It’s been difficult to have a Christmas spirit today. I’m wandering around my home in an old jiu-jitsu shirt and cheerleading pants that are around 9 years old, frantically cleaning, wrapping, listing, and packing in anticipation of a vacation and my mother in law taking care of my cats while we are away–dildos and booze have been hidden (not that she would use either of those items. What the fuck is wrong with you, Leaguers?).
My house is a fucking hurricane of glitter, 409, and Long Island Iced Teas.
While every December threatens to destroy my mind with social events galore and the destruction of my hyper-organized (read: OCD) sensibilities in the wake of Amazon.com and their ridiculous shipping methods, I have the hope that this year will not be as bad as it has been in the past.
1. The Lubricated Christmas
When I was 8, my great grandmother gave me half a jar of vaseline with a tissue in it. Grace, 12, got 7 Bic Pens.
Yes, I know there was kindness in giving behind it. But at 8, what I saw in that gift bag was rejection. A lack of blisters for years and years to come, yes, but still–slippery, awful rejection.
2. We Didn’t Have Motherfucking Rudolph.
This is, I think, one of my mom’s fondest memories of our family.
I’m baffled by this logic.
We used to live in the Texas Panhandle, and my stepdad, for a while, lived in Denver. My mom wanted us to be a family for Christmas, which God himself did not approve of, and on Christmas Eve, struck EVERY ROAD IN BETWEEN AMARILLO AND DENVER WITH A BLIZZARD TO END ALL BLIZZARDS.
Every road was closed. I remember being sad, but again, I still believed in Santa, and was certain that if we were not together on that day, Santa and Jesus wouldn’t leave any gifts.
So mom found a map, and we took backroads the whole way, driving 30 miles an hour through 2 feet of snow in her GMC. What was a 6 hour MAX trip turned into 14 hours.
Mom thought it was a bonding experience. To her, we were pioneers, or Postmen, who would stop at nothing for holiday cheer.
Grace and I did not comprehend or appreciate her Oregon Trail attitude. It remains as a memory of spite.
Did you know that it is Federal law to play Christmas Songs all day and night on Christmas Eve, and that I have heard literally EVERY version of Jingle bells? It haunts my dreams.
3. The Sunnyside Up Christmas
That same 14 hour Christmas, where the three of us drove so long in such horrible conditions to be with the the stepdad, he refused to spring for the $10 a plate brunch at the Adam’s Mark Hotel (which included entrance to the Gingerbread Competition Hall). That was too steep for the Ingalls Girls.
So we ate our Christmas meal at the Sunnyside Up Cafe, which apparently was the gathering place for every drug dealer in Denver (hooray for terrible alliteration).
Keep in mind, y’all, I was like, 9.
When the man behind us grabbed my cheek and said how cute I was, and what was a young girl like me doing on the bad side of town *wink*, we were done.
4. I’m Cool, My Face Broke My Fall
Adrian LOVES to snowboard. He’s very good at it. He’s that crazy bastard you see on a double black diamond, balls to the wall as fast as he can.
I prefer to go very, very slowly down some fairly flat runs.
But last year, while he was trying to teach me how to go toe-side on my board, I decided I’d make him proud and show off a little, going a lot faster than I usually do.
I pictured myself swishing by him, dazzling him with his wife’s talents.
In reality, I caught a tree branch sticking up out of the snow on the front edge of my board, flipped over 360 degrees in the air, and landed, with all my weight, on my face. 2 feet from Adrian. Mouth fulla’ snow and everything.
Have you ever seen the grape stomping accident video on YouTube? I made those noises.
5. Ma and the Mouse
Before it got destroyed in one of our house fires, we used to have a train that went around the tree. It was delightful. It spread cheer and some smoke-like substance for miles around (and subsequently, was only on for about 10 minutes or so at a time, as the “steam” created a pneumonia machine in our home).
One year, while Grace and I were putting it together, Ma spotted a mouse in the caboose of the train. Mice were not unusual for us, we lived in the country and a mouse or two was nothing to balk at.
However, a mouse in the caboose was panic-worthy.
Grace and I spent an hour building an impenetrable fortress around the train to trap said mouse. Upon poking the mouse to get him dart into the mixing bowl prison, Grace promptly discovered it was a Goddamn ball of lint.
6. Christmas At Normandy Beach
At my Granny’s house, we enjoy playing games at Christmas. But you know how I go too far with things?
That’s an inherited trait.
If you’ve never played Spoons, it can be a rather raucous game. This is proven by the many, many battle wounds my aunt has given each and every one of us over the years.
This woman is about 5′ tall, weighs about 57 pounds, and has taken a linebacker to the floor of the dining room for his spoon. Just last year, she bit Grace on the thumb, scarred my wrist, broke a sturdy chair, and destroyed a STEEL spoon. Decimated.
What was once a fun game for the game’s sake, has now become Russian Roulette on the Beaches of Normandy. Only those willing to die can come out alive.
7. The Christmas that Didn’t Wash Off
Grace and I used to own pigs for 4-H.
What I mean to say is, we have always been classy ladies.
If you have never smelled pig smells, then you don’t know how horrible and permeating they can be. What has been smelled, cannot be unsmelled–or washed off. Ever.
So, as we are preparing to leave for my Granny’s house, we go to feed said pigs. Grace, almost immediately, falls into the pig pen, right into a massive mud hole.
Mom, as you know from the 14-Hour Christmas, is one for never looking back, and pushing forward in the face of even the most stupid conditions. She did not allow Grace and I to go home and wash off–and in her anger at us, slammed the door to the truck on her hand, breaking 4 of her fingers horribly in the process.
She never even flinched.
We drove 2 hours to my Granny’s House smelling horribly of pigshit and staring, half in awe and half in ardent disgust, at Ma’s mangled hand.
What’s the worst or funniest Christmas you have ever had?