Holiday Disillusionment

By Joey Pawich and Cory Noel

I hate Christmas. Always have. You see all these movies about fun family Christmases where everyone joyfully celebrates the holiday season, but it's never like that in real life, at least not in mine.

My first Christmas memory is from the early '80's, when I was 5 or 6. Now, I had heard about Santa, mostly from my older brother, who laughed and joked that Santa was about as real as the imaginary "friends" I often spoke to. (Yeah, he sure was laughing when my "friends" ran him over with the family car a few years later!) One day, I questioned my father about how a fat guy like Santa could fit down our chimney. Well, dear old Dad, in an effort to restore my faith, tried to demonstrate the feat, only to get his leg stuck in the chimney. Firemen had to cut the leg off to free him, but nevertheless, my faith was restored: Dad was once again full of $%#@.

Shopping for gifts at the mall was another horror in itself. I remember the wave of kids rushing into the toy department, trampling everything in their path, including our neighbor's son, Pete, to get to the new Mr. T doll. Mom, an avid A-Team fan, said Pete died for "the greater good." Gee, you don't exactly see people killing themselves over Mr. T items today, do you? Mom was always saying stupid things like that. When I received a shotgun for Christmas a few years later, I remember her bitching, "Son, be careful with that, you might kill somebody." Of course I knew it was dangerous; I mean, when I accidentally killed her two days later, it was a simple mistake- I was aiming for my teacher.

Then came the family gathering. My grandparents and my Uncle Frank joined our family for dinner on Christmas Eve. Grandpa made a toast, thanking the Lord for all of us being alive and able to celebrate Christmas. It wasn't until halfway through dinner that we realized Grandma was dead, her head bowed in silence. We had thought she was just overly religious. Later, we all laughed about the irony of Grandpa's earlier statement.

Later that night, we played a game my family called "Mistletoe Mystery," where we each took turns donning blindfolds, kissing somebody, then being told who it was. To my horror, I had to play too. I unfortunately got Uncle Frank. We all laughed then, but it would become less funny years down the road when Uncle Frank got caught playing a similar game with children from his community.

As me and Mom set out the cookies and scotch (as Dad put it, "Santa likes scotch better for those long trips back to the North Pole") she told me to expect a big surprise in the morning. I went to sleep that night with visions of Trans-Formers dancing in my head. Hearing a crash, I jumped out of bed, hoping to catch ol' St. Nick in the act. Boy, was Mom ever right about the surprise! I know I sure won't forget the sight of my 350 pound mother wearing red lingerie and trying to revive Dad, who was passed out buck naked under the Christmas tree. So now the next time somebody complains about their Christmas, tell them they can meet me under the mistletoe and kiss "something else"!