The other day, my manservant Standish and my nurse were wheeling in the multitudes of penny postcards and other handwritten wishes of good tidings that flood into my estate at this time of year. I insist on being read each and every one, so that I may duly reward each well-wisher with a sackful of sugar beets from the Zweibel ancestral home in Prussia.

My nurse had opened one of the greetings and was about to read it when a look of surprise, then apprehension, came across her face. At first I thought she was having difficulty reading, semi-literate and thick-skulled as she is. Annoyed by her childish hesitation, I demanded she read me the contents or I would have her cast into a snowdrift. Pale and shaking a bit, she took a deep breath and slowly read, "T. Herman Zweibel, you are a senile old pelican!"

Aghast, I could not speak for a moment. My nurse showed me the card, and, sure enough, there were the words, written in large, bold letters and vulgarly flourished with exclamation points! I was livid. Who dared besmirch my honor with such base and unspeakable words? The card's envelope, however, did not bear a return address. The cowardly writer of this perfidy had assumed the mantle of anonymity to cloak his misdoings!

After intense inquiries, I still have not been able to learn the identity of the insolent whelp. Therefore, since no one will come forward with the truth, I have no choice but to pin the blame on every citizen of the United States. As punishment for your ill deed, I have no choice but to cancel Christmas. There shall be no Yule this year!

Take down your stockings and put away your Christmas ornaments. Pour the eggnog down the sewer and chop your trees into kindling. I will be sending armed agents to collect all the toys concealed in your closets and hope chests. No jumping jack for Johnny, no bolt of calico for Mary, no clay pipe for Grandpap, no orange for the baby. Not even the dog will get his soupbone this year. Christmas is canceled!