Book Review – A Hell of a Christmas: Dear Satan by Padraic Keohane

Padraic Keohane has a wicked sense of humor and a clever wit. He always has, at least as long as I’ve known him and that’s been quite a while now.

I reviewed one of his books – a collection of short stories – back before I had this blog up and running. That book, Stories of Sagacity and Wit, was a fun read and I highly recommend it. Padraic’s latest work departs from the adult level short stories and splashes head-first into the kids’ books department. True to form, he approaches his story from a different perspective than most and has given us a children’s book that would actually be fun to read to a kid. In fact, were my son still of that age group, he’d probably think it was a hoot. Nowadays, unless it’s King, Matheson, or Horowitz, he just ain’t that into it.

Which is a pity, because A Hell of a Christmas: Dear Satan was a fun read. The general gist is Billy sends a Christmas wish list to Santa, but transposes some letters and hilarity ensues. Without digging too deep into the weeds, what you get is a story about the ultimate force for evil making the ultimate force for bike riding and giving it away because he’s really not that bad of a guy.

Aside from the obvious spelling lesson, there aren’t any treacly lessons about this, that, or the other thing snuck into the story, it’s just a fun little story about a kid who accidentally asks Satan for a bicycle. If you have young ones – and they have the right sense of humor – you’ll likely find this book is a blast to read to them.

“Billy is a good boy, but not a good speller. He wants a bike for Christmas, so naturally he writes to Satan. Will the devil and his crew get into the Christmas spirit? An illustrated storybook for the older kids and adults.”

Get your copy on Amazon

It Doesn’t Go Too Far Enough

It seems like everywhere I look people have gotten themselves wrapped around the axle about that damned Starbucks cup.  Breitbart, in true Breitbart grandstanding fashion, has a piece that equates the red Starbucks cup to denying “the hope of Jesus Christ and His story told so powerfully at this time of year“.

HuffPo had a piece about the people who are getting up in arms about the cup.

Donald Trump, never one to miss an opportunity to hear himself talk, has talked of boycotting Starbucks.

People are also getting up in arms about other people getting up in arms about the red Starbucks cup.  Twitter hashtags like #redcup, #merrychristmas, #godsnotdead, #starbucks, #christian #merrychristmasstarbucks, #getalifejoshuafeuerstein, #stopthemadness, #pc, #bleedingheart, #satancup, and #happyholidays2015 have blossomed.

I particularly like #satancup; it’s sums up the crazy quite nicely.

Far too many people have their knickers in a twist over this thing:

1500 calories in one #satancup

1500 calories in one #satancup

The whole thing was started by a manic street preacher by the name of Joshua Feuerstein.  Feuerstein, who is apparently in desperate need of something to do, released a video telling the world how much he hates Starbucks for removing Christ from Christmas.  Or something.  Honestly, I’m not 100% certain what he was on about since I can’t remember the last time I saw a Starbucks cup with Christian imagery on it.  Sure, they’ve had trees and snowflakes, but I don’t think those are traditional Christian symbols.

Go watch the video, it’s good for a chuckle.

There’s a theory that when a society has its needs so well-met that it doesn’t have to struggle to survive anymore, that society will seek out things to get upset about.  Case in point: red cups.

Can we just have one Christmas season where people don’t get all nasty with each other over perceived slights.  If someone wishes you a Merry Christmas and you’re not Christian, just say, “Thank you, you have a nice one, too.”  They’re just trying to be polite.  Likewise if you’re Christian and someone wishes you Happy Holidays or Joyous Kwanzaa or Happy Hanukkah or Salacious Saturnalia, just go with it.  Again, someone’s just trying to be nice to you; there’s no need to get all pissy because someone hopes you’re having a good time.

As far as I’m concerned, wish me anything you want; I’ll reciprocate.  Have a

Merry Christmas

Joyous Kwanzaa

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Holidays

Salacious Saturnalia

Whatever you’re celebrating and however you do, have a good one.  Let’s try to get through the season without gutting each other over perceived insults.

You’ll know me, I’ll be the guy wearing this sweater.


Happy Holidays


You can totally be naughty if you want to. I bet you could take that guy.

However you choose to celebrate them, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, Festivus, worshiping Bob, Hailing Satan (or satin – totally your choice), fighting evil with plastic lightsabers, or blasting across the Utah Salt Flats in a jet powered monkey navigated Lamborghini (my choice), have a great holiday. Thanks for reading my ramblings.