hidden master list. It really spruced up our bedroom for the holidays and the tags were added Christmas Eve when they were carried downstairs to the tree.

“Then one year, disaster of disasters, the master list was so well hidden it could not be found. The Post-its were removed and we had what came to be known as ‘mystery Christmas.’ Each child would open a gift at random and guess the child for whom it was meant.

“It was tons of fun and we did it by choice for several years after that.”

Slice answer: “The Santa debate rages every year in second grade,” wrote Carol Nelson, who teaches at Atlas Elementary School in Hayden. “My policy? It’s like sex and religion; we don’t discuss it at school.”

More on mishearing “lactose intolerant”: “My somewhat hearing-impaired husband finally resigned himself to getting hearing aids after he thought a friend of his said he was black folk intolerant,” wrote Jody Hamilton. “I told him if he was a better guesser he probably could have waited a few more years.”

Today’s Slice question: How do librarians react to the scene in “It’s a Wonderful Life” where, in the vision of a dark world without George Bailey, Mary Hatch is depicted as a librarian in a way clearly suggesting that is one grim fate?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Carole Asher Williams said her cat’s name was inspired by a Slice column years ago. It’s Mrs. Miniver, but she goes by Minnie.

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