Tonight I was grateful to find a free seat on the bus stop bench; I collapsed into it, world-weary from a day of working holiday season retail. As a decidedly Grinch-y rain drizzled all around, I wolfed down a Walgreen’s hummus snack pack. From across the intersection, a woman berated her companion for guiding her by the arm into oncoming traffic, in a crosswalk. She wondered whether he was born “with dicks for brains.” The children next to me in cartoon character-branded parkas squabbled over who was “being the bigger bitch” (it may have been a draw). To my immediate left, a man drew his lady close, embracing her from behind, as he wondered aloud to the heavens, “Is this bus ever coming? It needs to get here quick, I’m tryin’ to FUCK!”
His lady giggled. Charmed, I’m sure.
It was in that sublime, shining moment that I too understood the magic of Christmas in the city.
Today on our doorstep I found a large package from a small town in Kansas. The box was covered in $2 and $4 stamps, to make sure it reached its intended destination. I immediately recognized it as the place my father taught music at the town’s one school, in between his college and seminary years. I peeled the cardboard open to unleash a bouquet of stale cigarette smell. Inside I found five fleece blankest crafted especially for each member of our family.
The adult daughter of my dad’s “surrogate mother” during his Kansas years has been keeping up with news of our family. Based on what she knew of us, she picked the pattern for each blanket. On each present was a personalized name tag, in the artist’s own script.
My sister (16) had a purple volleyball print, with a purple-marble reverse side; the most demure. My father’s blanket is an array of band instruments in a sea of burgundy. My brother’s (19) blanket is literally a pile of puppies; no background color just puppy faces stacked in an Escher-esque tribute. My mother’s blanket is an endless garden gazebo scene, with Victorian angel-babies walking with bunnies. The words “Faith, Hope, and Love” give the piece a clear message. My blanket, as you can see, is a baby-blue sky peppered by rainbows and music notes. The delicate underbelly of this blanket is a coral dream.
Obviously, no matter what I open Christmas morning, it can’t top this.
My father is downstairs:
Also he called me three times in a row from two different numbers and texted me to find out where I was. I am twenty one years old.
That no bastard ever won the War for Christmas by dying for his dogma.
He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his dogma.
-Gen. Kris Patton on the War on Christmas
Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen should be together all the time. They should get marriaged. Their progeny would be triplets named “Lonnie,” “Omarion,” and “Laura.”
Please watch this.
It’s Christmas. Fill my dash with Home Alone GIFs, Tumbles.