My standard for Christmas spirit is so high, that it has officially turned me into a giant Christmas asshole monster.
Pretty much any time anyone comes at me with some bullshit between the months of October and January, I kick them in the achilles and scream something about Christmas spirit. I take it incredibly seriously. Almost too seriously. I can't tell you how many times I have grumbled... "well merry effin christmas to you, too". To motorists, customers, best friends, husbands, parents, children in the street, etc.
For me, it never honestly had much to do with the gift getting. Sure, my Care Bears bed tent and Frosty the snowconemaker kicked serious ass....but I remember so many other things being what really made me look forward to Christmas.
1. My parents would give us money to buy them presents. This is coming from two people who literally never buy themselves anything. That ten bucks in our hand was our free ticket to the self esteem ride of the century:
"Look, Matthew, I got Mom this badass keychain that changes colors when you blow on it. She's going to love me so much that my hair will fall out of my head."
"I don't think Mom likes keychains, Mary. I got Dad a calendar with Elvis and Sharpei puppies. He's going to think I'm such a good son, that he's just going to kick you in the side of the brain"
We were always wrong. I still, to this day, have never gotten them that one gift that they never knew they really wanted. I promise, Wendy and Steve, one day. Don't die soon.
2. All the rules went out the window. Also, I could do things I wasn't supposed to do and then hide them real quick and say "Don't ask questions! It's Christmastime!" I only specifically remember using this advantage one time...when my mom walked in on me playing Barbies...... when I was.....12. I was so beyond mortified that that is what I was doing instead of watching Home Improvement and counting my nee pubic hairs. It annoyed the hell out of my mom, too.
"What were you doing? You look like you just got caught doing something."
"what? No I was just flossing my cavities"
"What's going on? I'm serious, what are you hiding?"
"MOOOOoooooom. It's Christmastime! You can't any questions. helllooooooo!"
"Mary, it's October and when would you have had time to buy me a present? And with what money?'
"I am not answering any more questions because it will give it all away, SILLY LITTLE GOOSEY"
I spent the next 2 months racking my brain trying to think of a gift I could give her to back up my story. Not realizing, as I do now that I am a Mother, she was probably franctically searching through my drawers while I was at school, looking for my crack pipe or lesbian porn that I am sure she thought I was hiding.
No, Mom. It was just a Barbie. She was going to prom. I just didn't have very many friends.
3. My brother is less than a year older than me, so it was always double the presenty fun for me. Especially since I was pretty much a dude. I loved sports and racecars and video games. Brother bear always gave in to me too...which thankfully hasn't messed him up TOO much in our older years. I never had to use up my presents by asking for a playstation...because clearly he would get it and then be forced to share it with his sweet younger sister. IT didn't go both ways (at least I don't think it did.) He never wanted to use my electronic diary or BabyPoopsHerself.
4. The music. It's insane. I don't know how all you heartless people don't break into tears and garland when you hear Celebrate me Home by Kenny Loggins. I can't understand how everyone doesn't blast Brenda Lee's songs about sad bells and marshmallows and rockin the Christmas tree. I looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove Christmas music.
5. We would always adopt a family. I remember getting to pick out a coat for a girl the same age as me, and it was more fun than picking out something for myself had EVER been. I can't explain the kindness most kids have in their stinky little souls at Christmas! It's mind-blowing. They just want everyone to feel as happy as they do, even if its only temporary materialistic happiness.
I have passed this tradition on to my own family. Last year Adrian got to pick out a boom box for a child his age. Even husband with one T got in on the spirit.. "Shasta says here she likes fur stuff. This girl is gonna love the shit out of those boots!"
This year, even though our fundage is lacking, we adopted a family of 3. I kept scrolling through the bigger families that weren't getting adopted and wished so much that we could do it. There was one family of 8, and 6 of those 8 people were elderly. Uch. Sorry, I'll stop.
Long story short, I thought if I could get my work to adopt a family, then we could all donate and take over one of the bigger families. I ran it by the higher-ups and sent out an email asking for everyone to donate just $20 for a family of five to have a Christmas they otherwise couldn't have. Donations were due in 6 days. By day 5, we had $60. I cried all the way home. I took it personally, "Does everyone hate me that much that they aren't willing to donate money to a family that needs COATS AND SHOES AND BACKPACKS, simply because it has my name on it?" (Hence the "too much" Christmas Spirit I mentioned above)
The next day, after a reminder email was sent out, everyone stepped up. They donated almost 400 dollars and our company matched it. I got to spend 800 dollars on a family of 5 that had only asked for coats, shoes, warm clothes, and backpacks. Well. We took those requests and met them, then took the remaining 600 dollars and went batshit crazy on present buying! These kids are going to have a bettter Christmas than anyone I know! As corny as it is....I hope it will make them believe in Santa Claus. Because Santa is the one who brings this kind of crazy awesomeness.
I hope no one gets into any sort of physical or verbal altercation this yuletide. It seems to be rampant on Facebook. The moral of the world is, "Remember when everyone else is wrong, just flip them off and go buy some less fortunate children some warm shit and some fun shit"
Mary Christmas to my favorite followers and readers!