Thursday, December 08, 2005

Bugger the Little Drummer Boy!

Every year around this time I fall into a foul mood. I just turn into this grumbling little demon girl lurking around and spiting the season by complaing about everything from the shit weather to the Chrsitmas tree skirt (by the way, I got a new one, but I don't like it. The only reason I don't like it is because I liked the old one (which by the way was too small for the new tree) and the new one is not the old one. See what I mean.

I'm like a little, troll person running under coffee tables screaming about the cocoa being too hot and endlessly adding more lights to a Christmas tree that will never be perfect no matter how I try to bend it to my standards. Occasionally, well, actually often times, I can be found in mall stores ranting and raving like a lunatic just escaped from the asylum because their selection of festive, plastic tableware is inferior and could they possible have started playing the Christmas muzak any sooner. You can never do this too soon. I very sarchastically suggest that next year they start in mid-june just so my head explodes some time by beginning of November so I can skip this holiday fiasco and still be around for Halloween. Also, I seem to be the queen of the run-on sentence. Anyway, continuing right along...
I usually have some terrifying cold by the beginning of November, generally caused by whatever skimpy thing I wore for Halloween. By mid-November, I start freezing and it's worse now that I live in a big ol' drafty house. I'd have to turn it up to ninety before it actually got warm in the living room. Also, by this time one or all of the following has happened... 1) Either one or both of my earlobes has cracked away from my face because of the shitty, winter air and cold. 2) My nose is bright red like Rudolph and people have called me this, not to mention the severe dry appearence of the skin there. 3) I have heard every piece-of-shit Christmas song covered by The Carpenters and have every time, declared something to the effect of, "There's a reason no one is upset she's dead." 4) Hubby's vehicle du jour has broken down anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 states away and now he needs to be saved (If it's under thirty minutes and it's somewhere I know, then I rescue him myself, anything other than that I find someone else to do it for me). 5) I have had some kind of aneurysm over some new Christmas movie I saw a commercial for on the TV stars some former star trying desperately to make a come-back, for instance Steve Guttenberg (80's Goofy Guy You Can't Help But Love) and Cristel Bernard (Of 'Wings' fame)in TV movie, 'The Santas'. Being in this movie is not going to get your careers back to the height they were during your fifteen minutes of fame. All it will get you is a spot on a list laying ignored on the desk of some intern at The Lifetime network. Not everyone should, could be or will be a star forever...that's why 80's rocker George Lynch became a body-builder and Sonny Bono became a governer. There's only one man who stands strong and true to his roots and maintains a consistent level of fame... Danny Bonaduce!
Whoops! There goes my attention span...I think my original train of thought got lost a couple miles back. Think. Oh, yeah. Christmas sucks...
Please keep in mind that these activities are fully interchangable and can happen whenever, wherever. Sort of like Shakira, but not as tan and way more nightmarish. Shakira is a purrrty girl!
By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, the cold from hell has nearly wiped me out and I've been thrust with luggage into the car and we're headed to the pit of hell that is Grafton, OH to visit with hubby's evil parents and the rest of his people. I am forced to stand outside and smoke and upon re-entering the house am ridiculed for being a smoker. Hot air in their house dries out my sinuses so this does not improve my cold and in fact causes cracks and bleeding. I am then raced back home, generally in some kind of white-out conditions and back into the warmer Wisconsin air, thus bringing the cold back on with Lisa Lisa and The Cult Jam, only not as rhythm or the groovy 80's attire.
