Holly, carolers and … ‘Martha’ hatred?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 12, 1999

Ahh the holidays. With only 12 days until Christmas, the halls are decked with boughs of holly, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care and a hatred for Martha Stewart fills the air.

The last of these holiday pastimes is new to me.

I discovered it last week while I was eating lunch. At the table next to me were several of my colleagues from work — all were female and all thought Martha came flying in on a broomstick straight from hell, just in time to ruin their Christmas.

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One by one, each of the normally level-headed, calm, quiet women, shared a disgust for Martha’s wonderful ability for making every woman in American envious of her crafty nature.

&uot;She doesn’t do all of that stuff,&uot; cried one of the women, who will all remain nameless. &uot;She’s got a bunch of people doing all of that stuff for her.&uot;

Another started making fun of how Martha would cook breakfast.

&uot;First she’d raise her own chickens for the eggs, slaughter her own pig for the ham, then she’d grind her own corn for the grits,&uot; the woman said sarcastically.

As the conversation wound down one of the women blurted out, &uot;But her stuff is really nice.&uot;

The &uot;stuff&uot; the woman was referring to was any of a number of products which Martha Stewart markets, many of which are sold through Kmart stores.

All four heads at the other table nodded in agreement.

I was amazed. At once, the four cringed at the thought of the myriad of wonderfully elaborate home-spun creations Stewart can whip up out of thin air AND yet they support her corporate machine by buying her products.

A few even admitting to watching Stewart’s television series.

The whole debate fascinated me.

Some people enjoy watching professional wrestlers perform in their scripted fights; I, however, enjoy watching women scrap about how vile and evil Martha Stewart is.

Perhaps the thing that interested me most was that none of them have ever met Stewart.

And the more I’ve talked with folks, the more I’ve realized there is little gray area when it comes to one’s Stewart tendencies.

She’s either the nice, sweet, talented and crafty woman who we all aspire to be like.

Or, she is Beelzebub herself, the devil incarnate in a matching, embroidered craft apron made by hand from handweaved cloth.

Some folks love her.

Many folks despise her.

But whichever side of the Martha-Dixon line you fall on, you can’t argue with Martha’s success or her ability to decorate anything.

She’s grown so popular that two months ago, she started publically selling stock in herself.

There is no doubt, she’s a highly successful woman, but I’ll admit, if you give her too much credence, she’ll irritate you.

A quick look at Martha’s official Web site shows that a perfect holiday craft is pistachio bobeches, which for normal folks translates into a candle holder.

Instructions are provided on the site; I won’t bore you with the details.

But suffice it to say I won’t be making any pistachio bobeches for holiday gifts.

And if I did, I know four women who would be opening them up on Christmas morning.

Kevin Cooper is managing editor of The Democrat. He can be reached at (601) 446-5172 ext. 241 or at kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.