Christmas (sort of) in July

So last night I was still not giving much of a shit about parenting or cleaning up like a slave or anything, so I decided my husband and I should watch a movie on Netflix to bide the time until we went to bed and began another night of trying to abuse each other with punches, kicks, and obscene noises in our sleep.

It ended up being the most amazing experience of my life. No hot actors. No steamy love scenes. Even still, words cannot adequately describe how wonderful it was. I will try.

10:15 pm

Poor Nick begins cruising through the Netflix Instant Que and – as usual – is suggesting we watch some weird shit like reruns of Twin Peaks. I don’t know what it is about that show that is so fucking weird – maybe the guy and his fucked up gum-chewing-slow-dancing-psychosis – but I am not interested. Ever.

I suggest we move out of our Instant Que and look for something that Netflix recommends.

10:30 pm

Fifteen minutes into looking through movies, we are still looking through movies. There are two things we do that are both laborious and exaggerated in how long it takes us to agree on something: decide where to go out to eat and pick a movie to watch on Netflix. It’s like it never fucking ends, but thankfully tonight we’ve moved onto what Netflix recommends for us rather than our Instant Que full of that weird Twin Peaks crap.

Pookies watched a lot of Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide (kill me, now) and Wonderpets on Netflix recently, so the top recommendations are children’s movies. I stop paying attention because I am growing overwhelming bored and check my Facebook on my Air Jordan. I hear Poor Nick mumbling under his breath and ignore it – as I usually do; although, I do catch when he says “why are they still recommending Christmas movies?”

I look up at the TV and begin to scream.

10:35 pm

On the screen is an image of my childhood: The Christmas Toy. I don’t have many memories from my childhood with my mom, since I only saw her a few times a year after she divorced my dad and moved across the country, but The Christmas Toy was one of them. Every year we would watch that movie and eat Chex Mix and actually have good times together (versus the rest of the time when she was a Trailer Trash Mom, hanging out in the local lounge trying to pick up men whilst I sat in a nearby booth).

Perhaps my all-time favorite kid’s Made for TV special, this is the Jim Henson version of toys that come to life at night. One of them (a stuffed tiger named Rugby) is unaccepting of the fact that he will not be the Christmas toy every year after his first and tries to go put himself under the Christmas tree.

After screaming, and then screaming a little more, I spend the next 10 minutes trying to convince Poor Nick to watch it.

10:45 pm

Poor Nick gives in. He begins the movie and within 30 seconds I am crying.

11:00 pm

Fifteen minutes in and I am holding Poor Nick’s hand so tightly he looks like he is in pain. He may possibly be in pain because watching children’s movies is pure torture to him; but it seems that he is writhing under my utter excitement. Regardless of this, I can’t stop – this is just so exciting to me.

When Mew – the stuffed mouse filled with catnip – comes onto the screen, I begin to coo. Poor Nick stands up and walks away. I continue to coo.

11:15 pm

Poor Nick returns after doing I do not know what (I also don’t care – The Christmas Toy is on the TV). “Are you still watching this junk?” he says and I grow offended that he would utter such atrocities about my Christmas Toy.

Rugby has made it to the Christmas tree at this point and is opening the Christmas present box so that he can get in it. He opens the box and Meteora comes out. Meteora is some sort of space queen Barbie doll, and she doesn’t know she is a toy yet. I squeeze Poor Nick’s hand again and start singing loudly the Meteora song. “Are you fucking insane?” he says and I continue to sing, even louder.

11:25 pm

After everyone has returned to the toy room, Mew is caught in the hallway by one of the parents. In the law of the toy room, if a toy is caught out of place by a human it is frozen forever. As I always do at this point, I gasp and hold my hands over my mouth – repeating “oh Mew!” over and over again (you can see how seriously I take this). Mew becomes frozen and Rugby goes to say his peace to his best friend, who has been thrown in the cat’s bed downstairs.

I begin to cry and Pookie walks out, still being awake because she thought she saw a ghost earlier. I catch her up on the story and she begins to cry also at Mew’s having been frozen.

Poor Nick looks at us like we’re complete idiots, but stays seated and I now believe he is as enraptured in The Christmas Toy as I am. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure he was enraptured by what to do about his wife-gone-bonkers.

Rugby’s love for Mew is so moving that Mew comes back from being frozen. The two return to the toy room, a big song is sang, then Christmas morning Meteora and a second Mew join the room. Pookie and I are now sobbing uncontrollably.

11:35 pm

Pookie is back in bed and I grab the remote to give The Christmas Toy five stars (Poor Nick has given it two) as I dab my tears from my face and blow my nose. He takes the remote to get everything turned off for the night and I have forgotten to add The Christmas Toy to the Instant Que so that I can easily access it regularly to watch, so ask Poor Nick if he will add it.

“You want to continue to put yourself through this?” he asks, but doesn’t need an answer and puts it in the que, where it shows up right next to Twin Peaks on Recently Watched.

Like I said, clearly the most wondrous night of movie-going I’ve had in a long time. And people don’t think I have good taste in movies. Well you know what I say to them? You are lovely, Meteora. Yes, so lovely and smart and brave and strong. So exciting, Meteora. Even lightning bolts seem dull when you’re along. How can you say “bad taste” to a movie with song lyrics like that? Tears are forming in my eyes again now even, as I write this.

