You know when you’re a kid and you go to a slumber party and the scene is completely predictable.  At the boy parties, they play video games, they watch sports, they chug pop and belch loudly, they eat too much, chase each other around, wrestle around hitting each other, and somebody always gets hurt. Girl parties are a little different but there’s always one girl scared to go to the party, or somebody who thinks they don’t belong at this party, but they still chug pop and belch loudly, do each other’s nails and make-up, gossip, somebody “cool” always gets mad at somebody not cool for some made-up reason, girls divide up, they complain about boys, they don’t sleep, everybody’s tired and bitchy, and somebody ends up crying in the corner for attention.  Unfortunately, it ain’t no different on Jesus’ birthday!

There’s always the person who’s scared to show up for the family holiday.  There’s always the one who thinks they don’t belong there.  There’s always plenty of people who are tired and bitchy because they didn’t get enough sleep.  There’s always a bunch of guys pounding down way too much food, putting back some beverages, watching sports, and playing video games so the women complain and gossip in the other room, and it wouldn’t be the first time that somebody was off crying in the corner over something.  All I can ask is that you be the first to offer everyone, and I do mean everyone, even Aunt Sally who told you looked like you’d gained weight at Jeanette’s wedding last summer, a figurative peace offering party hat to get in the celebratory mood.

You can look at me and think, “Is she smokin’ crack?  Why do I have to be the one who does that?”  Well, I will gladly answer that – because although everyone in the family should be that way, I only have your attention and I’m asking you to put on your big-girl panties and do the right thing (especially if you were lucky enough to get some sexy panties from somebody who loves you).  And I get it, you probably aren’t very happy with me, but if you’re over the age of 25, I’m pretty sure you heard something more than “Give Mikey his present and text me when you’re ready to leave for soccer practice.”  I’d have to wage a bet that you heard something more to the effect of, “Don’t forget to give Mikey his present.  Be respectful to his parents.  Play nice with others, and be sure to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.”  EXACTLY!  It’s not like you weren’t taught some manners.

Guess what?  It’s Jesus’ birthday and that means you need to place your gifts before him at church, or for someone in need, or in a red kettle conveniently located outside the Walmart you just dropped $300 at, but lay down your gifts in thanks.  And be respectful to his parents and yours and everybody else’s because having a kid and raising it – well it just isn’t easy to not screw that up or to not have to make sacrifices along the way. 

Your mom or dad probably told you to play nice with others, too.  So why don’t you?  Don’t give me this “Well, she never calls me.  I always have to be the one that calls her.”  And I don’t want to hear, “Mom and Dad gave him a whole bunch of money in 1987 for a new car and he wrecked it the first week he had it.”  Who cares?  I don’t.  It was a long time ago, get over it.  And do you really want me to get into your list of screw-ups?  I didn’t think so.  Not sure if you’ve heard about Jesus and what he believed in, but I’m pretty sure there was something about forgiving our sins.  Mmm… you remember that part?  Yeah, well, it’s true. 

You can’t pick your family, but somehow, some way, they were meant to be YOUR family so deal with it!  Suck it up!  They may not be your first choice, but it’s not up to you.  You get who you get.  Nobody said it would be easy or they would be perfect.  Joseph and Mary had to camp out in a stable.  Every family has hard times and every family has its share of ugly situations, but you can’t just avoid them or hate them forever.  You could, but it won’t make things better.  I am known for reminding people that they better ponder whether or not they could live with themselves if something happened to the person they are shunning.  There are always repercussions.   Didn’t you at least listen to Dr. Seuss:  Maybe Christmas,” he thought, doesn’t come from a store.” “Maybe Christmasperhaps…means a little bit more!”

Listen, I know what you’re saying.  Sister Faye’s smoking habit sure stinks up the place and Johnny’s whorebag girlfriend needs to wear a lot less perfume to hide her bedhead scent.  It’s not always easy or enjoyable.  I’ve been there for the Christmases where people were getting divorced and crying in the back bedroom.  I was there when Santa left one toy because it was a rough year.  I was also there when my niece brought a boyfriend’s dad who didn’t have any place to go because his wife and kids walked out on him the week before Christmas and the gift he got at our family Christmas after we’d known him 3 days was the “best, most accurate gift anyone had ever gotten him” which tears me up like a sappy Hallmark commercial, but you know what I’m saying.  If you’re gonna be around me, you better remember what Clark Griswold said, Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.” 

Amen! 

Pass the mashed potatoes while they’re still hot, would ya? 

P.S.  – On this Christmas Eve, let me say thank you to my faithful readers who give me “something more” by reading my blog, pondering my opinions, and sharing my word with friends.  Happy Christmas to all and to all a good life…

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