That’s right. I said it.
I used to like Christmas, but after 10 years of working retail (again, thank God for my current job), I’ve developed a hatred for most, if not all, of the holidays.
Back to School.
I can’t really explain why I hate Christmas because of my lengthy retail prison stint, but those who worked retail for any extended period of time know exactly what I’m talking about.
Now this isn’t going to be a diatribe on why Christmas sucks, I’m just letting you know my feelings on it.
However, back in my youth, I loved Christmas. Loved it. I loved the food. I loved seeing my family ( by family, I mean my Uncle Leslie and family, the rest of them I could do without). I loved making my Christmas list. And I loved opening my gifts. Especially when they were from my sister.
See, growing up, my parents always had my sister and I make lists of the things we wanted and they would buy from that list. Sure, there may have been a deviation or two from the list, but for the most part, I got most – if not all – the things on it. Some people would frown upon that, saying it’s about the thought and all that bullshit, but lets be realistic, if someone buys you something you either don’t need, don’t want or both, they weren’t being very fucking thoughtful – with a list, everyone is happy.
That said, my sister used to get me the coolest Christmas gifts ever because they were always original as hell. Some of the gifts she gave me…
A stolen stop sign. You might think that is cheesy, but she went out of her way to steal it and give it to me on the day Christ was born. That should say something.
Glasses, that when you put them on, made you feel like you were tripping. I’ve never tripped, but I can say I almost did. Got those when I was 12 or so.
A squirrel that she had shot herself, skinned herself and treated herself. You could even see the bullet-hole.
I mean sure, you look at those gifts now, they may seem cheesy. But damn, as a teenager, they rocked.
So, one year I asked her what she planned on buying me for Christmas. She was about 19 at the time, I was 16. She told me she couldn’t afford to get me anything because she wasn’t working and didn’t have any money (I guess she had outgrown larceny by this time). Since I was employeed at the time, I pulled twenty bucks out of my wallet and handed it over to her. I said, “You always buy me the best gifts, so just pick something cool out and use my money.” It’s amazing how dense I can be.
Christmas morning came around and, after all the gifts were opened, I noticed there was nothing from my sister. I was a little perplexed since I had given her the money to buy me a gift, but I just chalked it up to her not getting a chance to buy me anything yet. Either that or she was looking for the ultimate hella-cool gift and she just hadn’t found it yet.
I was wrong on both assumptions.
After about a week and no gift, I went to her and asked her about it. “I didn’t buy you anything,” she said.
“But what about the twenty dollars I gave you!” I yelled.
“Oh, that?” She laughed. “I got a carton of cigarettes with it. You can have a cigarette if you want.”
I was pissed. And the thing was, I couldn’t do anything about it. My dad found out and he just laughed at me. My mom didn’t care, either.
But it gets better.
The next year, I was smart enough not to give my sister any money to buy me any gifts, nor did I buy her anything because of her actions the year before. Yes, I hold grudges. And, yes, I’m proud of my ability to do so.
Yet, imagine my surprise when, after all the gifts had been opened and the mess cleaned up, my sister handed me an envelope.
“Merry Christmas,” she said as she walked upstairs to her room.
I opened the envelope.
Inside was a twenty.