Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summertime Christmas

So for some reason, even though we are currently living right in the heart of the dry, pounding, scorching, tan-in-until-you-get-cancer, heat of July, I'm reminded of Christmas. But I'm not talking about sleigh bells and mistletoe, or good cheer and new veneers, or Jesus going from chimney to chimney leaving gifts for parents. I'm not even talking about the celebration of the birth of Santa Claus. I'm talking about the day after Christmas. Or well, maybe a week or two after Christmas.

If I was ever afraid of one thing during my high school years, it was the dreaded but inevitable question, "so what did you get?" I tried to duck that inquiry like Sarah Palin obviously ducked speech class (and english class....... and geography class...you get the point.) But even with my best efforts, I was still always confronted  by this unwanted wallet measuring contest. You see, though I went to a private high school, freshman and sophomore year I was living in a homeless shelter with my mom (a fact only two other people in the school were aware of). Junior and senior year, I was just happy to NOT be living in a homeless shelter. So when this conversation about wintry indulgences came up, I uhhh didn't really have a whole lot to add to the discourse. If I were forced into a class about extravagant gifts received on holidays; I would've Sarah Palined that bitch.

When I was finally cornered and left with nothing to do but talk to my friends about said subject, the dialogue went like so:

  • Friend: "...I got a new truck. Like a real one that you ride in and shit; not a Tonka. We went skiing, and I got a new snowboard, my sister got some new titties, and I got a couple Gs to hold onto for a rainy day. So what'd you get?"
  • Me: "Ehhh I got a little this, little that. Cool shit, you know. Just a lil' something.....  Yeahhhhh some cool shit; So how bout this weather huh?"
Awkward much? I think so. But the conversation going inside my head went like this:

  • Friend: "...I got a new light-saber. Like a real one that you cut muthafuckas with; not one made by Fisher Price. We went to Cabo and drank bloody mary's off of strippers' cleavage, my sister got a new nose, and I got a couple G's to hold onto for a rainy day. So what'd you get?"
  • Me: "What did I get? I got ELECTRICITY! Like real electricity where the lights turn on and off with this little switch. Its fucking crazy man, you gotta see it. Oh and we just got this thing, its big, and soft and you sleep on it. Its a like a cot but WAYYYYY better. Cool shit man, I got some cool shit. Best. Christmas. Ever.
This dynamic is one of the chief reasons that I never really want anything. I am a terrible person to buy a gift for because I truly have no idea what I would ever want. I've grown accustomed to not receiving much on big holidays and I don't really mind it. The unique, thoughtful ones are always the most memorable anyway. Get me an intense workout, a comic and a beer (in that order) and I'm cool. Honestly, though I have lived through some very, very rough holidays, I can't front and say I was incredibly off the wall happy, but I was always safe, and loved. My mom however, she did know what she wanted for Christmas. One year while we were in the shelter she asked my brother and myself for one thing: a good deed. She asked that we do something selfless, no matter how small, for another person (yes my mom is awesome). So me, I took the little cash I had and bought dinner for the homeless people who lived outside of the homeless shelter (lol ironic I know). Best. Christmas. Ever.

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