Monthly Archives: December 2015

Christmas through the ages

I don’t know about you, but this year I want to celebrate Christmas the way it was always meant to be celebrated: opening presents and then getting day drunk and then eating a huge dinner I did NOT prepare and then dozing off on the couch to the sounds of “A Christmas Story” as someone else does the dishes.

Sounds perfect, no? Except I can’t. I can’t because I’m an adult. And I mean an adult-y adult. None of that “I’m 23 and totally independent even though my parents still pay for my cell phone!” level of grown-up-ness. No. We’re talking “I watched the debates and didn’t even turn it into a drinking game” level of adulthood.

Which means I’m no longer allowed to be the one sitting on the couch wondering how that piece of pie and hot chocolate magically got on my lap. No. Now, I’m the invisible, sweaty, exhausted woman handing the lucky son of bitches sitting on the couch that damn pie that I made from scratch straight out of the box.

See, depending on your age, the holiday season can mean many different things.

As a kid, it’s all shiny, shiny lights and cookies and presents and big, fat men with beards whom you’ve only briefly met but nonetheless are guaranteeing to do everything within their vast magical powers to make sure YOU personally have a very merry Christmas.

As a teenager, it means three weeks off school, the anticipation of your mom finally buying you those “ridiculously over-priced” (her words) pants with the vaguely suggestive word on the rear that you’ll just die without and hanging out with your cool, older cousin with the tattoo at grandma’s.

In your early 20’s, it means one month of never-ending rounds of eggnog and wine and seasonal beer and reddish-looking cocktails with cutesy names like North Poletini and Santa’s Sleigh Bomb at hip holiday parties and festively decorated bars. And then going to your parent’s house where they feed you and give you lots of presents and do your laundry if you ask nicely enough and then give you all the leftovers to boot because you “look too skinny.”

But then, one day you’re married and 30 and BOOM! You realize it’s December but you wouldn’t know it from YOUR house, which still has up an odd mixture of Fourth of July, Halloween and Thanksgiving decor. And it’s all because YOU are suddenly in charge of MAKING Christmas happen. And that’s when you cross the threshold from “this is most wonderful time of year” to “no wonder there are so many suicides this time of year.”

Because now when that massive ball of Christmas lights roughly the size of Utah needs untangled, that angry, throbbing vein is appearing on YOUR forehead, and not humorously on your father’s face. And now when you hear “Silver Bells” for the fourth time before you’ve even had breakfast, it is no longer “festive” but some sort of sadistic audio torture.

Now suddenly you’re Googling how much the going rate for a semi-decent kidney is on the black market in order to afford real presents for your husband, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, in-laws and even your stupid dog because your husband thinks it’s mean if Buffy doesn’t get at least one chew toy with a bow on it. Because apparently after a certain age, giving out coupon books for “One Free Hug!” is just sad. Not to mention, now it’s a social faux pas to not buy gifts for your mailman, hairdresser, neighbor, boss, co-workers, cousin’s baby, brother-in-law’s dog and the barista who serves you your Peppermint Mocha every morning (even though the barista keeps writing down your name as “Angeilla”).

And while before you always insisted that artificial Christmas trees were just so “bourgeois” and that when you had your OWN home, you wouldn’t be caught dead without a real pine tree, this year your corner is inhabited by a $19.99 three-foot tall fake tree that looks like it died of some horrible fake tree disease in 1974. And then you stuffed it with some pine-scented air-fresheners from your car. Because whatever.

And even though you swore you were going to make gingerbread cookies from scratch this year, two minutes inside the store made you grab the closest pre-packaged desert-like item and SPRINT back to your car out of a not-entirely-unreasonable fear of being attacked by a stressed-out soccer mom with an Elf on the Shelf wearing brass knuckles.

But then, just when you’re about to throw in the towel, just when you are about to stab the shopping mall Santa with a candy cave shiv because you simply can’t take it anymore, BOOM! You have kids. And suddenly the Christmas magic is back. Only better. Because now it’s in technicolor.

Because now you get to watch the tiny people you love most in the world experience all the holiday memories you still hold close in your heart.

And that makes standing in line for 45 minutes just to buy three freaking stocking stuffers completely worth it.

Well…almost.

pollyanna 2pollyanna 3

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If my life were a movie, it would be called…

“Parenthood 2: The NeverEnding Awakening”

Sorry I haven’t been writing a lot lately, gang. I’ve been too busy working on my family’s new Christmas portrait:

xmaspix

Oh, and the puking. Been SUPER busy with the puking.

