December 23, 2017 by Renee
It is upon us; the end of another year. Before the obligatory New Year, New Me post, I want to share a few Christmas traditions in our family and wish you all a happy holiday, however you celebrate.
Our Christmas traditions begin with the shopping. Usually, Kurt and I like to put off buying anything until the VERY LAST MINUTE. I’m talking week of Christmas, two or three days to get all the things we need kind of thing. Most years we’re shopping on Christmas Eve, or the 23rd at the earliest, and freaking out because that one thing one of our kids wanted is sold out. I mean, HOW CAN THAT BE? We only waited until almost Christmas to buy it.
And let’s not forget our fellow shoppers. Running around like:
We bitch and moan, but secretly, we love it. I know this now because this year we were done shopping by the first week of December and it felt all wrong. I’ve been buying bullshit gifts since then to try to recapture the exhilarating feeling of panic and despair that means Christmas has arrived. It didn’t work.
We also like to fuck with our kids. You know, hide gifts we know they’re counting on. Put stupid shit under the tree that we know they don’t need or want. Remind them every day in the months leading up to Christmas that WE HAVE THE POWER NOW and they must conform or get the opposite of what they asked for.
Now, the kids are pretty confident we’ll try to make them happy at Christmas, but they’re not entirely sure, so this age-old game of be good or else still works (they’re 19, 18 and 13 now). Yes, yes, I know this is cruel and you shouldn’t base Christmas presents on good behavior, blah, blah, psychology, blah, trauma, puke. Look, I was raised to behave the last few months of the year, and I’m not fucked up because of it. I’m fucked up because of other things, so my kids will survive. Also;
It’s also a tradition in my family to avoid as many Christmas dinners/parties as possible. So far, this year, we’ve avoided all of them. Thank you, job. You’re the best. We have dinner at the in-laws’ house on Christmas day, and then me and my brother’s wife usually team up to cook a dinner for my side. That won’t happen this year, (again, thank you, job), because of work and conflicting schedules.
Look, I know it’s about togetherness and whatever, but to me, Christmas is also about feeling jolly. Well, I’m jolly at home. So there. I do enjoy our family dinners once I’m there, but don’t tell anyone.
Since my kids are old enough to know the truth about Santa (when my youngest found out she informed us her whole life was a lie and refused to speak to me for an entire day), we don’t do the cookies and milk thing anymore, nor do we leave the special magic key outside for Santa to get in (we’ve never had a chimney, you see). That makes me sad. I did enjoy that. I suppose I could make them do it anyway…
Instead we buy booze and make a shit ton of food. Then we binge until we feel sick and go to bed.
Kurt and I also make a rule not to buy each other anything. I mean, if either of us wants something, we’ll just get it. Making sure our family and friends are happy is enough. However, the kids “buy” us stuff, so are we really honoring this rule?
That brings us to Christmas morning. At my house we have a long standing tradition of me being up before everyone else. My children have NEVER woke up before me. Wait… that’s a little sad, isn’t it? Hmm. Anyway, it usually goes like this:
I have to pee, so I get up and do that. Then, I say, “Oh, hello crack of dawn. Nice to see you again,” because I never sleep much past 6:00 am. I decide a coffee and some quiet time is the perfect way to start Christmas day, and I make said coffee. Half hour later, no one is awake. I start to get antsy.
Wait another thirty minutes or so, and then I’m like, “Fuck this shit,” and I go to Kennedy’s room. I turn on the light.
She usually doesn’t budge.
So, then I ask Bear (the dog who sleeps in Ken’s room) if he’d like to go outside. Usually, he doesn’t, because he’s a lazy shit who hates getting up early.
Then, I poke Kennedy until she opens her eyes and I’m all, “IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!!”
And she reluctantly gets up. Seriously, even when she was little, I had to be all “GET UP NOW!”
So now it’s just me and Kennedy, staring at each other. I’m like, “Let’s wake your sister up.”
We do this, and Courtney (sister) is all “Ugh. WHY?” but she gets up.
Now, three of us are sitting in the living room, staring at the presents, and I become Mom again and say we can’t open anything until Kurt wakes up. They’re not amused. I let them empty their stockings. This takes maybe five minutes.
So then it’s just us, staring at the presents again. I say, “I’ll take the dogs out, have another coffee, and if he’s not up after that, I’ll wake him.”
Every. Single. Year.
Weird, right? Anyway, we start making a lot of noise. Kurt doesn’t wake up because he could sleep through a hurricane and a fire, and I end up coaxing the dogs to run all over him until he opens his eyes.
And THEN it’s time to open presents.
Kurt likes to wait until everyone has opened theirs before he even looks at his. Most of the time, I have to be all “OPEN THE FUCKING THINGS,” or he’ll just keep sitting there, not opening them. So annoying.
After all of that, we cook a giant Christmas morning breakfast. My favorite part.
And then I take the tree down on Boxing Day and it’s all over.
There. What are your Christmas traditions? Any weird ones? I’d love to hear about them.