Over the years, and especially since moving to a coast far, far away from my childhood trauma grounds, this time of year for me just tends to be a time of coming together in increasingly smaller groups to avoid hordes of consumers eager to trample me to death over the last nightmare-inducing talking toy or Golden Girls boxed set. I’ve so lost my way in this corporately co-opted “season” that I can barely be bothered to think of anything I actually need, aside from quality alone time with “The Talkening” so I can put my gaming OCD to rest over that electronic abortion. Seriously, Bioware needs to hemorrhage a few more folks, most especially anyone who had anything to do with the percentage of dialogue versus the percentage of action that DA2 has (75% vs. 10%…there’s walking too). In the local parlance, “it ain’t what it used to be.”

While few people really want to hear extended tales of my youthful exploits that don’t involve me adding to an impressive adolescent scar collection, or teaching my brother to fear every waking moment, it should be noted that I wasn’t always looking for the nearest fallout shelter with internet access and console gaming around this time of year. I was once a doe-eyed holiday youth like any other.

Between my grandparents and my aunt & uncle, Christmas always seemed like something out of one of those pop-up books where the decorations come alive and everyone is smiling. For many years, my uncle actually had one of the coolest tree skirts: an honest to goodness gingerbread village, complete with a “don’t EVER, E V E R touch that” train, pond with magnetically moving ice-skaters who only seemed to fall when nobody was around to watch the giant mutant hand deliver digital justice (get it?), and a plaster of Pairee mountain with skiers. I don’t know why, but I never felt compelled to mess with those plastic schussers. I know how bad it can suck to bite it hard on a steep, icy slope. Regardless, that tiny town, and the visit to sing songs and eat until the crying began were some of the happiest moments of my childhood.

As the distance from that life and time increased, so did, by an inverse proportion, my desire to do anything even remotely festive. Achebeyo and I even started one of the laziest traditions ever not long after we first met: the Christmas Chair. As the name might vaguely suggest, it was a chair…for Christmas. As a concession to the mandatory color scheme, we threw a green table cloth over it and put anything we bought for each other in it. On Christmas eve, we’d stay up all night watching the same two or three DVDs on a 20″ tube television from 15-feet away, and then wake up with stiff necks and back pain to open our gifts. Hey, it worked for us. I’ve since been convinced that one (new each year) tiny concession toward seasonal tolerance WILL be implemented. Ah, the wonders of couple-hood.

Occasionally, we’ll get an invitation to spend time with my father and his wife (and sometimes other semi-homeless people he’s more than a little worried about) on Christmas. I have to admit, while I would normally be quite comfortable concocting a previously unknown bowel disaster to stay glued to the couch and whatever game I’ve been fortunate enough to be gifted, spending time with my dad is fun. As you may or may not have noticed from his comments here and there on this blog, he’s one funny paternal monkey. I see where I get all this awesome from. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that he has the power to remind me that this time of the year isn’t all about buying things and feeling as if love should be measured in return receipts and credit ratings. It’s about being able to write a humorous tale or two the day after about everything that made someone (even if it wasn’t me) laugh.

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3 Comments on “Holi-what?”

  1. Narf Says:

    I hope this isnt a deal breaker, but I LOVE Christmas, tinsel, colored lights on onament crammed trees, pine garland and glitter on every available surface, beautifully wrapped gifts (not necessarily expensive) and tons of food, cocktails, family and booze soaked fruit cake 🙂 I AM lucky to come from a large and loving herd and it wouldnt be Christmas for me if I couldnt be in the middle of them 🙂

  2. Harry P Says:

    You Cynical Grinch

  3. Katie Says:

    The Golden Girls have a boxed set???!

    Made. My. Day.

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