Friday, December 24


This time of year always makes me think of Christmas past. Christmas was always both a stressful time and a highly profitable time of year for me. I had to maneuver three different Christmases with two different families, which was a lot to take for a little kid who really only wanted to stay at home on Christmas Day. However the upside was that I got a freakin' ton of presents. Or, as my Mom would say, "full scale model of the Earth."

When I was young it was usually a Barbie Christmas. I had the Barbie Dream House, which my Dad hated because he had to put it together, the Barbie Townhouse, Jeep, Mercedes, Horse, Dog and a variable cornucopia of Skippers, Kens and accessories. In fact I had so many Barbies that  one year I got a Barbie store, which sold hats and shoes, because my Mom said "bitch gotta get a job to pay for all of this stuff." I like to think of it as she was trying to teach me a lesson about the value of a dollar.

Yep, Santa was very, very good to me. When I started to question his existence, I was told that as long as I believed, Santa would come. From that point on I made it my mission to make "Santa," or as we called him, "Ms. Clause," happy. All this meant was that I kissed up to my Mom for the month or so before Christmas and left a glass of Zinfandel instead of milk and cookies. It usually worked.

My Dad on the other hand wasn't so diplomatic. When I was about seven I was visiting him for Easter and kept talking about the Easter Bunny. I knew that he wasn't real, but I really wanted to make sure that I planted the Easter Basket seed. I figured since my Grandmother was with me, it wouldn't be an issue. Well, I was dead wrong. The night before Easter, my Dad took me outside and told me "look, Santa and the Easter Bunny don't exist, deal with it." Oh my God my Mother was pissed. Sometimes on a cold night, if you listen really close you can still hear the echo.

There were other Christmases that left a permanent scars. Like the time that instead of gifts Santa (my Dad) left me switches, which is the Southern equivalent of a lump of coal, except they are meant to beat you with. Don't worry my Mom and Grandmother were super-pissed at my Dad and later that day my Grandmother burned them. Later I learned that my Dad's reasoning was that I had been a "little shit" the entire year, but I am sure that the fact that my parents were going through a divorce had nothing at all to do with that.

Now that I look at it in print I think that I should have a business card made up with the stories above and hand them out to every one that asks me why I hate Christmas. Or, should I say hated. Now that Piper is old enough to get excited, I find that I am looking forward to Christmas for the first time in many years. I participated in the decorating of the house, even using my Mom's very traditional decorations that she sent me. I normally go for kitsch, but Piper tries to play with it all and it's very hard to explain that "it's vintage" to a three year old.

So on this Christmas Eve, I find myself looking forward to tomorrow and watching Piper get everything she asked for, or as I like to call it a "full scale model of the Earth." But in keeping with a family tradition, I will ask her to leave Santa and his helper a couple of beers to wash down those cookies.

Merry Christmas!


Kate and Dennis said...

Dennis grew up leaving Santa beer & Fritos...a tradition I'm sure we'll carry on once Baby C "gets it".
Glad you look forward to Christmas yet again :) Hope it's Merry.