by JIM HARRIS
The Chestnut Hill business district is once again gearing up for the holiday season. The trees are all gaily strung with eco-friendly, solar-powered lights, and the lampposts are sporting bright red hypo-allergenic holiday bows. It’s even been rumored that several of the area’s banks will be giving away free money.

The Christmas crèche is in place, and a spokesperson for the 14th Police District announced that this year the Baby Jesus would be bolted to the crib, owing to a series of high-profile kidnappings over the past few Christmases.

The police spokesperson also revealed that in response to a request from the business association, patrolmen on the Hill will be dressed as snowmen until Dec. 26.

“We have run a series of tests at the academy,” she said, “and we find that in the event of a crime, the snowmen-officers will still be able to successfully pursue and apprehend the perpetrators, as long as the criminals, too, are dressed as snowmen. We hope that in the spirit of the holiday, any potential offenders will honor this requirement.”

In a very special development, it has also been announced that on Christmas eve at around 8:30, Santa himself will be passing through Chestnut Hill on his way to a lavish party with “A-list” Pennsylvania politicians in New York City. Please note that Santa’s limo with be moving pretty fast, and it will have tinted windows, but feel free to wave if you like.

Also new from the business association is the first annual “Reindeer Dash in Chestnut Hill.” According to the ad, “Your $5 antler purchase helps the 14th Police District create a memorable holiday party for underprivileged children. Wear your antlers proudly into restaurants and shops for treats and discounts all evening.”

All for a great cause, and I’m happy to report that, according to my sources, they are not real reindeer antlers. I would caution you, however, that if you decide to walk into the woods after shopping, remember to remove the antlers first. Hunters would like nothing better than to bag a Christmas trophy.

At the food co-op, they are offering organic Christmas “turkeys from Paradise, PA.” Sounds like a wonderful place (unless you’re a turkey). I think how it works is that you have to see the co-op’s manager to make an appointment to meet with your potential Christmas turkey. If the two of you hit it off, you sign an agreement to provide for the turkey’s family after his impending demise. All very civilized.

As far as shopping on the Hill, there are a number of fine stores offering the latest in trendy presents. Please remember though, that in the new America, you should not buy presents for anyone who does not share your political views.

In music, duet albums are big this year, especially Norah Jones and Barney (the purple dinosaur), Susan Boyle and Bigfoot (his singing debut), Taylor Swift and a wounded wildebeest (the wildebeest is the one singing in tune) and the season’s surprise feel-good hit, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge cop, Sgt. James Crowley, singing “Ebony and Ivory.”

If you like Christmas albums, you’ll love “Have a Hip-hop Holiday,” by rap artist Kray-Z. It features his hits, “Out on Bail for Christmas,” “I Shot Santa (it was self-defense),” and the Oscar-winning “It’s Hard Out There for an Elf.”

Of course tech gadgets always make good presents. People used to read by candlelight, but now they read by Kindle-light. The makers of the popular Kindle book-reading device have now also come out with the “Gundle.” It’s a book, it’s a gun; what more could you need? You are protected as you become well-informed.

If you’re just too broke (or too cheap) to buy anything substantial, you can always spiff up a really inexpensive gift by adding a few status-enhancing buzzwords. For example, “tropical” axle-grease, “fair trade” paper clips, “herbal” shoelaces! Just use your imagination, and happy shopping!