This year, my husband and I decided we weren’t buying each other Christmas gifts. We were just going to cut to the chase and buy our own gifts. This circumvents the lackluster present giving we are known for. I still have a snake-skin planner in the back of my closet from 2012 that has yet to be opened. We just would rather do our own thing.
The problem? The minute my husband gives me the green light to spend money, it is spent. Let’s be real, most of the time, it’s spent before he gives the all clear. So, that night I was headed to a craft fair. I had a fire in my pocket and was ready to make it rain.
One of my brother and my’s favorite stories of our childhood is how every holiday season, without fail, my mother would lose her ever loving shit on us and scream, “MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS!” She would proceed to slam her bedroom door shut and, I assume, cry into wrapping paper for the next three hours.
As a child, all I could think was, “What a flipping psychopath! What mother screams f-bombs during Jesus’s birth month!? What is the number for CPS? This woman cannot be trusted with children.”
Now, as a mother, I have come out of my self-indulgent fugue state and remember things a bit more accurately. I remember laying like King Caesar on the couch, covered in chocolate covered cherries, watching TRL while my mother sweated and hurled box after box of decorations up from the basement. I craned my neck around her as she twitched with rage while the tree fell down for the seventh time and I shushed her so I didn’t miss a minute of Britney’s latest album release.
I remember her holding it together as she gingerly unwrapped each Christmas ornament from the prior 15 years, remembering how sweet her swine of children once were. I also recall the rubber band of sanity snapping in her brain as the dog lifted it’s leg on the ornaments and my brother and I guffawed with gaping mouths of taco Doritos while my poor mother lost her ever-loving shit.
We deserved much more than one violent, “Merry fucking Christmas.”
In an all-encompassing “what goes around, comes around,” I am now the mother. I am not just the mother of two hideously unappreciative heathens, but four. Well, I will admit, mine are still little and Christmas joy prances across their faces quite merrily still. But, the holiday rage is still bred into my veins.
The questions on locale for the holiday parties start around August. Where do we have Christmas this year? Is the million dollar question you don’t want to answer. It’s not just one party, either. It’s LOADS of parties.
The choice is yours.
Do you want to scream “Merry fucking Christmas!!!!!!” every day as you scrub feces off the baseboard in anticipation for guests. OR do you want to scream “Merry fucking Christmas!!!!” into your pillow as you wake Christmas morning and think about stuffing three pairs of chubby legs into three pairs of tights and then those same legs into snow pants and then into car seats and drive at least an hour one way with your vehicle busting at the seams with: crushed gifts, spilling side dishes, pack and plays, toys, diaper bags, eight month old french fries and a sleeping husband?!
Pick very carefully.
Then, there’s the joys of 24/7 sugar highs the entire month of December. Everywhere you look is someone shoving a sugary treat in your childrens’ yaps. The threats of calling Santa lose their muster around December 2nd and Mom is back losing her shit like normal. Riding the sugar high roller coaster daily with four kids should deserve some sort of Medal of Honor.
What about trying to get four equally fair Christmas lists? You know what my son wants for Christmas? A fucking claw machine. As in, the $3,000 machines at arcades that you can win shitty toys with after you put a kidney in the slot. He’s four so trying to get him to just “forget” about the claw machine is never.going.to.happen. That’s super easy to pull off.
So, there’s the stress of managing an Amazon wishlist under your covers because kids are for sure always sleeping with you and there’s nowhere to hide. You add one pencil to one list and you HAVE to add three more pencils to the other three lists or this will be the one thing that sends them to therapy for their entire 30’s. You may be running on 45 seconds of sleep and dreaming about a Black Friday killing spree, but you’re ready.
Then, you wake up Christmas morning at 2:30 am because kids don’t know about clocks and you went to bed at 2 am so that should be plenty of sleep. You crawl down the stairs muttering, “Merry Fucking Christmas” with each creaky step. You swear to yourself this is the last year you put yourself through it. Next year will be different. Next year we are taking on the Asian minimalist life and everyone gets a rubber band for Christmas and they will LOVE IT! We won’t leave the house the entire month of December and our Christmas tree will be OUTSIDE so there’s no needles being pooped out.
But, it never fails, every damn year their little eyes explode with happiness. Your old, hardened Grinch heart shatters into a million pieces. You record so many videos your phone is full but you don’t give a shit. So, you giggle with pure glee as you snap photos of them up to their eyeballs in wrapping paper. You silently sob as they scream, “Thank you, Santa!” You swallow 367 lumps in your throat as your husband wraps his arm over your shoulder, hands you a coffee and whispers, “Great job.”
These are your little MIRACLES! Look at how precious my family is! And GRATEFUL! They are such blessings from the great Lord above! Praise you Jesus on this glorious day!
And that’s how they get you. Merry fucking Christmas, moms. You’re gonna need it.
Tell me about the times you completely lost it during the holidays in the comment section!
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Today was a day I was rendered speechless as a parent. Thanks, in all parts, to a Walmart Tranny Claus.
The day started with two items on the agenda: 1. Driving an hour away to see a famous Christmas light display and 2. See Santa.
There was a Santa scheduled to appear at the Christmas light show, but after a quick search on their website I discovered Santa was quite the swindler. I mean, $20 for a picture and that’s one picture? They had packages on their topping $60-$100 dollars. Santa better have his bag o’ tricks stuffed with more than a germy lap for those prices.
Maybe I am just spoiled. Last year, when we lived on the West Coast we had a glorious experience with a FREE Santa. This Santa’s birth certificate said Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, for sure. The urge for me to curl into his lap and whisper wishes of naps and free boob lifts was cataclysmic. He was the real deal. The photographer was a professional. There was warm milk and cookies. It WAS The North Pole.