Then I finally decide to get around to my Christmas shopping which is no fun since I barely even know half the people I by gifts for and mostly don't like many of them. I fret though, stressing myself to bomb-status...if you ever see me and there's a mushroom cloud over my head, you will know what has happened and that my Christmas shopping has not gone well. Thus far, this year has not been any different. The only shopping reaching fruition with actual purchasing I accomplished was for my cats and dogs...and I did not go lightly.
It's also about this time that I start getting asked, "What do you want for Christmas?" This is something that bothers me to no end. I have no answers and then I get uncomfortable. And it's just weird.
What do I want for Christams? Who the fuck knows. Are you suggesting there's something I've neglected to get for myself. Are you suggesting I maybe don't have everything I need? Herein lies the problem, if I need something, I go out and get it, if I want something, I go out and get it. Simple as that.
Currently, I have like 1 thing on my Amazon wishlist and I've already bought it so it doesn't really need to be on there anymore. And it wasn't even something I couldn't get for myself for any reason. I just got derailed during that shopping adventure and put it on a wishlist so I could find it easily when I went back later.
My life is so efficient and yet so inefficient at the very same time. And once again straying from original topic. What was it again? Right, the holidays are really only an excuse made up by liquor companies to get us to lace our hot cocoa with booze and keep us drunk for the duration.
[The other day I had a notion that all the drinking done during the holiday season is the reason for the high-rate of Christmas suicide, but then I thought that if no one drank, the suicide rate might go down but the Christmas murder rate would probably sky-rocket. I'm not sure which side I favor in this duel.]
Anyway, I have twelve thousands lists of things I need to remember to do or buy or make. I have X-mas lists, X-mas gift lists and X-mas card lists. There are even lists for acceptable X-mas songs (Melikalikimaka / Please Come Home For Christmas / Blue Christmas, but only the Elvis version) and their unacceptable counterparts (Fuck the The Little Drummer Boy, and with the way most grandmothers I know behave Grandma was friggin' lucky it was just a reindeer that ran her over) and the same goes for X-mas movies I am in favor of (Nat'l Lampoons X-mas Vacation and little known, Smokey Mountain Christmas starring Dolly Parton) and other X-mas related programming I won't watch with the exception of those programs involving Ozzy Osbourne and/or Jessica Simpson...I will also take Jessica Simpson and/or Kenny Rogers. And I will watch any X-mas movie in which Dolly Parton plays a disgruntled, country singer or an angel and any channel's Christmas horror movie marathon.
I will not under any circumstances watch It's a Wonderful Life, in the very same way that I refuse to watch the original Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, which they usually play around Easter like it's going out of style. My mother loved them and made me and my brother watch them over and over and over again. I have now, changed my mind about Chocolate Factory because finding out that both Hubby and BEG had never seen it, caused me to gasp and I told them I was buying it and making them watch it in it's entirety. I will never sway on It's a Wonderful Life. Never. Never. Never.
In the past, some pretty terrible Christmases have transpired, starting for the most part with my Sophomore year in high school when a close friend burned to death in a car accident in Michigan (This sent another friend into a terrible depression as she was supposed to be on that trip and in that car and caused another to just completey drop off the edge and started the chain that was her many failed attempts at suicide ending with her parents eventually turning her over to the state so they could deal with her) and my aunt and uncle's apartment building burned down on that Christmas Eve. My senior year, right around Christmas, my boyfriend at the time was hit by a city bus while walking, merely a few blocks down the street to go to work and was killed. This is the same year my love for Counting Crows was rekindled with 'Long December'. There have been other various, smaller catastrophes surrounding past Christmas' as well.