Yes, dear friends, we are having another demon spawn. Because when your life is picture perfect and everyone is finally sleeping through the night and peace and harmony has descended upon your house, it only makes sense to destroy all that with eight pounds of squishy, angry human dynamite.

Needless to say, we are thrilled. Well, my husband is thrilled. Our dog is horrified. Our toddler is oblivious (although he does he keep pointing to my stomach and asking “poop?” so take that however you need to). And I’ll be thrilled as soon as I don’t need a ginger ale IV to function.

And no worries. My writing will be back on schedule here shortly. The first trimester can’t last forever, can it? Ha! Ha! Right!? RIGHT!?!?

*hysterical laughter mixed with sobbing*

Seriously though, it can’t, right?

My grown-up Christmas list

Dear Santa,

Hey there, big guy. I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written to you and for that I apologize. I just figured I should probably lay low for about a decade or so after that infamous “incident” in 1989. But you’ll be happy to hear that I’ve finally learned my lesson and my probation, which forbids me from going within 1,000 feet of any and all reindeer, ends in just a few days. So, considering that Johnny Law has now forgiven me, I can only hope that I will finally be taken down from the “Hopelessly and Perpetually Naughty List” (along with my wanted poster in the stable).

Well, now that we can let bygones be bygones (which reminds me, please send my regards to Prancer…I’m assuming most of his fur has grown back by now), on with the real reason for this letter.

As I’m sure you’ve assumed, I’m writing to you about my Christmas list. But unlike most letters you get this time of year, I won’t be asking for jewelry or high tech gadgets or that pair of purple high-heeled knee high boots in size eight and a half (which just happens to be my size) I saw in the window of that store the other day. Nope. This year I’ve been truly blessed and can honestly say that I have everything I need and ever wanted (even without that pair of purple high-heeled knee high boots in size eight and a half, which just happens to be my size, I saw in the window of that store the other day).

And so this year, Santa, I’m asking not for material things but rather gifts that come from the heart and make the world a better place (and mind you, this isn’t just some ploy to make you think I’m an exceedingly good person and, as such, end up receiving even more gifts, like, say, a pair of purple high-heeled knee-high boots AND a matching leather jacket, because of my selflessness).

Of course, the No. 1 thing on my list this year would be peace on Earth and all that junk. I think we can all agree this world needs a healthy dose of goodwill toward men right now (and women…and if he exists, Bigfoot).

But everyone always asks for that kind of stuff so let’s move onto the important wishes.

Please, please, PLEASE use your magical powers to get “Charles in Charge” back on TV. This alone will bring Christmas joy to even the most Bah-humbug members of society.

Also, if it’s not too much to ask, please make Katherine Heigl stop. Just stop.

I think the world could also majorly benefit from the creation of a calorie-free cheesecake. Better yet, get rid of calories all together. They’re obviously bad for our health.

Could you also please destroy every copy of Christmas songs being sung by dogs or cats? I can guarantee you that 23 percent of all cases of Christmas violence stems from having to hear “Jingle Bells” being barked by a chorus of Golden Retrievers.

I know it’s too late for this year, but it would be great if you could get rid of Black Friday all together next year. Or, if you can’t, could you at least make it more interesting for us spectators sitting at home watching the chaos on the news? Maybe make the shoppers battle some lions before they make it to the electronics department. Or make all the stores install a “Hunger Games”-esque arena, where with the touch of a button, you can create a tornado in cosmetics and start a fire in the petite department.

Now, with this next one I hope I’m not being too forward. But I’d really love it if you changed the criteria for the naughty list to include anyone who texts or talks on their cell phone while at dinner or on a date or during a movie and instead of giving them a lump of coal, destroy their stupid iPhone with a bolt of lightning (perhaps you could partner up with God on that one).

And lastly, while I don’t know how much influence you have over the liquor industry, could you please try to make eggnog available year-round? Or at least available through March. Expecting us mere humans to get our fill of this seasonal golden nectar in only a month is unrealistic. We need at least four, possibly five months to properly get sick of puking up this beverage.

Love,

Aprill

P.S. Tell that good-for-nothing Tooth Fairy she still owes me $1 from 1987. Oh, and that I apologize for drawing that dirty picture in permanent marker on her wing.