Yesterday, we explored the emotional resentment that the gift of a Paul Smith jacket can dredge up. Then you shared your stories! This season is truly about failing to connect with our loved ones.
Wow! There are so many. When I was ten years old I asked my mom why we didn't just invite the police over at Christmas time, since they were called to our house every year. But my favorite was when my mother and sister got into a huge fight on Christmas morning, and they wound up destroying all the Christmas presents to spite each other. So when I saw "Female Trouble," and the classic scene of Dawn Davenport beating up her parents on Christmas day and destroying the tree - well, to me that was a documentary.
The first Christmas after I was married my new hubby gave me a multi pack of Cracker Jack from Costco. I was ripping through the Cracker Jack boxes, dumping them out looking for the "prize" that no doubt was my real present. He sat there, slacked jawed, watching me dump box after box of sticky, Carmel covered popcorn and peanuts on the floor. When I had finally finished pouring them out, finding nothing out of the ordinary, I looked at him and before I could ask he said, "What the hell? I spent $4.89 on that stuff, you could have at least dumped it in a bowl!
Two years ago, a boyfriend gave me cocaine. I do not like cocaine. He proceeded to snort all 2 grams of said cocaine off my dead grandfather's antique table. We are no longer together.
One year my aunt got an ugly pink sweater from my uncle, and even though she wore it all Christmas Day she looked really sad about it. I found out When I Got Older that Christmas morning she had ALSO found, not under the tree, a receipt for the jewelry he had bought his secretary. Who he was fucking.
My mother gave me an iced tea maker when I was fifteen. I took her kitchen appliance gift giving as a hint that she already wanted me to move out of the house.
Apparently—who knew?—pets have the habit of dying around holiday times.
Solo was a tough cat to love. Very skittish, very much a loner (hence the name.) But when we found him curled up in the laundry basket. Well, it was not a pleasant Christmas morning at 33 Brayton.
"Mine died on New Year's morning. Since we're telling dead pet stories...the first Christmas I went to visit my husband's family out on the farm, they were all outside chopping wood or hunting or whatever farmers do so I was alone in the house. The cat came bounding downstairs with what I thought was a toy in its mouth, but turns out it was the brother's hamster. Poor thing was still twitching when the cat finally dropped it at my feet. Later that night, after a proper hamster burial (via flushing), the brother thought he'd give the dog a treat, and left a pan that contained greasy drippings from the holiday ham next to the dog's food dish. The dog, a small dachsund, ate all of it and died that night. Two dead pets, one very strange welcome to the family Christmas.
Two years ago my cat died on Christmas Day— curled up on my bed in his usual spot. For the next few days, everytime I'd look at this stupid little embroidered pillow I had hanging from the doorknob that read "Santa I've been a very good cat," I'd burst out sobbing.
And now, a tale from our own holiday treasure-trove. It's called The Legend of Some Uncle Shooting the Ornaments Off the Christmas Tree with a BB Gun After Too Much Eggnog.