I tend to want to forget all about the holidays and just hang out at home doing the things I do everyday. To me, there's not really any big deal about Christmas. I'm not religious, although one year I actually wanted to convert and celebrate Chaunakah, thinking this might help get me back into the swing of things. It's a lot of work and schooling to convert though and I just didn't have that kind of time. Now I don't believe in God at all (However, as Karma's Bitch, if there is a heaven I am so getting in wether I believe or not. BEG is too).

Generally, for me, other than the crap memories that flood me, the holidays mean dealing with family members better not dealt with, standing in long lines to buy gifts, most of which are for people I don't even like or don't even know very well (namely hubby's family) and re-decorating the Christmas tree sixty-seven thousand times because the cats have torn it apart. These are and have been my personal Christmas traditions.

Christmas for me, means stress over perfection (I'm all about the keeping order and expecting things to go smoothely, so most of the torment the holidays bring is my own fault). I have to think about what I will give people as though it actually matters in the end. I have to plan where we'll go and who we'll see, because I live too far away from my lazy relatives now and there's no chance of getting them to come here, even though I do have the largest house of the whole family. At the very least, my house is twice the size of everyone else's. I have currently four empty, unused bedrooms. People could even stay here if the weather was bad or they were too tired or inebriated to drive.

We did have a New Year's Day party last year. Half the guest list actually showed up, hung out for a bit and then left and have yet to return again with the exception of my mother, my younger brother (Tummy) and my favorite uncle. I'm thinking we're not going to revisit this catastrophe again for the new coming year. It was too much stress and running around for me that just wasn't worth it in the end.

Basically all the fun I had at this party was watching the old boarder's eldest daughter running away in terror from my crazy, hippie aunt trying to feed her carrot sticks and hanging out with BEG in the kitchen filling the same little girl with cookies, since neither one of us has no idea what to do with a child, especially one that speaks mostly German. After that, we got totally wrecked and went all the way across town to Wal-Mart with the notion of bleaching our hair (we bought the bleach, but never did anything with it). This was all stuff we could have done on any day of any year and there really wasn't anything festive about it at all.

Last year, our first Christmas in the new house was pretty un-Christmassy. We had literally just moved in a month before and there was so much work and stuff to be done that it was Christmas before we even realized it (all shopping was done at the absolute last possible second). There was a 2-foot, red metallic X-mas tree purchased at Target the year before, that was decorated, however the cat got a hold of it and decided to run with it, dragging it across the floor as though it was hers. The tree didn't even make it to mid-December last year. That night in fact it was hurled down the hall, just as the old boarder was coming in the door. It whirled right passed his head and scared the bejesus out of him. I'm not sure why. I was constantly threatening to throw my shoe at him in fits of rage (there was also some notion to stab him with a fork). After that, the tiny, disorderly tree was scooped up quickly, tossed into a trashbag and whirled into my office where it sat...until last weekend.

Hubby is a huge fan of Christmas. He's like a psycho about it. He's like a little kid and it isn't just a great presents/festival of greed thing. He just loves everything there is about the damned holiday.

Begrudgingly, I agreed to put up an actual X-mas tree this year, but I needed some more lights and a new tree skirt, so we went out to the store. It's always a bad idea to shop with him especially at Christmas time. We came out of the store $250 later with all sorts of lights for him to go hogwild in the yard and what not and a new lighted star for the top of the tree and other assorted stuff for decorating, including a costly pen to put around the tree to get the cats and dogs to leave it far this is not working on one of the cats (little demon, Mina).

Anyway, we commenced with decorating, which involved hubby turning on Christmas music. I suggested we listen to something else, like The Black Eyed Peas CDs I had finally managed to remember to purchase earlier in the day after having 'Don't Phunk With My Heart' stuck in my head for months. He declared X-mas music was the only way to go and tossed my Black Eyed Peas CDs back on the table where they came from. Fine! And then there was a fire in the fireplace and hot cocoa...all the while I was trying to get the damned lights on the Christmas tree and coming dangerously close to an I-Hate-Christmas breakdown.

So, now there are three trees - the standard decorated Christmas tree, the 4 ft fiber optic tree and once again, the two foot red metallic tree from target, stashed where the cat has no chance of getting to it...And the friggin' mantle has been decorated complete with the embroidered stockings with our names on them that his mother gave us last year...

Christmas Tree #1, locked safely in it's pen

Tree #2. It's fiber optic and seems to pretty much suck. There's a reason it was only ten bucks, I can tell you that much. Plus all the pets keep chewing on it as it is not gaurded or up high like the others.

Tree #3, high up on the top of the mantle where little, demon-cat Mina cannot get to it.

And the friggin' mantle, complete with stockings and peppermint scented candles.

So, in conclusion. There is Christmas at my house. Or a resemblance of Christmas and I promise to try not to be so bitchy about it, even when one of the cats eventually tears apart the big tree and I have to waste another whole day redecorating it. However, I will mention, all I want for Christmas this year is a little peace and quiet.


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