Martha’s December Calendar

  • December 1
    Blanch carcass from Thanksgiving turkey.
    Spray paint gold, turn upside down and use as a sleigh to hold Christmas cards.
  • December 2
    Have Mormon Tabernacle Choir record outgoing Christmas message for answering machine.
  • December 3
    Using candlewick and handgilded miniature pinecones, fashion cat-o-nine tails. Flog gardener.
  • December 4
    Repaint Sistine Chapel ceiling in ecru, with mocha trim.
  • December 5
    Get new eyeglasses. Grind lenses myself.
  • December 6
    Fax family Christmas newsletter to Pulitzer committee for consideration.
  • December 7
    Debug Windows 8.
  • December 10
    Align carpets to adjust for curvature of Earth.
  • December 11
    Lay Faberge egg.
  • December 12
    Take dog house apart. Disinfect. Reassemble.
  • December 13
    Collect dentures. They make excellent pastry cutters, particularly for decorative pie crusts.
  • December 14
    Install plumbing in gingerbread house.
  • December 15
    Replace air in mini-van tires with Glade “holiday scents” in case tires are shot out at mall.
  • December 17
    Child proof the Christmas tree with garland of razor wire.
  • December 19
    Adjust legs of chairs so each Christmas dinner guest will be same height when sitting at his or her assigned seat.
  • December 20
    Dip sheep and cows in egg whites and roll in confectioner’s sugar to add a festive touch to the pasture.
  • December 21
    Drain city reservoir; refill with mulled cider, orange slices, and cinnamon sticks.
  • December 22
    Float votive candles in toilet.
  • December 23
    Seed clouds for white Christmas.
  • December 24
    Do my annual good deed. Go to several stores. Be seen engaged in last minute Christmas shopping, thus making many people feel less inadequate than they really are.
  • December 25
    Bear son. Swaddle. Lay in color coordinated manger scented with homemade potpourri.
  • December 26
    Organize spice racks by genus and phyllum.
  • December 27
    Build snowman in exact likeness of God.
  • December 31
    New Year’s Eve! Give staff their resolutions. Call a friend in each time zone of the world as the clock strikes midnight in that country.

Dear Santa

Dear Santa:

I rarely ask for much. This year is no exception. I don’t need diamond earrings, handy slicer-dicers or comfy slippers. I only want one little thing, and I want it deeply.

I want to slap Martha Stewart.

Now, hear me out, Santa. I won’t scar her or draw blood or anything. Just one good smack, right across her smug little cheek. I get all cozy inside just thinking about it. Don’t grant this wish just for me, do it for thousands of women across the country. Through sheer vicarious satisfaction, you’ll be giving a gift to us all. Those of us leading average, garden variety lives aren’t concerned with gracious living.

We feel pretty good about ourselves if our paper plates match when we stack them on the counter, buffet-style for dinner. We’re tired of Martha showing us how to make centerpieces from hollyhock dipped in 18-carat gold. We’re plumb out of liquid gold. Unless it’s of the furniture polish variety. We can’t whip up Martha’s creamy holiday sauce, spiced with turmeric. Most of us can’t even say turmeric, let alone figure out what to do with it.

OK, Santa, maybe you think I’m being a little harsh. But I’ll bet with all the holiday rush you didn’t catch that interview with Martha in last week’s USA Weekend. I’m surprised there was enough room on the page for her ego.

We discovered that not only does Martha avoid take-out pizza (she’s only ordered it once), she refuses to eat it cold (No cold pizza? Is Martha Stewart living?) When it was pointed out that she could microwave it, she replied, “I don’t have a microwave.”

The reporter, Jeffrey Zaslow, noted that she said this “in a tone that suggests you shouldn’t either.”

Well, lah-dee-dah. Imagine that, Santa!

That lovely microwave you brought me years ago, in which I’ve learned to make complicated dishes like popcorn and hot chocolate, has been declared undesirable by Queen Martha. What next? The coffee maker?

In the article, we learned that Martha has 40 sets of dishes adorning an entire wall in her home. Forty sets. Can you spell “overkill”? And neatly put away, no less. If my dishes make it to the dishwasher that qualifies as “put away” in my house!

Martha tells us she’s already making homemade holiday gifts for friends. “Last year, I made amazing silk-lined scarves for everyone,” she boasts. Not just scarves mind you. Amazing scarves. Martha’s obviously not shy about giving herself a little pat on the back. In fact, she does so with such frequency that one has to wonder if her back is black and blue.”

She goes on to tell us that “homemaking is glamour for the 90s,” and says her most glamorous friends are “interested in stain removal, how to iron a monogram, and how to fold a towel.” I have one piece of advice, Martha: “Get new friends.””

