No kidding, the other night in bed I found a plastic gutter clip, the kind you use to hang outdoor lights.
I'm pretty sure I am going slowly insane.
I don't blame Christmas. I blame my editors, my wife, my kids, my idiot beagle Orson Welles.
I blame the lack of quality choices in popular fiction. I blame Mindy Kaling's underwhelming new show.
At this moment, my meltdown is being made worse by a makeup artist from Georgia. With the hands of a sculptor, Sabrina Wilson is applying a rubbery feline snout. Mindy Pedrick follows up with fake lashes. In about an hour, I'm a Who.
"A what?" you're asking.
No, a Who.
Let's move on.
Today, the Whos and actress Betty White are entertaining about 100 schoolkids at the Grinchmas exhibit at Universal. There are 4 inches of man-made snow, a zigzaggy Whoville tree and Miss Betty herself, who I've always insisted is a flash-in-the-pan and will never have a real career in this town.
Time will prove me right on this.
Meanwhile, I am sprawled on the ground making Who-angels to entertain the kids, many of whom have never seen real snow.
"Please make me a snowball, please," says the cutest third-grader you ever saw.
"Who?" I ask.
Then I calmly make her a snowball.
That's what I need, a sermon
With what's left of my fragile psyche, I track down the Rev. Gary Dennis, who is prepping for his 41st Christmas Eve sermon, a folksy man with an eternal holiday twinkle, fetching as candlelight.
"I love the people who come once or twice a year, because it means that if some crisis happens in the next 12 months, they might come back," says Dennis, pastor at La Cañada Presbyterian Church.
"You want people to be engaged by the story, whether it's their first time here or their 50th Christmas Eve sermon," he says of his approach.
Dennis has seen too much good in what religion can do to be discouraged by life's crushing tragedies.
"Life is a full-contact sport, and you need all the resources you can get to get on with it," he says.
"At times, there's a horrific darkness in the world," he says, acknowledging the shooting in Connecticut. "We're not going to let the darkness prevail."
The great chronicler of Christmas Jean Shepherd once noted the same puzzling contrasts.
"Oh, life is like that," the writer observed. "Sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at its zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us."
Mercifully, we'll always have Christmas.
Take it from your tree man.