The first time I was disillusioned by Christmas was at age 5. You see I may have been a small child but I wasn’t stupid. I figured out that Santa Clause did not really exist by means of logical deduction. For him to be real there could only be one of him, yet I saw many of him in malls. Secondly, he was fat so how the hell could he fit down a chimney and manage to emerge clean as a whistle and not make a mess. Thirdly, his elves was suppose to make my gifts and Santa was suppose to deliver them on Christmas day, yet I saw what I wanted in the toy shops and later discovered my presents, a week in advance, hidden away in my parents’ closet.
Armed with these three primary facts I confronted my mother. She fervently defended his existence up to the point when she realized I was not going to budge. She finally asked me "If Santa really didn’t exist would it spoil your Christmas?" to which I responded "Only if that meant I was not going to be getting my presents". A brief further discussion settled the matter and no family member had to impersonate Santa Clause again after this.
I find the fact frightening that Christmas advertisements and decorations start appearing as early as mid November with the full onslaught the beginning of December. It’s like a countdown to one massive shopping spree that is being forced upon me. Naturally I want to spoil my loved ones with something special; I just don’t like the pressure! Being an enormous procrastinator when it comes to Christmas shopping I always find myself in the unfortunate circumstance of having to do my shopping a couple of days before Christmas.
Reaching the mall you never find parking in under an hour and once you have, going into any mall, during this time, is like being dropped in the Amazon River during a piranha feeding frenzy. Not being fond of big crowds and being well aware that I am not the only stressed out shopper, I have noticed that this brings out the worst in people. I once saw two women actually fighting over the last Tickle-Me-Elmo toy which was all the rage for kids that year, it was a vicious fight and at the end of the day neither got the toy and security escorted them out of the shop. I too have done the same. I am not proud of it, but it’s like the demon spirit of Christmas shopping overwhelms you and you just can’t help yourself. The stress of shopping, the background music, the decorations and angst all combines to turn normal people into raging idiots with credit cards.
Christmas is all about the joy of giving, or so they say... Yes, I do enjoy giving presents and seeing the joy of the recipients. However, getting to that point is the annoying bit - I cannot gift wrap anything! In the past I have made some brave attempts but always failed as the gifts usually ended up looking as if they were in a car wreck. If the item has an odd shape never attempt gift wrapping it yourself, one such endeavor took two hours of my life which I will never get back and I can’t recall ever cursing any inanimate object that much in my life before or after that day.
Luckily I am married to a brilliantly creative man who can gift wrap a garden fork and make it look spectacular. The planning he puts into the theme, color scheme and gift wrapping accessories is just insane, and all the presents we give are uniquely branded after he’s done with them and puts all the other gifts to shame no matter what their content.
Food is the one thing I truly love about Christmas and I enjoy preparing it. This is the one thing I can honestly say I am good at during the festive season. Give me a budget, a well equipped kitchen and hungry mouths and I am quite content. Unfortunately this is also the one territory off which I am fiercely competitive and brings out the Martha Steward Bitch in me.
When the family gathers and each member have to bring a different dish, mine absolutely MUST be the best! So screw desert, screw starters and side dishes I will do the main course and it will be bloody magnificent!! Many members of my family have tried to upstage my dishes in the past and all have failed miserably, but on the upside this rivalry always makes for a fabulous feast.
I am no Ebenezer Scrooge hating Christmas as I actually love it, I just don’t like the technicalities and the buildup. But once the day arrives, all annoyances are soon forgotten and festivity fulls the air with joy and peace.
Till next time.
Jackie Beat-Santa's Baby