Saturday, December 21, 2013

Nurse the Hate: Hate Christmas

Christmas used to be the most magical time of the year.  As a child, it was the Super Bowl of all holidays.  Ten days of vacation plus new toys plus the building expectation of the event itself combined to make it the Epicenter of the Kid Year.  I don’t think I have ever looked forward to anything as much as I looked forward to Christmas when I was about 9 or 10.  Festive lights made even the most mundane locations cheerful.  Regular TV programming was replaced with nightly shows about magical elves, talking snowmen, and the Island of Misfit Toys.  By the way, the biggest asshole ever was Donner, Rudolf’s coach who cut him off the sleigh team because of his nose.  This was, of course, despite the fact he had the best natural ability out of all the losers trying out for the team.  Ah, a morality tale along the way to a story about a fat man sneaking into my house and bringing me a bunch of shit I thought I wanted…  What a special time!

Christmas Eve in my house was when we would open gifts from our relatives.  It was the pre-game to the big event.  Each year I had an Aunt that would send me very age inappropriate gifts such as the time I received the Old Spice Shave Kit, complete with Old Spice stick deodorant, the signature Old Spice cologne, Old Spice soap-on-a-rope, and Old Spice shaving cream.  I really had limited use for this gift as I was 11 at the time, but I’ll bet the young ladies in the 6th grade wondered who that worldly smelling sailor was in their midst.  When they caught a whiff of my Old Spice stick, they knew that I was a boy that spent his off time shucking oysters, drinking rum, and whoring along the docks.  It should be noted that the rest of the gift set remained unused until I tried the shave cream to clean up my baby thin mustache area when I was 17.  The soap-on-a-rope sadly was lost, and was never properly utilized as a pre-teen after one of my suspected nights of whoring with fellow sailors.

It was almost impossible to sleep on Christmas Eve.  The anticipation for the morning had reached a fever pitch.  It wasn’t my fault.  For five weeks I had been told consistently that it’s “the most wonderful time of the year” and Santa was bringing a total fucking wonderland of gifts that would blow my head off.  I did not become aware of the Santa Ruse until I was 16, my father looking me steely eyed man-to-man after I had earned my driver’s license.  “Son… You are almost a man now.  There is something I need to tell you.  There is no Santa.  All this time, it was your mother and I.”  What?  Nooooooooo!!!!!  Santa!!!!! Nooooooo!!!!! 

(This may not be totally accurate.  I may have shuffled out the truth with my friends in endless grade school playground debates.  There was no greater shame than to be the last one to believe in Santa.  You know what I am talking about Billy Worthington…)

Christmas Eve for a little kid is like trying to sleep after four espressos prior to boarding a transatlantic flight.  Soldiers waiting to be on the first wave ashore on the D-Day invasion slept better than I did as an eight year old on Christmas Eve.  The clock slowly grinding away, morning completely out of reach.  Could I silently creep out of bed and sneak a look at the tree to at least confirm gifts had safely arrived?  Could I assess the haul from the staircase?  What if I got caught?  I had heard tales from classmates that their parents had placed fishhooks and broken glass on the stairs to prevent this type of snooping.  These were different times, a time when parents routinely slapped the hell out of their kids and kids lived in fear of adults.  Frankly, it was a better time, despite having to rustle a fishhook out of your foot on occasion.

When my parents finally got out of bed at the leisurely hour of six or so, we would go through the gifts and have breakfast.  I think the moments that are hardest were after it was all over, the trash was everywhere and I was being forced to eat our “special” breakfast of bacon and eggs.  It is the child version of postpartum depression.  The entire year had been geared up to the last half hour, and now it was over.  It hadn’t lived up to the expectation built up by Heat Miser, Freeze Miser, Frosty, and the Grinch.  How could it?  It was just a bunch of crap on the floor.  After the age of ten, I think each successive year became less and less thrilling.

Now I find myself looking at the Holidays as an endless chore.  Putting the Christmas tree up is akin to an Amish barn raising.  The hassle of hauling out boxes of holiday decoration crap to make the house a Santa’s Fucking Workshop for visitors seems like a complete waste of time.  Didn’t I just take the tree down like two weeks ago?  Where the fuck is the wreath for the front door?  Oh fuck, I forgot to buy a gift for that client.  What?  Oh, my credit has been destroyed because I went to Target to buy a crock-pot no one needs or wants for the work “White Elephant” gift exchange?  Oh, that’s super.  Hello?  Chase Bank?  No, I did not buy $1000 of gift cards at a Best Buy in Weehawken NJ.  What?  Another holiday party?  But I don’t want any more cheese cubes or gross wine…  Fuck, I’ll have to buy a gift for the hosts, and that means I will have to try and park at the mall.  Maybe I can re-wrap this crock-pot I got at last year’s gift exchange…

I realize that this is a terrible attitude.  Unlike most of the rosy-cheeked Moms that are driving around my happy neighborhood, I have shit going on in my life.  I just don’t have time to participate in a holiday cookie bake-off or ugly sweater contest.  I don’t need or want anything that can be purchased in a department store.  There is no expectation that will keep me awake on Christmas Eve.  The magic has died.  I will need some sort of Christmas Miracle this year.  Something so amazing that it will re-instill my belief in the magic of the holidays.  Something so incredible that it changes everything.

I wonder if Santa will bring me an Old Spice Shaving Kit.    



At December 21, 2013 at 2:31:00 PM EST , Blogger vfh159 said...

Words just immediately out of my husband's mouth' "Which goddamn box has the Christmas Tree Skirt in it? Probably the last fucking bottom one in the stack."

At December 21, 2013 at 6:59:00 PM EST , Blogger Greg Miller said...

Tis the season

At January 9, 2014 at 3:05:00 AM EST , Blogger AZ said...

At least you have two Reinbassets to help out.


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