Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Wench Who Stole Christmas... And Gave It Back

Have you ever seen that movie, A Christmas Story? Call me Ralphie Parker, complete with odd ill-fitting pink Bunny Suit and all. Usually this time of year, life has triple dog dared me to stick my tongue to the holiday pole- no pun intended- and idiot me does it.
I mean how many times must I hear barking dogs singing Jingle Bells? Don't even get me started on George Michael's This Christmas or Madonna's Santa Baby. This time of year you can't even go to the store for garbage bags without being beat over the head with holiday music. And this started in October! October people! Poor Halloween never stood a chance. And still I go, fighting the hordes to get things the family needs and a few things that they want, with a fake smile on my face, winching inside as Crabs for Christmas- a Baltimore favorite- plays over the radio.
Then there is dodging family members who want me to rise at O' Dark Thirty to stand in line at the local discount store a five dollar toaster. Add to that the flocks of rude people who take over malls, holiday store hires who attack you with odd smelling perfume named after the celebrity of the hour, fruit cake (what did I ever do to you?), inane family members who crawl out of the woodwork for their yearly gossip and eat sessions, every Christmas special known to mankind playing nonstop, (It's a Wonderful Life, I'm pointing at you!), the blinding Christmas Light Competition that takes over my neighborhood every year (I am talking National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation blinding here)... It's enough to make anybody scream, no more holiday cheer, it'll put your eye out!
And then there are the questions, Are you not decorating for the season? Why are you not going caroling? Why don't you try the six inch heels with that elf suit- it happens- Where is your holiday spirit?
My answers are as follows: I am not decorating because I don't want to. Besides, you all have enough lights for me and everyone in the Baltimore Metro area. Yeah, that eclectic bill’s gonna be killer. I am not caroling because I don't want to be responsible for everyone within hearing range going deaf. I understand bleeding from the ears is a bad thing. Why yes I will wear he six-inch heels if you put down the mistletoe belt buckle. And my holiday spirit of choice is Peach Rum. Last time I checked, it was chilling in the fridge.
So according to my usual M.O., I hunker down, duck my head, and try to endure Holiday Cheer Disease until New Years. At least on New Years Eve you have an excuse to get drunk on rum punch and act like an idiot for a few hours, even if you are not in New York watching Dick Clark's Ball drop- no pun intended.
But this year something strange happened. In between getting stomped on at the market for the last holiday spiral cut ham on sale and avoiding the grabby hands of the snot nosed kid dressed like a reindeer, when I was struck with a thought.
What if there were other people like me out there in the world, people who endure the bad holiday egg nog even thought we are lactose intolerant. People who would rather spend time with family instead of running from house party to house party eating bad pumpkin pie with a smile and brushing off bad flirtations from somebody’s work friend who just discovered you write ‘naughty books’ for a living and wonder if you engage in threesomes with strange men and women often. People who smile while resenting the fact that some family members only act kind and give your gifts because of the season, and at any other time would slit your neck with a chin saw the moment your back was turned.
These people, my people, need a voice! Where are our Christmas tales and are we automatically on the naughty list for feeling like this?
Those thoughts, and the pain in my ankle from where that woman clipped me as she made off with the last ham, combined to create Noel, the heroine in Santa’s Claws.
Noel has her reasons for feeling the way she does about the holiday season, and very good reasons they are. And Santa’s machinations don’t give her reason to cry Happy Holiday’s to us all. But Tangels might be the very being to make her holidays more bearable, if a cynical disenchanted woman can bring herself to believe in marauding holidays, Think Tank Elves, and the shadowy figure known as Santa who seems to have his claws in everybody’s business.

Poor Noel, but this is a Stephanie Burke book! Happy ending guaranteed.
So, in the end I will still run from malls and holiday shoppers. I will still smile at people and count the moments until I can escape false cheer. I will fight in the local grocery store for the supplies to make my family a wonderful holiday meal that will create memories that will last a lifetime... while praying for a small zombie apocalypse or a plague of some kind, just enough to drive folks out of town for a few weeks.
And all the while I am enduring the season of giving, I will be thinking about Noel and her story, and her elf- and hot virgin elf sex- and I know that I will survive it too. Hmm, maybe it will be a Happy Holiday Season after all.
Now—lets talk about Valentine’s Day...


mnjcarter said...

Great post, I absolutely LOVE it!!! I tend to get the same way during this season. Wondering why the hell all the stores do Christmas setup in mid October. Does this really seem like Halloween and Christmas should mesh, probably not! I put on a good face for the kids most of the time. Don't mind the baking of cookies and that, but HATE shopping! DH calls me scrooge, the grinch you name it. Though, I really don't think I'm that bad. So, I totally get where you're coming from. I have to say though, I do love spending the holidays with our families, lots of fun and good (or bad) humor!

Stephanie Burke said...

Love of family makes it all worth while... sometimes! ROTFLMAO I am not alone! I get called the Grinch all the time. I whimper when I recall being made to wear a Santa's cap with my name in glitter across the front. Snicker!