Glamorous friends fly to Paris on a whim. They drift past the Greek Islands on yachts, sipping champagne from crystal goblets. They step out for the evening in shimmering satin gowns, whisked away by tuxedoed chauffeurs. They do not spend their days pondering the finer art of toilet bowl sanitation. Zaslow notes that Martha was named one of America’s 25 most influential people by Time magazine (nosing out Mother Theresa, Madeline Allbright and Maya Angelou, no doubt).

The proof of Martha’s influence: after she bought white-fleshed peaches in the supermarket, Martha says, “People saw me buy them. In an instant, they were all gone.” I hope Martha never decides to jump off a bridge.

A guest in Martha’s home told Zaslow how Martha gets up early to rollerblade with her dogs to pick fresh wild blackberries for breakfast.

This confirms what I’ve suspected about Martha all along: She’s obviously got too much time on her hands. Teaching the dogs to rollerblade. What a show off.

If you think the dogs are spoiled, listen to how Martha treats her friends: She gave one friend all 272 books from the Knopf Everyman Library. It didn’t cost much. Pocket change, really. Just $5,000. But what price friendship, right?

When asked if others should envy her, Martha replies, “Don’t envy me. I’m doing this because I’m a natural teacher. You shouldn’t envy teachers. You should listen to them.” Zaslow must have slit a seam in Martha’s ego at this point, because once the hot air came hissing out, it couldn’t be held back. “Being an overachiever is nothing despicable. It is only admirable. Never lower your standards,” says Martha.

And of her Web Page on the Internet, Martha declares herself an “important presence” as she graciously helps people organize their sad, tacky little lives. There you have it, Santa. If there was ever someone who deserved a good smack, it’s Martha Stewart. But I bet I won’t get my gift this year.

You probably want to smack her yourself.

Better Living Year Round With Martha Stewart

  • January
    Save those empty toilet paper rolls! They’re perfect for drying and shaping your used condoms. Be sure they hold water before you re-use them.
  • February
    It’s that “time of month” again, and you can’t find the hot water bottle? Don’t forget about that meat baster in the kitchen drawer. You can also use it to “squeeze” your pancake batter into perfectly shaped pancakes.
  • March
    You got your shirt bloody in a St. Patrick’s day bar room brawl? Not to worry! Just dampen a cloth with some peroxide and wipe off the blood. Works best if you’ve removed the knife or broken beer bottle.
  • April
    Dying to peek inside that sealed envelope? Just tuck it into your undies for a few minutes. The warmth and dampness will loosen the glue. Be sure to reseal it before the glue hardens.
  • May
    Spring is here, and you can’t your gal “in the mood?” Spray that after-shave she likes on the light bulb. The bulb will light when she opens the truck door, and the manly scent will arouse her passions.
  • June
    Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your undies will smell fresh for weeks to come. You will still need to wash them now and then, especially in the warm weather.
  • July
    Flies or bees crashing your 4th of July picnic? Put the guest you least enjoy at the far end of the picnic table. Pour a little honey or molasses in his hair, then get back to your summer fun!
  • August
    To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, rub a bar of soap on the affected area. Take the soap out of the box or wrapper first.
  • September
    To determine if an egg is fresh, put it in a pan of cool, salty water. If it sinks, it is fresh. If it rises to the surface and squawks to be rescued, throw it away.
  • October
    Run your hands under cold water before pressing those Halloween Rice Krispies treats. The marshmallow won’t stick to your fingers. Works especially well if your hands have been in axle grease or motor oil.
  • November
    Planning a Thanksgiving family bash? Your dinner candles will burn a lot longer if placed in the freezer for 3 hours. Take them out of the freezer before you light them.
  • December
    When those door steps ice up in winter, douse them in the warm water and dishwashing liquid from your dishpan. They won’t re-freeze. Be sure to remove the dishes first.

Acute Case of Martha Stewart Disease

Here are a few signs that you may be in need of professional help:

  • You serve wine to your guests in conch shells.
  • You serve entrees in an attractive real bird’s nest you found in a nearby forest.
  • You make your own Jell-O from calves’ hooves rather than buy the powdered stuff.
  • You decorate your cakes with pieces of ceramic, bundles of chiffon, buttons, marbles and other inedible stuff because “it looks so pretty.”
  • You’ve macramed yourself a computer cozy from yarn, recycled plastic and pop-top rings.
  • You’ve smeared the walls with yogurt so that over time a natural-looking greenish mold will grow, giving your home the fashionably distressed look of an ancient Greek temple.
  • You sleep outside the house, in a tent, so that you don’t spoil your perfectly made bed.
  • All of the grass in your front yard is French braided.
  • Each and every flower in the back yard is wrapped in raffia and sports a shiny red bow.
  • Before you go to bed at night, you spend hours on your hobby farm putting the wool on your sheep’s bodies in hot rollers, so they will look more fluffy and glamorous than the neighbor’s.