Overall, my Christmas holiday went a-ok, despite working through the majority of it, and spending the rest of it stressed out. I received some nice gifts, too - not too much where I felt like I had to bathe the consumer grime off my fingers, but I recieved a handful of items that I sincerely appreciated: a handmade necklace my brother gave me from his jewelry line, a hoodie with a kitty face on it from Laura, pajama pants my mom made from the Friskies cat food fabric I picked out when I was 14 years old, and a new scratching pole my dad made for my kitties, Sophie Bear Baby Ewok and Snorticus Maximus McAwesome Face.
. . . . . . . WHAT?
The only down fall was that no one in my family bothered to tell me that Bah Humbuggery had been cancelled this year and that we were planning a legit gift swap. IT'S NOT LIKE I DIDN'T ASK, EITHER. So when I walked into my parents house with my boxes of chocolate and I noticed all the presents under the tree, I realized that, yep, this was definitely the year that I was going to walk away as the asshole, which was compounded by the fact that the "I love you, but fuck it, here's some money" cheque I wrote Laura was made out in her maiden name, because I subconsciously refuse to acknowledge that her ex-husband exists.
I did donate to a handful of charities in honor of my family after recalling the sponsorship of love Will n' Matt gave to the exploited babies in Cambodia in 2009 - you should probably read about it here. And although I knew that the money had gone to better causes than the accumulation of random shit, I still felt like that socially awkward relative who makes everyone personalized welcome plaques for their front entrance from recycled newsprint and raffia paper.
After experiencing a strange Christmas Eve, I was inspired, largely by Liz, to write my own version of Twas The Night Before Christmas, and I read it at my family's Christmas gift opening. Here is the internet-friendly version:
Twas The Night Before Christmas, And Shit Got Weird
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through my complex, not a creature was stirring, not even the usual suspects. I was alone in my apartment, feeling a little laissez faire, in hopes that dawn's sunrise soon would be there.
(Photo of Red Deer sunrise by TrevorGB)
The kitties were nestled all snug in my bed, while visions of the muchly missed, albeit diarrhea inducing, Whiskas wet formula danced in their heads. Snortie with her horrific hair cut, and I in my new cat shirt, lay lounging in bed feeling less than alert.
When out in the hall there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the door I flew like a flash, and unlocked the dead bolt, even though I looked like white trash.
The hallway remained quiet and dimly lit, surely to hide the shoddy construction that the owners won't admit. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but an elderly woman in leopard print pajama gear.
Thinking her husband was ill, I responded with grave worry, But soon realized she had Alzheimer disease, and it was making her mind blurry. More rapid than an eagle, I grabbed my keys and my phone, and began a long journey through the complex to take the little old lady home.
(art work by Kelli Doyle)
"You're the only one who would answer your door," she said in appreciation,"That's because this place is full of douche bags, and human abominations." I asked her her last name, and she said it was Price,
so I tracked down the number of her suite through the intercom device.
Back up we went to walk into a strange condo and hope for the best, for if it were the wrong one, it may become one hell of an awkward conquest. The suite sat dormant and the little old lady swore it was not her home, but I continued on my mission and threw out a bone.
"Hello?," I called out, not once, but twice, and from the bedroom came the stir of a man-- her husband-- thank God almighty and his son, Jesus Christ.
"She's never wandered before," he told me, his face angered and worried. "You're going to have to go in a home," her face now shamed and covered in flurry.
We said our goodbyes and shared a melancholy hug, then I went to the lobby for a tea, where I met a man drinking his fourth egg nog mug. This was his first Christmas since separating from his wife, and while he was thrilled to have his boys with him, this wasn't the easiest time in his life.
He was excited to be done wrapping the gifts, even despite his recent down falls, although he admitted he wasn't good at this kind of stuff, and all the presents looked like "fucking footballs."
(watch the youtube video of Flippycat being wrapped)
And it was on this eve that I was reminded of my blessings, from the health of my family, to my wicked ass car and its heated-seat dressings. Some people score the ideal and their Christmases are cheered, for others, life goes on, and sometimes shit gets weird.