Christmas brings back a lot of memories. Family members trying desperately to avoid each other in a house too small for…well, family members, dishes thrown with rage after some insulting innuendo about the tenderness of the turkey, and my Uncle Bob sitting outside with a case of beer trying to figure out if standing on your head under the mistletoe would force someone to kiss your ass.
Christmas makes me think of snow, which is cold, like the heart of the Santa Claus whose lap I sat on at the mall when I was eight years old, whose breath smelled like scotch and whose hands moved a little too far up my leg. The Santa who told me that it didn’t matter what I wanted for Christmas because I was a little annoying brat like all the other kids standing in line and that I should prepare myself for a giant lump of coal….I was too young to know the line “But if I shoved that coal up a tight-ass like yours, I’d get a diamond,” so I just sat there, in tears, as he gave a jolly smile for my parents who were capturing this holiday photo for their annual greeting card. Merry Christmas! -from your grandson and a red-suited pedophile.
Christmas memories included midnite mass, where I’d sit in the pews, aptly named for the smell of the ass that sat in them before me, staring at the priest, waiting for him to pass around the money basket. These are little baskets that congregation members put donations in, really big donations during the holidays. For me, it was an example of “lead me not into temptation.” Then, my father dragged me by the ear up to the altar and forced me to give back the fifty-three dollars I’d pilfered on the basket’s second trip around. Christmas is a time of giving and for thirty years I’ve donated money to church charities searching for holiday redemption.
Christmas makes me think of stockings, which are sexy, which means while Christmas music is playing, I walk around shopping malls with a hard-on, which is embarrassing, which means I turn bright red, like Rudolph’s nose, which means, potentially, my penis could become the subject of a Christmas song…Let Her Blow Let Her Blow Let Her Blow….Dick and Balls Will Bring You Jollies….O Come All Ye Faithful?
Christmas makes me think of trees. My parents were rabid environmentalists before it was the “in thing.” They taught me to love trees, all trees, even Christmas trees, which we couldn’t have, because they considered it taking a life. This led me to great confusion as a child. My parents were pro-choice when it came to people and pro-life when it came to trees. Try rationalizing that one when you’re trying to figure out how to hang the lights around the tree while the baby Jesus sits right underneath the bottom branch.
Christmas makes me think of presents gathered under the tree, symbols of love and generosity and how they make something grow. Then again, when your tree is plastic, the presents underneath just kind of sit there, wondering what the hell they are supposed to be nurturing. But, oh that exciting morning, when you run downstairs and stare at all the brightly colored packages and big ribbons, expecting half of Toy’s R Us to be waiting for you in those massive boxes. That wonderful moment when you’re halfway down the long side of the candy cane and your dad says “Go ahead, open ‘em up.” The tearing and shredding and throwing of the wrapping paper as you get down to the final box, which holds the best present of them all…whoa it’s a….wait, what’s this…You have made a donation to the World Wildlife Fund. When I travel these days and see signs like Deer Crossing, or Elk Grazing, I get a little choked up. I’m not even sure these animals can read, but they seem to know they are supposed to be there, Crossing…and Grazing. Roadkill holds an especially moving moment. It’s like my childhood splattered all over the highway, guts ripped out and waiting for the North Pole’s elves to come along and scoop me up with their little toy shovels.
Christmas makes me think of shopping. There is nothing better than standing behind an eighty-five year old woman with flatulence, who’s trying to swipe her Visa card through that little slot. It reminds me of my office Christmas party when I had three quarts too much of the egg nog and headed off to the restroom to shake out the ol’candy cane. Aiming into that urinal and watching my stream bounce off the sides and hit the floor makes Grandma Smelly look like Magellan. In the end, I think her credit card is really the perfect symbol for Christmas. We use plastic cards to buy plastic toys wrapped in plastic, put them under a plastic tree, put on our plastic personalities for relatives. Yea, Christmas is a GENUINELY good time.
Christmas makes me think of giving. Every damn year I leave those chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk by the fireplace. Would it kill the big guy to drop off a monopoly game or a new pair of skis? No, he drops down the chimney I forgot to clean, wearing a red suit, into a hot fire, buys me off with gifts, and makes me forget about the birth of Christ. Is it me, or do the letters S-A-N-T-A seem to be in the wrong order? Maybe that’s why Christmas makes me feel like I’m in hell. Bah Humbug!