The War on Cephalopodmas

Mark your calendars—Cephalopodmas is on the 22nd day of December, and you need to start rehearsing those Cephalopodmas carols.

I have to say, though, that the continuing neglect of this important holiday by the media is another sign of the War on Cephalopodmas. Don’t believe me? Walk into your local Wal-Mart, and I promise you that the greeter won’t say “Merry Cephalopodmas!” to you. You won’t see any civic displays draped with tentacles. The school pageants won’t be full of songs about squid. The smell of kelp won’t be in the air, nor will you be hearing the mournful, melodious tones of the foghorn. Outrageous, isn’t it?

I want everyone this year to give their best Bill O’Reilly glare to anyone you meet who doesn’t affirm your personal beliefs with a verbal recognition of the validity of Cephalopodmas. Temper tantrums are good, too. Of course, it should go without saying that you shouldn’t have to explain why you’re walking around always looking so pissed-off; truth be told, when you have to explain that you’re upset because people aren’t reciting some ritualized formal greeting at you, you sound a bit like a pinhead. So don’t.


  1. Joshua says

    The only Cephalopodmas Carol I know is “Ia! Ia! Chthulhu fhtagn!”, but rest assured that I will be chanting with gusto.

    The name also makes me think there ought to be a Cephalopodcast, is there isn’t one already.

  2. Steve LaBonne says

    Excellent holiday. I can’t decide whether to celebrate it with a big plate of calamari alla marinara or a big plate of Thai squid red curry. Perhaps both in alternating years.

  3. Markus says

    What’s up with Cephalopods and other words that are hard to pronounce? Can’t I just call it Frank?

  4. Rocky says

    And don’t even mention the hostility against Festivest!
    Where are the Festivest celebrations?
    When are the children going to be allowed to hang Festivest banners?
    I know Bill O is behind this somehow………..

  5. says

    I stand by my position that Winterval is a pretty word. To my ear, it sounds more poetic than “Christmas”. It reminds me that this holiday is a passage between autumn and spring, making me spend at least a little time contemplating the past and hoping for the future. Growing up as I did at Carl Sagan’s knee, figuratively speaking, I’ve always known that a secular life is more poetic than a life mothballed in blind faith, and that the balance between wonder and skepticism — a balance which is a process, not a destination — is nothing less than a spiritual act. It’s nice to have a word which carries a bit of all that, even if it was invented by a nameless subcommittee of a faceless city council.

  6. quork says

    you northern hemisphacist! what are those down below to do at winterval?

    Park yourself on the beach and laugh your *** off, I imagine.

  7. says

    I think it was you, anyway — I got a bunch of these emails on the subject.

    One suggestion for everyone is that you should mention whether you want attribution or not. I’m happy to do so, but a lot of my email submissions are accompanied by the equivalent of a polite request to “please, please don’t mention my name on your godless heathenish acerbically mean blog!”, so I tend to avoid exposing people’s names unless they express a willingness to be associated with this place.

  8. Will Von Wizzlepig says

    Squiddy Claus.

    His Eight Tiny Cuttlefish.

    People could inflate their seasonal coral reef, right there between the fireplace and couch, and adorn it with colorful starfish, urchins, and funny little crabs.

    The presents underneath would all be wrapped in seaweed (recyclable and quite tasty), and if they were lucky Squiddy Claus would visit during the night, and squirt ink all over their living room.


  9. says

    I hope this doesn’t degenrate into a flame war over the proper feast. In any case, I cast my vote for fried calamari and chips washed down with a nice oatmeal porter. For side dishes, anything covered in garlic butter will do.

  10. SteveInMI says

    I don’t know about anyone else’s family, but my kids are THRILLED at the possibility of celebrating Cephalopodmas for the first time this year. Of course, we’ve had lengthy discussions about the menu for the feast. And the little rascals are all over themselves with ideas for ornaments. But we’ve run in to a bit of a snag…

    From what shall we hang our glorious handmade cuttlefish?!? Surely a Germanic-tradition indoor conifer is out of the question. Perhaps a tasteful array of kelp? We’re at our wits end here – though we’ll be the first to admit that’s not a great distance to begin with. Thoughts? Suggestions? One hates to think of such lovely ornaments going to waste.

  11. says

    And the perfect gifts come in sets of eight (or ten)!
    – sets of dipping bowls for holding teriyaki sauce
    – pairs of chopsticks
    – dice (especially 8-sided and 10-sided dice)
    – collections of model cephalopods
    – realistic cephalopod charms
    – cephalpod wind chimes with 8 (or 10) notes
    – your 8 favourite calimari recipes
    – 8 colours of “Welcome Squid Overlords!” shirts
    – and for the rich, a glass-topped coffee table supported by bronze cephalopods

    Your gemstone is Pipe Opal, fossilized squid beaks or “benemites.”

  12. Fernando Magyar says

    Well, I live in Florida…

    To the tune of Silver Bells I give you “See the Swells”

    See the swells, See the swells
    It’s Squidmas time on the jetty
    I’m, surf-ing, hear me sing
    Soon it will be Squidmas day

    Beach’n boardwalks, busy boardwalks
    Decked in holiday style
    In the air
    There’s a feeling of Squidmas

    Children swimming
    divers grinning
    Meeting smile after smile
    And from ev’ry speed boater you’ll hear

    See the swells, See the swells
    It’s Squidmas time on the jetty
    I’m, surf-ing, hear me sing
    Soon it will be Squidmas day

    Strings of boat lights
    Even mast lights
    Blink a bright red and green
    As the divers rush home with their lobsters

    Hear the sand crunch
    See the kids bunch
    This is Squidmas’s big scene
    And above all this bustle
    You’ll hear

    See the swells, See the swells
    It’s Squidmas time on the jetty
    I’m, surf-ing, hear me sing
    Soon it will be Squidmas day

    See the swells, See the swells
    It’s Squidmas time on the jetty
    I’m, surf-ing, hear me sing
    Soon it will be Squidmas day

  13. Fernando Magyar says

    Minor correction.

    Hear the sand crunch
    See the kids bunch
    This is Chthulhu’s big scene
    And above all this bustle
    You’ll hear

  14. Xibalba says

    This is a big year for me because my birthday falls on the auspicious 22nd of December. Global Orgasm Day and Cephalopodmas! Something slimy in the sea truly loves me (in a non-platonic way, evidently).