Here’s a reminder of last years’s picture:
Now, the kids look like I just slapped them in a weird man’s lap, but if you look past that you can see this Santa is no joke.
Let’s get back to today…
I was not about to drop a hundred to get a snapshot of my kids looking weirded out in anyone’s lap, no matter how authentic their garb and personal aura. So, I Googled “free Santa” and found, miracle of all miracles, there was to be one this very day at the local Walmart! Now, with hindsight being 20/20, I should have preemptively known that Walmart Santa was really never going to live up to the sugar plum fairies dancing in my head, but I was too far gone. We were going to see Walmart Santa.
I quickly got the kids in complimentary Christmas-colored clothing, put ribbons in hair, and made them actually bathe in fear the camera will pick up dirt rings and we were off. We pulled into Walmart and eagerly darted inside. My first “sign” of things being less than authentic could have been the handwritten, half-warped sign at the door claiming Santa was inside for free. But, hey, I am not Princess Diana. I can redneck with the best of the Walmart Santas, so I am not above Walmart Santas.
The sign, as eye-catching as it was, did not say where Santa’s over-sized arse was located in the Super Walmart. He was just there…somewhere. As we dove into the packs of Walmart shoppers I flagged down an employee.
“Hi, could you tell me where Santa is?” I asked.
She looked at me like I asked where they kept their live ponies and her stare continued for five to ten grueling seconds when she pointed to lawn and garden. Hmmm…not as romantic as the North Pole, but, again, I am trying to embrace this situation.
As we stroll up to Lawn and Garden, I am expecting a line clear to the grocery section. I mean, free Santa at Walmart just screams mass chaos. But, no, we walked right in and right to the front of the line.
As I’m quickly stripping the coats off the kids I’m catching glances over to ol’ Father Christmas and wondering if this is a small Asian man with a fake beard and a tremendous amount of stuffing packed into his velour ensemble. Now, I’m not above an Asian Santa — so I quickly usher the kids onto the bench next to Santa and take in the full picture.
Yes. This was a woman and not even a more masculine woman. This was a tiny, butterfly of a woman packed into a Santa suit with a voice as frail and feminine as my grandmother.
Maybe they won’t notice?
So, I just played along. But, what else could I do? I had to force this farce down my children’s throats because there was no turning back. We were in too far.
This female imposter made a wonderfully sweet Mrs. Claus. But, the more she talked, the more questions I could see dancing across my son’s face. After we wrapped up, my son (who is three, by the way, I don’t know who you think you’re fooling, Walmart) asked me, “Mom? Why does Mrs. Claus have a beard? Where’s Mister Claus? Why was Mrs. Claus in his clothes?”
“She just let herself go a little bit this year, honey. But, don’t worry, she’s going to tell Santa exactly what you want.”
So, now my kids think Mrs. Tranny Claus is a transvestite and have the photograph to prove it. Now, I feel like this might come up in a future therapy session.
So, being pregnant with twins AND in my first trimester right up until the holidays is quite fun. Nothing like double the feeling of: nausea, heartburn, pure, bone-numbing exhaustion and raw, unedited emotion just in time to see your entire family.
I’ve harnessed this tornado of emotional and physical pain into a letter to my man, Santa Claus. Please, I’ve been remotely good? I am begging you.
So much poop. As I have told everyone, including my hairdresser and someone I scared by the cucumbers at the store, I have to poop. No, I NEED to poop. Being pregnant slows all trains to Poopsville down to a crawl and the exit is fruitless at best. I want an ate-Taco-Bell-all-night-and-drowned-it-with-tequila sized poop. So many things are happening internally right now, but poop is not one of them.
A longer fuse. I have noticed my husband’s white-eyed, twitchy glances towards me when I enter a room. This is similar to a rabbit in a bush next to 5,000 foxes. He is afraid and I don’t blame him. The rage in me is hideous. Out of dish soap? I’m going to lose it. Favorite yoga pants are dirty? Watch the fuck out. Scandal is on Thanksgiving hiatus and I was unaware? SWAT team, now.
The ability to puke until my eyes bleed, then eat until I cry. This might be a tall order. But, daily I just wish I could retch this nausea completely gone and then stuff my mouth, ears, eyes, etc with egg rolls. Can’t this be a thing?
A dishwasher. Sure, this is a tangible object. However, I do need to voice that it is December 1st and I am still working through the casserole dishes from Thanksgiving. Scraping congealed, slightly burnt (sorry, Mom) green bean casserole for hours while simultaneously dry heaving should be sent to Guantanamo as a new torture strategy.
So many tissues. Kleenex is obsolete in my house due to the fact that I cried for four hours this week after my husband asked me to fold some laundry.
A vice. Booze? Nope. Trampolines? Na-da. Sushi? Out of the question. Cigarettes? This isn’t Mad Men. What is a pregnant woman to do if she can’t drink wine and smoke at the trampoline sushi bar? How am I supposed to “celebrate” the upcoming Armageddon of having four kids under five?!
An internet filter. When I’m pregnant, I have an incredibly hard time not wanting to kill everyone on the internet. I will write seething letters of semi-hatred to people I would normally ignore. I spent way too many hours (or maybe NOT ENOUGH!? See, there I go again.) one night hating the woman who was photoed duct taping her sweet, helpless chocolate lab’s mouth shut.
More time. Santa, let’s just cut to the chase. Shouldn’t you be pregnant for 18 months with twins? I mean, I’m no scientist, but this shit makes sense. I’m not ready. HOW IS THIS GOING TO WORK?!
So, Santa, I will be waiting patiently at about one minute past minute on Christmas morning for your arrival. I will be the one crying on the toilet in dirty pajamas.