Christmas: The Reckoning

So this was Christmas. How was yours? Did you even celebrate? Any other solstice festivities maybe? Well, anyway, it’s over now. Time to prepare for New Year’s Eve!

Hah, no, oh ye gods, can this month of festivities finally be over? I’m pretty much all broke at this point. St. Nicolas’, Christmas, Boyfriend’s birthday coming up, New Year’s. That’s a lot of stuff. Can we stop with the stuff? And then there’s January, with it’s presentations and exams, because getting a master’s degree around here means two years of jumping through hoops of shit you already did in your BA program. If I’m thirty by the time I can finally start actual work on my thesis I’m going to be so mad.

Ahem. Anyway, Christmas. Christmas wasn’t bad. Actually, I was really getting into the holiday spirit this year and of course, in the eternal irony of the universe, everyone around me turned Scrooge. I get it, we all have a lot of things to do. Like, y’know, me, what with work, school, projects, relatives needing a strong helping hand, job interviews two days before Christmas Eve, the card crafting, all the Christmas shopping and present wrapping…

Also, damn, I forgot to take pictures of the cards. I was working real hard on them, too!

Come December I made a Christmas collage to hang on the living room wall and I even got some cheap holiday lights to hang above it and on the balcony door. I was feeling uncharacteristically happy. And because I’m not as stupid as people like to think I am, of course I immediately got suspicious of this. Feeling happy is dangerous. Bad things happen when I’m happy. I don’t even like the word. When I’m happy, people die.

Which is exactly what happened, I’m not even kidding. The last I’d seen my grandfather was 15 years ago, so I don’t feel particularly sad. Hardly knew him and by all accounts he wasn’t exactly a nice person. Not even a halfway decent person. Feeling kinda bad for my mother and aunt, because even though the guy treated them like shit and they only knew from his lawyer that he died, they still feel sort of sad. I guess that’s what being related to people does to you. Fucking genetics. (Yeah, yeah, we’re not supposed to talk badly about the deceased, but come on. The truth can’t hurt them anymore.)

Ah, well. Ain’t no Christmas without a death in the family.

Anyway, it put a bit of a damper on my mood. I mean, this always happens. The minute I’m feeling slightly good, something terrible happens. It’s like my supervillain power. And I guess other people are starting to catch on, I mean, with the way everyone refuses to join me in my merriment. So I made merry mostly on my own, because shit, it’s Christmas, and I’m a motherfucking adult! And I did what I always do: I made a to-do list. It ran something like this: help aunt with shelves, get Christmas tree, finish making all the cards, wrap presents, decorate tree, do grocery shopping for long weekend, clean entire flat, mom asked to buy cake to bring on Christmas Eve, also don’t forget your job interview, here’s what you’ll be wearing, and don’t forget to wear the pretty shoes.

After I helped my aunt set up shelves in her new flat, we went to get a giant prickly tree (courtesy of my aunt by way of a Christmas present: “So I don’t have to go out and shop and you’ll have something you like!” If you read this post you know my family’s attitude already.) and once I got it home I donned my work gloves and hacked it into submission (resulting in an interesting pinprick pattern on my arms that sort of looked like a rash) until it stood somewhat upright in it’s little standy-thingie. Caused a giant mess in my living room, but hell, it’s only me who has to clean it up anyway, so who cares?

Then in the evening it was tree decorating time, which has always and will forever be my favourite part about Christmas. Because… you get to hang shiny sparkly stuff on a tree! Any other time of the year that’s considered crazy! And it’s great! I don’t know why, but then again, I can never explain why I like things. Things I don’t like, shit, let me write you a dissertation about all the reasons I think it’s stupid, but shit I like… eh, I just like it. I like hanging shiny things on evergreens. And I like to do that with another person. But I guess those times were officially over when I moved out of my parent’s place.

So I fought my way through the prickly mess to hang the lights while Resident Man Beast played the umpteenth round of whatever on his computer. Then he hung three ornaments with me while talking about wrestling for some reason, then distractedly returned to his computer to google pictures of the porn star-turned-wrestler-turned porn star who starred in the She Hulk porno while I finished the tree. I was in such a good mood I even played Christmas music.

Getting older really is a good thing. Two years ago I’d have been devastated by Boyfriend’s refusal to decorate with me. Now it’s like, fuck you then, if I want to decorate a tree, I’mma decorate a motherfucking tree! And if I decide the day before Christmas Eve is the perfect time for present wrapping because all our shit finally arrived in the post and you don’t want to lift a finger, well I’mma wrap up a storm! Glue and glitter and ribbon and paper strewn everywhere and who cares about it? Not this bitch, nuh-uh. Not until it’s time to clean up, anyway.

So in a nutshell, project Start Holiday Traditions With Your Spouse Resident Man Beast has not been successful. Unless you count Do Everything Yourself While RMB Is Burning Through Mobs as a tradition.

Grocery shopping was uneventful because it was early. I always go early, and I absolutely refuse to go on the 24th if I can help it, which I usually can. I mean seriously, let the poor retail people go home. Why don’t they make the 24th a public holiday already?

So, with supplies stocked up and presents wrapped and packed, I eagerly awaited Christmas Eve. Which became Christmas Midday as per usual, so off to the parent’s place to eat my mom’s delicious, delicious food. If you cook everyday you learn to appreciate not having to do it. And really, that’s all I really wanted for Christmas: not having to cook. And then there was cake and cookies and my stomach nearly burst and we all took a half-nap (it’s like a proper nap only you don’t sleep; you just kind of lie there thinking “I’ll never eat again in my life!”, a vow you’ll break half an hour later) because daaaamn, so much food. Then we gathered around mom’s tiny laptop and watched silly cat videos. I mean, we meant to listen to Christmas music but somehow got distracted. Though dad did try to sing “Mele Kalikimaka” and hilariously failed at it, and I got everyone hooked on “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”.

The gifts were well received. But then dad opened up mom’s present, which was an infrared thermometer, basically a thermometer for objects that are far away, looks a bit like a sci-fi gun. And I got Boyfriend his much coveted sonic screwdriver. They spent the rest of the night in fierce battle.

I got some awesome t-shirts, a cute tiny chocolate fondue cup thingie and my all-time favourite, cold hard cash, courtesy of grandma because, and I quote, “living in the city is so expensive”. Oh, grandma, you have no idea. I can finally buy chicken now! Where’re all my chicken recipes at, we’re gonna feast!

So now Christmas is over, it’s only a few days until New Year’s and I already have one resolution: Lose all the weight I gained during the holidays, I put on 2 whole kilos (or 4 pounds for you imperialists). No starving in this family, that’s for sure.

Also, like I predicted, the temperature dropped sharply after St. Stephen’s Day and now we have snow. And cold. Did I mention the cold? The terrible biting cold? And the fact that I still haven’t learned how to grow a beard so my face is always cold? I mean, have I mentioned the cold? I’m sure I haven’t touched upon it, so let me tell you about the cold! It’s a real cold cold. It’s the coldest cold that ever colded since… earlier this year.

And in this cold I’ll have to venture out next week and schlepp my aunt’s new dishwasher into her new flat.

Did I mention the cold?

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