"So... How was Christmas?"
How many times were you inquired upon about the state of your Christmas? Once? Twice? Many? Raise your hand if you were not asked about your Christmas. I'm not seeing any hands. See? Everyone gets asked, "How was Christmas?"
Truth be told -- 'cause we're about the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you You-Know-Who -- I don't really like Christmas. My poor kids. Do you feel bad for my kids? You should feel bad for my kids for many reasons. This is one of those reasons.
Halloween? Oh yeah. St. Patties Day? Oh yeah. Groundhog Day? Oh yeah. April Fool's Day! OH YEAH!! Valentine's Day? Why sure. But Christmas? OH NO!
I was born a Scrooge. Actually I wasn't born a Scrooge. I became a Scrooge when my parents rudely let the Santa secret out of the bag. One Christmas Eve, when I was quite young still, the Mom and Moe went to the neighbors for the loot and locked themselves out. So at two in the morning, they ring the doorbell and duh we open it because obviously Santa really is too fat for our chimney and needs to use the front door. Only we discover that the Mom and Moe are standing there with a big bag full of toys. Now... they could have made some excuse/lie about the nature of their doorbell ringing and why they were out at 2:00am, but I recall the Mom saying something like "What the hell are you two doing out of bed!?" She really did say hell. That's where I learned to say hell.
I can blame it all on the parents. ALL OF IT! Laugh laugh laugh. I can also write up this stuff about the Mom and Moe because they rarely visit this here cyberjournal. Hell, they might not even read this until I'm dead, which heaven forbid happens before they decide to kick it (got kids to raise and whatnot.) I'm beginning to think, however, that this post might drive someone to call the Mom and Moe and inform them of my public slander.
So back to the question, "How was Christmas?"
How do you answer that? Truthfully (there's that whole truth, nothing but the truth thing again), Christmas is exhausting. It's always exhausting and a lot of work and there's always family drama of some sort and I always break a nail (kidding I don't do nails and there's never any drama in my family). So when you answer accordingly, people look at you as if you've eaten a chocolate baby Jesus. They really do make chocolate molds in the form of a Nativity Scene, did you know that? I've seen 'em. But no one wants to eat the baby Jesus, so why even bother. That's a total waste of chocolate.
This year, however, Christmas was different. I liked Christmas this year.
It all started with a humbling trip to the other side of world -- to a country called India. A place where more than half the population lives in poverty. A place that forces you to give your own person an honest gander. A place that grows gratitude.
Then to kick off the Christmas season, we came home to lights all over the exterior of our house.
You see, we have these neighbors. We'll call them the Filthy Nelsons. They're a handful, I tell you. Always doing stuff for us. And how do we repay them? By racing them to church every Sundee. We always win too because we have four and they have six. And then to stab them with our supreme success, Yahoo #2 always says, "Victory is ours!!! And tell your parents!!!"
He really does say that. Every week.
Anyway, those Filthy Nelsons, who understand fully that I say foo-foo to the fever for the festivities that fester during the felicitous month of December, pull a funny. Those Filthy neighbors decide to string lights all over the house of the girl (me) who swore up and down and sideways that she'd never ever have Christmas lights on her house. See that's why those Nelsons are filthy. Makin' fun of the neighborhood Scrooges. (Spouse is a Scrooge too by the way. We're a match made in heaven.)
So those Filthy Nelsons call all the neighbors and ask them to bring their unwanted leftover lights from their own house hangings. The neighbors respond, because, well, they're the Filthy Nelsons. And you just do what the Filthy Nelsons say. In the which the Filthy Nelsons and neighbors hang their unwanted bastard bulbs all about our bungalow.
And it was beautiful! I felt just like Tiny Tim.