It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I can’t stroll through Target and buy new boxer briefs without navigating through a sea of humans frantically searching for a trivial gift to bring to the company Christmas party they’ve been forced into attending or waiting in line for three to five hours; and that’s just the, “ten items or less” line, on a Sunday night, after nine o’clock. Yes, I have left the world of boxers, but I’m nowhere near ready for the realm of briefs, and did I say Christmas party? I meant “Holiday Party” of course – I’m not insensitive or anything; and I’m pretty sure the guy in front of me has eleven items, but who’s counting? Like it’s not dangerous enough inside the stores, I’m surprised a liability waiver to drive this time of year isn’t required by most towns or cities – at least in the parking lots; it’s a warzone out there; every man for themselves – may the best man win. We must all get our recently purchased items home safe and sound, forget about other people’s well-being. There is no time to wait for the ninety-year-old lady assisted by her walker to cross from the parking lot into the store. She’s had a long life anyway, mow her down and get on with the consumerism – lets save the social security dollars. Grandma got run over by my Volkswagen, not a reindeer; unless my car was irritatingly dressed up like Rudolph – then maybe you’d have a case, but I would never do such a thing and I certainly wouldn’t lose sleep if every car dressed up like that would simultaneously self-destruct. There is surely no room to be yielding or spineless on the road – places to be, people to see – lucky for us, two of the three lights on a traffic signal mean speed up and move along.
Before embarking on a mission to the convenient store for a pack of Twinkies and an energy drink, I stare at myself in the rearview mirror, blast “Eye of the Tiger”, and get hyped up like I’m Rocky; a personal pep rally to catapult myself into the proper mindset; battle mode. Be aggressive, B E aggressive… You get the picture. December is exhausting; I wish I could hibernate from Thanksgiving until Super Bowl Sunday – since when are bears smarter than us? Probably always. My personal, extensive research over the last thirty years suggests it may not be the most wonderful time of the year; the most stressful, depressing, irritating, hostile, and dangerous yes – wonderful? I’m not sure that’s exercising rigorous honesty; I’m not sure the facts support that theory. Maybe I’m being a Grinch – a real Ebenezer Scrooge, but…well forget it, my heart won’t be growing this Christmas and bah…humbug.
It’s been a long, challenging year for me filled with no shortage of ups and downs – another crazy adventure in the life of Chris and Christmas is supposed to be a happy time – freedom from stress or worry; days spent with family fulfilling holiday traditions like picking out and decorating a tree, waking up at 5am on Christmas morning, or building gingerbread houses with my children at my parent’s house. I don’t have that this year and I’m not entirely thrilled about it – it’s actually rather depressing. I miss the days when I still thought a jolly old fat man was breaking and entering into my house once a year leaving a slew of fun just for me; even though he appeared to despise the cookies we left him – there was always just a bite or two missing. I was told Santa had to eat cookies at every single house he visited and I easily bought into the lies; it’s not difficult to persuade a kid to believe anything really – I wasn’t exactly tough to convince, especially since I believed in Santa to begin with. We start out being lied to very early in life – why do we think we won’t grow up and continue the trend?
We dodge and weave, soften the truth, tailor things to fit our immediate comforts or needs without ever thinking about the long term implications – even something as seemingly harmless and miniscule like believing in Santa. Do you remember when you first found out he wasn’t real? I was just a kid and I felt like my heart sunk into my chest and I had been played like a fiddle; like Charlie Daniel’s picked me up and beat me with his bow. It’s then you realize it’s not just Santa either – it’s the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy too. What kind of world is devoid of Santa, the Easter Bunny and my beloved Tooth Fairy? No world for me, that’s for sure – at least that’s how it felt at the time – before accepting things for what they were. Next they were going to convince me that unicorns didn’t exist. Looking back as an adult it seems silly, but is it? In the world of a kid, that is a very real situation; one that is grieved and dealt with on a case by case basis. If Santa or the Easter Bunny aren’t real, what else isn’t real? What’s true and what’s an illusion? Where is the line between authenticity and deception? It’s a strange introduction into deciphering between the worlds of fallacy and actuality.
I would normally like to drive home a point or state my case for why I think things are how they are. That’s what I do here; I share my opinions and my experiences of a life lived as a sober alcoholic. At first, while I was reading back what I had written, I thought I might as well start over because I don’t see a point other than I’m blabbing about holiday nonsense that everybody deals with; all I did was write it out. I’m just being a grumpy, dry drunk right now – get over yourself Chris. Then it hit me; sometimes us human beings just need to vent. It’s never ended well for me when I let the pressure build up. I’ve always held it all in and I’m adamantly working towards improving that character defect. I don’t explode well. Just by writing it out alone, I’ve let these thoughts out of me and let them flow into the world. So maybe my seemingly pointless rambling did serve a purpose after all – even if it only helped me to let it all out and get through another day without picking up that bottle.