Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday Newday Two-Hundred #3

When I first came up with the idea of having a recurring theme post on a given day, I really didn't plan on it being almost the only thing I post on my blog. :)

But I have to confess that I have not been posting as often as I would like.  My loose goal is to post two to three time a week, but with Christmas rapidly approaching, I have fallen short.  Other than my IWSG post last Wednesday, there have now been three Tuesday Newsday Two-Hundred ("TN200") posts in a row.

Well, I guess the good news is that the TN200 idea is helping me to at least post something on my blog, right?

But I do promise that this week there will be another post besides the TN200 one -- I want to highlight the upcoming December 24th "Fifty States of Prayer" event hosted by Mark Koopmans, and it's been a while since I shared some music, so there will be some of that, too.  Oh, and I've got some 50-Word Story updates to throw in also. 

However, today is Tuesday, so that means that it is time for yet another edition of my Tuesday Newsday Two-Hundred -- a weekly post which features a blog-exclusive two-hundred word story (and exactly 200 words -- not 199, not 201), written about an item found in the recent news.

As I said above, Christmas is fast approaching, and I've found something in the Chicago Tribune that touches on it.  I think it's a little heavy, but it will work well for today. While the news item is more of a photo-essay than a written article, it does highlight an overlooked, darker aspect of the holiday season, and shows that for some people, Christmas can be a time of sheer terror.

Read the horrifying story below, and then click on the link at the end to see the original news item:


Christmas Terror

The mall was crowded. Julian hated it.  His nervousness kept rising as he watched the hectic shoppers shoving their way through the congestion. He was certain that something terrible was going to happen, and the mob of people around him only made it worse. 

The noise was deafening.  Christmas music blared from overhead speakers in the mall's center court, mingling with all the voices of the people in a cavernous cacophony that assaulted Julian's ears. 

It only accentuated his growing sense of unease. 

He felt like every eye was watching him and there was nowhere to run.  Hands reached out to restrain him, holding him tighter and pulling him deeper into the crowd.

He cried out, but no-one seemed to care.  It was as if his cries weren't even heard. He fought to break free of the hands around him, but their grip was too strong. Nothing he could do stopped the overpowering pull of the crowd as it slowly surged ahead.

He erupted in screams of terror when some strange man reached out and grabbed Julian, laughing deeply as Julian struggled to get away. 

And Julian's parents just stood there with stupid smiles, taking pictures of the whole thing.

(Link to Original Story: Scared of Santa 2013)


Thank you very much for reading!  See you again in a few days with another, non-TN200 post.  :)


  1. At first, I thought you were describing an autistic person's reaction to the noisy crowd. But it's actually pretty similar to how a lot of kids feel about the over-stimulation of sights and sounds. (Does not compute!) Your story goes along beautifully with those pictures of bawling kids. (Somehow, I don't think they'll have "happy memories" of the event.)

    I really LOVED the comment you left on my blog today. Too funny. A+

  2. That was hilarious!!! Santa just scarred him for life.
    I'm only posting on Monday's this month, and then taking a couple weeks off until the first Monday in January. And I'm posting for the Fifty States of Prayer as well.

  3. I can't remember my encounters with Santa when I was young, but it must be a very weird experience for a little kid. Oh, but the toys, the toys.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  4. @Susan: Thanks! I got a kick out of those pictures and thought it would be fun to come up with a story about it -- we drill into our kids, "stay AWAY from strangers!" and then plop them into the laps of unknown chubby old guys in red with bad beards just for a photo op. :)

    And I enjoyed your blog post and I'm glad you liked my response. Although I'm pretty free and easy in a lot of ways, I do also like to keep the ol' gang in order during outside activities. :)

    @Alex: Thanks! I'm happy you enjoyed it. And even Ninjas deserve a break every now and then. :)

    @Arlee: Ah yes -- the toys! Put up with sitting on some strange man's lap and you'll get gifts! No mixed messages there... No wonder are kids grow up as confused as us. ;) Thanks for the comment and I hope you enjoyed your roast yesterday -- sorry I missed it!

  5. LOL! You know, it is weird that we let a strange man hold our kids on his lap. Great 200, Chris!

  6. I feel sorry for Santas and clowns who do their best to entertain, but some kids are just too young to understand. I was never a nervous, crying kid. I was always very adventurous. In retrospect, that trait has gotten me into trouble! lol

  7. FUNNY!
    I have one of these photos too.
    It's one of the most traumatic things we do to our kids -- passing them off to a scary stranger in a red suit. What is WRONG with us?!?!

  8. @Emily: Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

    @Lexa: Yes it is hard for clowns and Santas. I don't believe I have any desire to be a mall Santa. I do recall snippets of memories of being a kid on Santa's lap, and I think while I was nervous, I also remember being excited about it, too. At least I don't recall any crying meltdowns. But then I may have just blocked them out of my memory. :)

    @Dianne: Thanks! And just a little bit of child abuse in search of a cute picture isn't THAT bad, now is it? Think of it as a bit of an early, pre-emptive pay-back for all the parental abuse that occurs during the teen years...;)


Don't be shy -- feel free to comment. I really appreciate your thoughts.