I have never been much of a Christmas person. Give me Halloween any day over Christmas. I’ve never been a very religious person, so the whole “Jesus being born” thing is kind of lost on me. (Please see the awesome atheist billboard American Atheists put up just outside the Lincoln Tunnel) But I digress.
Christmas, as with most non-costume wearing holidays, are about family. And presents. Ah, capitalism at its finest…again, I digress, but seriously folks, Christmas for me is about being at home with your family and celebrating what we have. It’s not always much of anything, but hey, we’ve got each other.
When my father retired a couple years ago, he cleaned out his desk and brought home a bunch of stuff that he’d amassed over the years…one of them, a Christmas list that was delivered to Santa in 1989. It reads, and I quote:
9 DEC 89
Dear Santa Claus,
My name is Elyse and I am three years old. I am being a good girl.
I want a choo-choo train, a car, and a baseball bat, a dancing doll, a Dorothy doll, books, a Bambi video, some clothes and another doll and a Rescue Rangers doll.
I am still waiting for that baseball bat, Santa.
In fact, I don’t remember if I got anything off my list that year – hell, I was three, what do I remember? – but I remember waking up on Christmas morning, rifling through my stocking, and getting Mom and Dad up stupidly early just so I could open my presents under the tree and drink egg nog. The good shit, not the boozy stuff.
Every year with only a few slip-ups (like the year I got everyone sick at my sister’s birthday party and we had Chinese food for Christmas by ourselves), we’ve had Christmas over my aunt and uncle’s. We have some kind of fancy meal and most importantly, rice pudding. The rice pudding is our insane Christmas tradition, where we eat a giant bowl of rice pudding in search of an almond sliver that’s been slipped inside. The winner gets a prize…usually a box of candy or a puzzle game, but still – it’s tradition, and we go big or go home in these parts.
So bring it on, Christmas. I’ve got a thermos of hot cocoa and some shiny pants.