December 28, 2004

Holiday booty.

Not the rear kind, the gear kind. I'm 25, and I still go home to my parents' house every single year for Christmas, even though I live 850 miles away. It's sort of a deal between my mother and I that I will continue to do so as long as she continues to provide presents on an equal scale with when I was, say, ten years old. The fact that I'm in grad school and still have Christmas vacations helps, too. My reluctance to really grow up always proves itself to be to my benefit. We also have a running game where I steal Baby Jesus from the nativity scene and keep him until Christmas day, not to be surrendered unless there are presents for ransom. Hey, he's born on Christmas, right (allegedly)? This year, he was super-glued in there, and I wound up pulling the entire manger out of the scene, after which I had to pry the little baby out of a hell of a lot of glue. Christmas is fun on Elm Avenue. I don't even get dressed on Christmas anymore, really -- P.J. pants and something cozy on top, rarely even shoes. I'm adept at doing nothing or very little, and I really excel at it on Christmas day. Being a vegetarian in a house with ham and turkey roasting is trying, given my former affection for the latter, but there is actually a buffet of candy and cookies in the dining room at my parents' house. To say that I have some holiday weight on me right now would be to propose that "some" means "formerly merely noticable gut goes very awry in its noticeability." Gifts this year? A glass pen and ink set; American Writers at Home; assorted underthings from the GAP; The Polar Express; Bottle Rocket; a toaster oven; money and gift cards; a gift certificate to Center Stage in Baltimore; coffee; candy; "My So-Called Life" on DVD (the entire series); customized bookplates; a fascimile of the first edition of For Whom The Bell Tolls; an Edgar Allan Poe Little Thinker doll; and more items I have forgotten to list. Why so smugly materialistic? Hell, Christmas is about giving and getting presents and family and rest and eating too much good food and spreading joy to all and coming to Baltimore and doing nothing. That's what it's always been to me. Even when I was a practicing Catholic, the togetherness and presents got me more excited than the birth of Jesus. Is that wrong? I don't feel badly for having the holiday mean something to me other than what it's "supposed" to mean, even if my up-bringing was geared to getting me to remember "the reason for the season" and all that. There's really nothing "spiritual" about it for me. Why would my spirituality need a holiday to be exercised anyway?

7 comments:

vanillasky said...

I do being a big kid really well too. Having said that, so does my Dad! This year he bought a battery operated hovercraft that floats over carpet. We usually have something silly to play with on Xmas Day. I had to be relatively sensible this year as I was cooking but there's only so much being sensible you can do on Xmas Day!! I love the baby Jesus theft and ransom idea!

Pragmatik said...

A hovercraft!? Now I want one! :)

Alcarwen said...

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays... love the stealing of the Jesus idea;-)

and from my humble p.o.v., there's nothing wrong with being more excited for the family and the presents;-) i think that true spirituality doesn't need a holiday; it'd find an outlet anyways.

Stasyna said...

Talk about a god-like haul - that's a load of presents! (no pun intended)

Christmas has revolved around the western ideal of materialism and greed for some time now. Should it stop? or the better question should be: Can it be stopped? The 'stop' in question is the idea of giving and giving things of dollar value. I don't really have an issue with any of it really, I'm a huge hypocrit *hangs head in shame*. Point is, make sure you take the less-fortunate and "needy" into consideration!

Hans the Destroyer said...

Hm, sounds like you made out like a bandit- nice work. And I agree, the baby Jesus thing is a great idea. I also refuse to grow up, but it's rather hard when the rest of the family is finally getting around to it. Ah well, I'll trudge on in my own childish way!

myblog said...

I was doing a blog search for the term holiday cards to see if I could get any ideas about anything new being offered this year, or to get an idea of what others are doing. I would like to do something different than just sending the same old type of greeting card that I always have. While handmade holiday cards are a lot more expensive I’d love to find where someone is making neat ones to sell, and I would just buy fewer for some special people in my life. My keyword search brought me to Holiday booty.. While it isn’t exactly what I was looking for, I’m glad I found your site. Very interesting read! Happy Holidays!

Deb said...

I can’t believe that the stores are already selling Christmas decorations. Where has this year gone?! Pretty soon it’ll be time to send out Christmas cards. Unbelievable! I’ve been surfing around to see if anybody’s talking about the latest gift ideas for the holidays. I never know what to get my relatives, especially those far away. My keyword search led me to Holiday booty.. While your blog wasn’t exactly on topic, I really have enjoyed reading your posts. Happy Holidays!