Tag Archives: happy holidays

What my baby really wants for Christmas

Dear Santa,

Hiya, big guy. Remember me? Yes, yes, that Aprill with two L’s who “allegedly” set fire to Prancer when she drank too much eggnog and found that old stash of fireworks in the attic on Christmas Eve 2007.

(But may I remind you, the trial ended in a hung jury so no hard feelings, yeah?).

I’m writing this letter to you on behalf of my son, Riker, who due to circumstances beyond his control is unable to write you himself (those circumstances, of course, being that he is only 9-months-old and used the pen I gave him to whack our dog repeatedly on the head…heh, guess the ‘ol apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, now does it?).

Anyhoo, I can’t tell you how excited we are for Christmas this year. It’s Riker’s first one and we are planning on going all out this year. We even positioned our fake tree so that you can barely see the burn marks from two years ago (I should really not be allowed around fireworks). And our stockings have already been hung with care and copious amounts of duct tape.

But first things first, old man. Regarding the naughty or nice list…sigh. As we both know, my name has been written on the former in permanent marker since 1998 thanks to various incidents my lawyer has advised me not to publicly discuss pending current litigation in three Midwestern states (best road trip EVER though). However, I hope that you can rise above our personal rocky relationship and not let it affect my son. He’s been a very good boy this year, that yogurt-throwing incident involving that other baby in Starbucks notwithstanding.

In the hopes that you can find it in your heart this holiday season to let bygones be bygones, I have enclosed my baby’s Christmas list below:

  1. An exact replica of our dog’s tail.

The real one is by far his most treasured possession (besides that gross, wrinkled, fast food receipt he found at the bottom of my purse last Tuesday and refuses to let go of). Anytime he sees that tail, he immediately makes a beeline straight for it using that weird “I haven’t quite mastered crawling so instead I transport myself across the floor like a dying man in the desert who sees an oasis and is trying to get to it but only half his limbs work” move of his. However, seeing as how the tail is currently still attached to our dog, we all agree it would be in the best interest of Buffy’s mental health if Riker had his own, separate tail to play with.

  1. Gross, wrinkled, fast food receipts

You know, maybe just like a handful of them to put in his stocking.

  1. An end table.

I know, I know. What would a baby need an end table for? And the answer is, I have no bloody idea. All I know is that my son refuses to leave our current end table alone. But since ours is reserved space for Mommy’s coffee (and by that I obviously mean vodka poured into a coffee mug), he really needs his own.

  1. A Bane mask like the one from the Batman movie

Confession: This one is more for me. I figured it would be a good way to get him to stop shoving everything he finds on our fairly disgusting floors into his mouth but is also fun and full of whimsy. Also because I’m pretty sure using a straight-up muzzle on my baby is illegal.

Well, I guess that’s just about everything, Santa. Thanks for reading and again, my apologies to Prancer. I was glad to hear that at least some of his fur was able to grow back, albeit in small, sad patches (I’m sure he’ll be allowed to play those reindeer games again any day now…reindeer can be so cruel, can’t they?).

My love to the missus,


Bah humbug, Charlie Brown

Something very strange has been going on these past few weeks. The month of December is finally here. Which means it’s almost Christmas.

And I don’t care.

I haven’t started decorating, I haven’t annoyed my husband by belting out my dirty version of “Carol of the Bells” and I haven’t even had a sip of eggnog yet.*

*Mainly because I can only have non-alcoholic eggnog this year and non-alcoholic eggnog is just dirty and wrong.

It’s my favorite holiday and I haven’t even acknowledged it.

But I think I know why. See, depending on your age, the holiday season can be perceived in many different ways.

As a kid, it’s all shiny, shiny lights and cookies and presents and big, fat men with beards whom you’ve never 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 house.

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 in your 30’s 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 the most wonderful time of year” to “laying in the fetal position while drinking wine straight from the bottle and eating an entire package of Santa-shaped sugar cookies.”

Because now when that massive ball of Christmas lights roughly the size of a horse needs untangled, that angry, throbbing vein is appearing on YOUR forehead and not humorously on your father’s head. 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.

Suddenly, you’re Googling how much the going rate for a semi-decent kidney is on the black market in order to afford gifts for your husband, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews and even your stupid dog because your husband thinks it’s mean if little Buffy doesn’t get at least one chew toy. Not to mention, now it’s a 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.

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 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 stabbed by a soccer mom with a candy cane.

