I have never been one to ‘hate’ Christmas.
In complete reality I’d say I am pretty much an all-out all-star when it comes to this festive season. I drag out the cheerful decorations at an appropriate December 5th date- I am not one of the diehards that garnish my home with thousands of lights and blow-up Saint Nick paraphilia starting November 1st. No, I’m a class act broad and in turn keep my paper chains classy too.
I do my part in donating during the holidays to ensure everyone can enjoy in this jovial time of year. So you certainly can’t call me a scrooge. I’ve made celebratory preserve baskets to gift to people this year. I wrote my Christmas cards. I even enjoy the odd Christmas carol.
The point is I rock at Christmas. It is something I pride myself in- I’m actually good at it. So again I will dare to say, I have NEVER and NEVER will be one of those grumpy Gus’ whom hate Christmas time.
I just won’t do it.
I must be stuck in a goddamn lucid dream. This cannot be reality- there is a kitten in a top hat playing the piano in my mother’s basement. I am sitting on the floor cross-legged and juvenile admiring this tabby’s incredibly deft…paws?
But it is not this sight or the fact that he plays Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer in perfect tenor on the baby grand that allows me to recognize that I am dreaming. No, it is the fact that my brother, Dustin, hangs upside-down and ominous in the far left hand corner of the room staring at me vehemently…Sort of like this:
To make matters worse he is humming Santa Clause is Coming to Town as he holds that stare. He drones the tune alarmingly well.
What does he hang upon? You may be asking yourself at this time (because if you aren’t I’d be wondering what’s wrong with you). Well he is suspended by the shiny tinsel that mimics a string of web coming out of his bulbous rear end. My brother’s bottom half currently resembles that of an awfully decorated Christmas spider. There he is glowering. Humming his Christmas tune. Just glowering and humming.
I feel unnerved.
I know this is a dream, I know it will end eventually. But I am unable to end it myself- I am trapped. The room flickers and before I know it there are green and red Christmas lights flashing all around me, reminiscent to a motherfucking Christmas disco scene. The two different songs coming at me (from the cat’s piano and my half-arachnid brother) are driving me mad and then the cat’s head begins to eerily turn to face me in a how-is-that-not-snapping-its-neck unnatural way.
I hear something- someone making their way down the flight of stairs to my right. I try to yell out to them for help, or maybe to warn them not to enter into this room of holiday hell. The words are lost because as I open my mouth I am stunned into submission when 3 French hens come flapping out. I didn’t even know they were in there in the first place.
What is happening?
Then 10 men who are dressed in fancy pantaloons liquefy through the walls and begin a unified ballet of sorts. They leap to and fro as if it is the one thing they had ever been meant to do. I am struck on the head THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP with five large and substantially heavy rings. But it isn’t until I hear the drums begin to wail in the stairwell that I realize I am living out the 12 days of Christmas.
‘Tis the season to be institutionalized.
I glance to my brother to see if he is seeing this all too. He is. And he is still a spider only now he has switched from Santa Claus Is Coming To Town to Feliz Navidad and he uses his hands to dance- inspiring a ‘festive’ sort of vibe.
WAKE UP!!!! I scream to myself but to no avail. I begin to panic more than a little because what if I am stuck in this insanity forever? What if this is my punishment for being so awesome at Christmas- to live in an eternal loop of yuletide shenanigans.
A woman in rags approaches me. 7 other women looking identical trail her and all of them hold a large sweating glass of milk in their hands. She leans in close to me, too close for comfort as I can taste the putrid hint of dairy all over her warm breath as it hits my nose.
She then begins to blurt out Jingle Bells- but with a sort of lisp and extremely off key.
I shut my eyes tight and try to imagine a better place. An anti-Christmas place. I can’t take it anymore. The seizure inducing lights, the imposter family members, the scandalous excuse for a reproduction of The Twelve Days of Christmas- It is all absurdity!
Suddenly all goes quiet expect for the sounds of Jingle Bells being exhaled upon my tense façade. I open my eyes and there is Sophie and inch away from my sleep filled eyes. I am in my bedroom. Husband sleeps soundly next to me.
There is not a fucking Christmas Decoration as far as the eye can see.
And I realize it’s never too late to say, NEVER.