So, it's that time of year again. Time for mommy and daddy Claus to bust their humps and give all the credit to our favorite rouge attired burglar. Merry f'in Christmas, everyone.
I am already wiped out and it's not even Christmas Eve yet. December 26th, I will be like the Native American guy from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. I am gonna stare into space, sit on the couch and drool.
You see, Christmas is a magical time of year. For children.
They build Gingerbread houses (which we have to construct "GOD DAMN IT! It collapsed AGAIN!"), eat delicious Christmas cookies (which by the end of the cookie baking, get more and more burnt because the amount of shits given have rapidly decreased), use the power of advanced technology to watch the same Christmas show over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over (you will burn in the fires of hell, Christmas Spongebob!), go to bed on Christmas Eve in their sweet little Christmas jammies (that another adult had to pay to ship to and I had to make sure to wash so that had them to wear) and fall asleep listening to the sounds of what must be Santa (or, you know, two delirious adults, who hate wrapping paper so fucking much at this point that they end up on the deck at 3am, lighting rolls of it on fire).
Christmas is also magical for childless adults, for whom it means quasi-drunk office parties, exchanging presents that they actually like with friends and two weeks of glorious unadulterated fucking around.
But for adults with LITTLE children, Christmas can be hellish. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the cocoa and presents and watching The Grinch 8,000 times (cause I tune it out somewhere around the third time). And I like the end result of baking cookies, crafting and sending Christmas cards. It all LOOKS so magical. When it's over and you can finally breathe.
But, it's in the process of PREPPING for the holidays that you lose your mind. Especially when you are a CRAFTY parent of little children and get the stupid idea that you are going to MAKE all your gifts this year. Our house has become a veritable Christmas assembly line at this point in the season. We ARE Santa's workshop. Crafting and cookie baking and Christmas card address writing. I feel like a fatter, disgruntled, sore-armed Martha Stewart. My apologizes if whatever I send you is smudged from splashes of wine.
I like making thing. No, that's not a typo. I mean THING. As in, ONE. Once it becomes a dozen that have convinced myself to make, it gets tedious. And the kids start begging to help (destroy everything completely) and I have to give them their own projects to do. Which just results in my supervising kid's projects all day and then tucking kids into bed, and then sitting down and staring at a pile of unfinished business. And staying up until 2am to finish crafting crooked, bleary-eyed versions of whatever they were meant to be.
So, basically what I want to say is, if someone gives you something homemade for Christmas, be grateful. Because they have stayed up inhumane hours to make 20 (or more, God bless them) of these. They have definitely not had a meaningful conversation, or looked anyone in the eye for over a week. They are starting to feel lonely and depressed, wondering if it will ever be over. Debated how many feet of string it would take to hang yourself. Started wondering what it was like before they learned how to macrame/cross stitch/ knit/ sew/ glue. And snarling about those bastards who could afford to just go to the store and buy stuff. They have bled, or shed tears for that craft. The only thing that is keeping them going is the thought that YOU will love what they are making.
So I don't care if it's the ugliest fucking thing you have ever seen. I don't care if you open your present and can't even tell what it's supposed to be. Because your friend/child/sibling/parent, etc. lost a part of their soul for two weeks to make that shit for you. They gained ten pounds from stress eating and are falling asleep standing up so much that they are worried they are narcoleptic. And their sanity hinges upon your approval of the gift that they made just for you.
So you thank them. With tears in your eyes. And you wear that ugly-ass sweater proudly.
And next year, as with every year, when I decide that I'm Martha f'in Stewart again, somebody slap me.