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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