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Reasons the B(itch)’s a Grinch

Is anyone surprised that I dislike Christmas as much as I dislike Thanksgiving? …or as much as I dislike anything, I suppose…

I can be a bit of a negative nelly; although, I prefer to consider myself realistic and just very anachronistic. But in recent years, I have noticed that my vehemence towards the holiday season has gotten considerably more impassioned, more negative you might say – so much so that I have even considered not celebrating them. I feel I have some good reasons though.

#1 Christmas is supposed to be about Jesus, not gifts. Need I remind you all of the Macy’s bag nativity scene from my experience at the mall last week? Nothing disgusts me more than the blatantly materialistic consumerism that has taken over the people in our culture. Maybe it’s just a California thing, but as the years have gone on Christmas has become less about the meaning of Christmas and more about what did you get me?

#2 Christmas is supposed to be about Jesus, not food. I totally get that food is good, and nothing is more fun than getting together with friends or family (or even just your dog) and having a nice meal. But for Christ’s sakes (no pun intended) – Christmas is not not not about eating! Last year I was at the in-law’s for Christmas Eve and by the time we left, I had seen so much food consumed that I (myself) felt ill, despite how abstemious I had been in my portions. For these people, special occasions (and especially Christmas) are all about the food that is going with the day, but this is and never was the meaning of most of the holidays that are being celebrated. It’s disgusting to see how many people in this country gorge themselves on so much food – especially people who may not even really understand what Christmas is supposed to be celebrated for – while others much less fortunate go without. It’s almost sad how easily people forget when their oversized bellies begin to growl.

#3 People are a bunch of ungrateful assholes. Today I received four different emails from Bath and Body Works, Urban Outfitters, and other trendy, bullshit retailers who don’t seem to understand the meaning of “unsubscribe from email list” – all of which contained variations of the same message.

This is such horse shit! I know it’s nothing more than an advertising technique, but why is it that people returning crappy gifts they are totally ungrateful for has become a cutesy cliche? People are such ungrateful jerks! If you hate the gifts others give you, chances are they feel the same way about the Hello Kitty toaster or tasteless sweater that you get them every year – so why not save the ungratefulness and make a donation to a needy charity instead?

Oh … I know why. Because people are even more ungrateful when you give donations in lieu of a gift. This year we gave gift baskets to everyone with wine and a donation card that had been made to a local literacy foundation. A couple of the people we sent these to, though, actually complained – actually complained to us – that they had sent us a list of things they wanted. Jerks.

#4 Family events are stressful. I’m sure a lot of my faithful blog followers love spending time with their overwhelmingly large families at the holidays; I, myself, am even cooking for my grandparents and parents this year. But pretending like family events are always a walk in the park is just about as childish as thinking that rainbows really come from the assholes of unicorns.Families are great, but they are also not – which oftentimes makes family events stressful. If you are anything like me, your family events usually come laced with gossip, drama, too much alcohol, more gossip, more drama, gossip’s transcendent partner, shit talking, and people waffling between judging others and pitying them. I’ve said this before: there is a reason there are so many jokes about how much bull shit family events can be. Because for the majority of people out there, they are.

#5 Most modern Christmas movies make me want to gouge my eyes out so I never have to see them again. Home Alone was awesome. Charlie Brown Christmas will always be one of my favorites. A Year Without a Santa Claus is an awesome work of nostalgia and art. But Santa Buddies? Barbie Nutcracker? Arthur Christmas? And if it isn’t these terrible children’s Christmas movies, it’s Lifetime, ABC Family, and Hallmark shoving bull shit Christmas wish movies down everybody’s throats. And I know I’m going to be in the minority on this one, but The Christmas Story on repeat for 24 hours on TBS every year is annoying. The movie isn’t even that good.

So I’m jaded and snarky, and I hate everything – okay? It should come as no surprise, then, that this B(itch)’s a Grinch. I’m sure if you counted the number of times I used the term “bull shit” in this post, you would be concerned by my excessively foul mouth. In the end, I really do believe that “bull shit” is exactly what Christmas is – not because of what it is supposed to be, but because of what it has become. But if you really got down to it on my reasons, I think you’d have to admit that I’m right…

As for me, alongside being a Grinch, I also don’t believe in scarring children for life because of my own idiosyncratic beliefs. So I’ll be playing the game on Christmas Eve – cooking the pork shoulder, baking the pumpkin pie, and placing the Christmas presents so carefully under the tree that they all are opened in the order that makes the event all-the-more exciting. But on Christmas Day, this B(itch) is off the clock. She’s enjoying a day to relax; a day when it’s quiet and she doesn’t have to go anywhere in particular or pretend to be something she’s not. She’ll probably stop by a local eatery that chooses to be open for lunch, because there are a lot of employees out there that actually volunteer those days because they need the extra pay. This year on Christmas, faithful blog followers, you should all take at least a minute to do what you want and to be grateful for the things others before us have done. And if Jesus ‘aint your thing, at least remember that Christmas could also just mean it’s time to get our heads out of our asses and be good people.