The holiday season is upon us once again. Literally the day after Halloween the Christmas commercials start. Thanksgiving is like the ugly middle child, pretty much ignored by the fanfare and sparkle of its elder and younger sisters. Halloween and Christmas respectively. Overnight, the shops have holiday decorations and items in their store windows. Christmas Tree lots appear out of nowhere. There is definitely a shift in the atmosphere. Parents begin threatening their children with: “Do you want me to tell Santa?” “Santa is watching if you’re naughty or nice!”. Choirs practice their Christmas “extravaganza” shows. There are live manger plays, Hanukkah celebrations, Kwanza celebrations you name it. We become inundated with holiday “STUFF”
There is also a lot of pressure on us to continue traditions such as; baking, decorating, cooking, shopping, etc…. Everyone attempting to recreate a Norman Rockwell holiday. Ours looks more like Christmas Vacation.
As the years’ progress and more and more chicks fly the coop, I decorate less and less. I bake fewer amounts and find the holidays bittersweet. There are no more children all nestled snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums dance in their heads. Instead, there is a surly teen who grunts and only has visions of video games, and his next meal. He only speaks when he wants food or money. Long gone are the days of threatening with: “You’re on Santa’s naughty list! You’re only getting coal in your stocking!” Now the threats are: “I will disconnect your Play Station!” I will block the internet!” of course there are empty threats just like the ones with Santa and he knows this.
I force said moody teen to go Christmas shopping with me, with the promise of food. He walks in front of me like a hostage and I am his kidnapper. Out and about, everyone is in a hurry. I watch parents with sweethearts in strollers and envy that bygone time-until the angelic quiet child in the stroller, turns into Linda Blair spinning head and all, begins screaming bloody murder. For a brief moment, I am grateful for a quiet sullen teen, albeit he has the facial expression resembling that of a dental patient receiving a root canal. For now, I will cherish the silence.
With bags in hand and the promise of food, we quickly make our way to a little café. On our journey, we meet an angry elf on break from Santa’s workshop. Apparently, he is having a bad day! He is hard to take seriously between his pointy ears and shoes, not to mention he is puffing away furiously on a cigarette and screaming into his cell phone about his in-laws coming into town a week early. No, he is not the posterchild of merriment one thinks of at Christmas.
We sit in the crowded café with all of our bags and all of the holiday stress. Of course, the Angry Elf sits right next to us, practically in my lap. He looks our way, and over at the grouchy teen, then nods to me one parent to another. Yes, the Angry Elf is “woke” to the situation. I watch Mr. Moody sitting across from me, inhale his burger like he has been lost in the jungle and hasn’t had a solid meal in months when realistically he ate about two and a half hours ago. I realize he is about to speak and wait with bated breath for this Christmas miracle. For a fleeting moment, I compare it to how the Three Wisemen must have felt before the grand announcement of Jesus’ birth. I hold my breath, the anticipation building. He points to my plate and asks if “I am done with my fries?” I slide my plate across the table and sigh.
The Angry Elf is now joined by what seems to be a reindeer or moose. This unidentifiable animal also seems to be intoxicated. He is hiccupping loudly, his antlers are askew on his head, he flips his tail to the side as he plops down in the chair across from the Angry Elf. His hooves are touching my shoes. He reeks of alcohol.
The two characters from Santa’s workshop are commiserating about the little brats and rude parents they have to deal with. They are also talking smack about Santa and his attitude. Yes, even Santa’s family has issues. The Reindeer/Moose orders a beer and I chuckle at the absurdity of this! Angry Elf is cramming nachos into his mouth like there is no tomorrow. I hear bits of: “Santa, lazy, Mrs. Claus is a ho did you see how short her dress was?” From the description, it sounds as though its a version of North Pole Gone Wild! or The Jerry Springer show travels to The North Pole!
We sit and eavesdrop on the Claus family problems. I see a smile begin to form on my son’s face. He looks at me and I look at him and smile back. Now Angry Elf is talking about Jingles the Elf who I assume is his sidekick. According to Angry Elf, Jingles ate all of the candy canes that were for the children who came to visit Santa. They had to send The Gingerbread Man to CVS to buy more. I want to add: “Because he can run, run, run that Gingerbread Man!” But for the sake of teen will not.
Reindeer/Moose comments on how fat Jingles has gotten during this gig. He also talks about, during the company Christmas party, Jingles ate most of the buffet items even the garnish, which according to Reindeer/Moose, the garnish should have been Rudolphs. (I am assuming that Rudolph is a live animal because who else would eat garnish?). Angry Elf’s mouth, full of nachos nods vigorously at this declaration. Now on his second beer, Reindeer/Moose talks about what a “Loosey Goosey” Mrs. Claus is. He whispers about a tryst between her and The Abdominal Snowman. I feel like we are listening in on a Christmas soap opera.
A group of carolers enters the café, they are dressed in Victorian garb. They are “fa, la, la,la-ing” between the tables. Angry Elf tells them to: “Beat it!” They scurry away. Finally, Angry Elf and Reindeer/Moose head out. My son and I burst into giggles. We discuss the ridiculous dialogue that we overheard and laugh. If it took an Angry Elf and a drunk Reindeer/Moose to get my kid to have a conversation with me, I will take it!
Moments later, a chubby elf (who based on his description, I assume is Jingles) bursts into the café, he announces: ”Somebody call security! Santa just punched Frosty the Snowman!”
FA, LA, LA, LA, LA…
Whilst sipping his cup of Earl Grey, Confused Husband decides that perhaps he would like to have been an Earl or Duke. I tell him the only chance he has, is to perhaps become the Earl of The Big Sandwich or the Earl of Confusion. He is sitting next to me suffering(as he says) through one of my British shows. Yes, I am an Anglophile. With the worst British accent I have ever heard, he tells me that he likes the fanfare and how everyone is waiting hand and foot on the Dukes and Earls. He stares longingly at the t.v. as though he is remembering bygone days of yore when he was an Earl. In a melancholy manner, he sighs.
I inform him that perhaps in his next life, certainly not this one! I also share that these titles are to be passed down through heritage. True, he could be knighted by the Queen, but he would have had to do something really fabulous for that to happen. Now he is sulking, as though it is all my fault! I say: “Don’t you think I would have loved to be a princess, countess, or duchess?!”
The Earl of Confusion continues with his diatribe of all of the reasons he should be an Earl. He feels that a title like this suits him. I tell him that I highly doubt a true Earl sits upon his couch in his boxers sipping out of a Farter of the year mug. (No, I do not find this mug at all humourous!). As though he is now an Earl connoisseur, he informs me that Earls are more down to earth than one may think. They too may be sitting upon their throne in their knickers, drinking out of their favorite goblet. I highly doubt this, but just let him continue with his pipedream. After all, who am I to burst his bubble?
I suggest that he now be dubbed Earl Grey. He ponders this, and then says: “I don’t want to be named after a tea bag!” I am trying to watch my show and deal with this. I am about to commit a crime. I suggest that he is about to become the Earl of Missing…