And let’s not even get into attempting to make plans to travel to spend the holidays with your family, or maybe your in-laws, and having to decide which one and if you can even afford it and if you and your husband and your stupid dog can even survive an 18-hour roadtrip in heavy traffic without killing each other.

Of course, come Christmas Eve, when everything is finally done, you’ll finally, FINALLY find yourself falling under the magic spell of the season. And so you snuggle down on the couch to watch “Miracle on 34th Street” with some hot chocolate and sigh a sigh of contentment. Because after all, it is Christmas. And it really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Until you realize you don’t even have kids yet.

And everything is only going to get worse when you do.


Happy HalloChristGiving, Charlie Brown!

Hey, you know what the world needs more of? (Warning! Warning! Sarcasm bomb about to detonate!) People complaining about how Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year. We just don’t see enough of that, you know? And I bet if we did complain more, it would totally change things.

Just like how complaining about politics and cold weather and people who think Instagram was created solely so they could share what they’re eating for lunch (Blackened salmon with roasted asparagus? Well, aren’t you fancy!) makes all those things better.

(I sincerely apologize to anyone who got hit with sarcasm shrapnel. Unless your Instagram account is just filled with food. Then you deserved it).

Yes, people complaining about how Christmas has completely obliterated Thanksgiving and is quickly encroaching on Halloween’s thunder is about as cliché now as people complaining how ironic it is we go out and shiv little old ladies to get 40 percent off TV’s and unnecessary shaving kits the day after a holiday centered around giving thanks for what we already have.

But as futile as I think it is to bitch about Christmas being three months long now, I must admit I side with the complainers. Because even though you’ll never convince Sharon, your co-worker who starts wearing light-up Happy Holiday sweaters in October, that she needs to stop, your silence means you approve. And you don’t approve. Because Sharon is ridiculous and owns a cat named Gingerbread and has a weird, creepy crush on Santa.

I too don’t want to have to sift through a bunch of candy canes before I find the Halloween candy at the grocery store in October; or a bunch of eggnog before I find my gourd-based beers at the liquor store in September.

And I sure as hell don’t want to see Christmas commercials when I’m having my annual psychotic breakdown in the kitchen on Thanksgiving.

But before you go thinking I’m all bah-humbug-y, Grinch-y, evil corporate guy in every Christmas special ever, let me throw this at ya.’ Christmas is actually my favorite holiday. Always has been. I love everything about it. The lights. The cooking (until the inevitable psychotic breakdown). The gift shopping. The wrapping. The decorating. The 37 emails back and forth with family about who got what on everyone’s list. The music. The claymation marathons on TV. The awkward reaction I get from salespeople when they say “Happy Holidays” and I reply with a cheerful “Merry Christmas” because they think I’m going to be that A-hole that gets mad that they said “Happy Holidays” when really I couldn’t care less because my body is composed of 82 percent hot toddy at that point.

And it’s because I love Christmas so much that I’m angry everyone is trying to artificially manufacture Christmas spirit prematurely. Because you know what happens when you try to artificially make something happen? It…well, let’s use an awkward metaphor to explain it…

It’s like getting all dressed up in your sexy lingerie, hair done perfectly and actual makeup on your face besides chapstick and anti-wrinkle cream, because you want to surprise your husband with some sexy, fun-time, naked, grown-up stuff. And so you carefully lay yourself on the bed in just the perfect position so that all your wobbly bits and fat pockets are hidden. And you’re just practically vibrating with excited anticipation for the night.

And then you wait.

And you wait.

And then wait some more.

And then he’s three hours late coming home from work and by the time he gets to the bedroom, you’ve already downed half a bottle of wine and eaten three-fourths of a pumpkin pie while wearing sweatpants over your teddy because all the anticipation, and thus the fun, has vanished.

That’s what you people are doing to Christmas.

If you build this holiday up too big by starting it way too early, the only place it can go is to an anti-climatic, sputtering dud. So that by Christmas Eve, you downright rage in a foam-at-the-mouth homicidal spree every time you hear “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” because it is the 37th million time you’ve heard it and the human brain can tolerate only 34 million times (there have been studies, look it up).

So stop ruining Christmas. Be patient. Let’s make this season a reasonable, wonderful, exciting, month-long celebration. Instead of building it up starting July Fourth only to arrive at the end with an attitude of “that’s it?”

It’s what Charlie Brown would have wanted.

And that weird, freaky-looking Yeti in the Rudolph special.