"Mom, this is a special time. We need to be together, because the holidays are all about misery. And obligation."
- from Will and Grace
Maybe it's just me, but do you shudder with dread whenever the Christmas carols pipe up in October?
Do you sneer when you hear someone utter the words, "This is going to be the best Christmas- EVER!"
Do you dread the fact that only a shot of vodka and a Percocet will relax you enough to conquer that impenetrable wad of tangled mini lights?
Well I do. Or I did. Gawd, I just can't make up my mind about this Christmas thing.
It's a fact, there are Christmas people and non-Christmas people.
My loathing of Christmas came honestly. I grew up in a colourful household that tried, really tried, to embrace Christmas but with little success.
Of course my holiday memories started out well, because naturally Christmas is always better when you're a kid. You truly believed the Santa routine, were showered with presents and ate pretty much whatever you wanted. It was accepted as fact that an obese, happy man would appear at your house, squeeze down the chimney and fill the house with gifts.
You got a present from both Santa AND your parents.
And even when I knew that Santa wasn't real I pretended to believe in him still, just so I could continue getting two presents.
Sadly, the parents caught on. "Michele, give up the Santa schtick," my mom finally said. "You're breasts are bigger than mine. And no, you can't borrow the car."
So there I was, suddenly old and abandoned in a cruel Santaless world with my weird family.
My dad, interesting fact, was a part-time Anglican minister. For his full-time job, he was a hard-drinking, hard-swearing social worker. But, he was a great Reverend who was respected by his flock, probably because he was a tad more down to earth and funny than most.
However, it made for an interesting combination when he dragged us to his Christmas sermon. We, his children, would sit quietly in the pews, until he said something like "Strike thy foul language from thy mouths" and we would really lose it.
Trying to suppress hysterical laughter in a silent church was futile. Everyone swung around and whispered, "Aren't those his children?"
My father would stare at us over his glasses and send us a searing look that would finally shut us up. Good times!