in the fade

  1. The 24 Days of Xanax

    If I had an advent calendar, there would simply be a Xanax under each day. My personal hell of the 24 days of Christmas:

    Day 24. Today is the day! Make that list of loved ones you need to buy presents for.

    Day 23. How many of those people do you really like enough to spend money on? Whittle that list!

    Day 22. Big day! your mom will call and guilt you into hosting Christmas dinner. She asks if you have enough Christmas china. You just bought a package of 100 green plastic plates, so you say yes.

    Day 21. Drag out last year’s decorations from the attic. Examine the teeth marks in baby Jesus and call an exterminator.

    Day 20. Cross Aunt Betty off your shopping list. Who knew exterminators were so expensive?

    Day 19. Get wish list from kids. Explain to them that Santa’s elves don’t make digital cameras or iPads.

    Day 18. Accept the fact that your kids stopped believing in Santa years ago and they know you are to blame for all the crappy presents.

    Day 17. Give kids a three hour lecture about the shitty economy. Use phrases like “In these economic times” and “Obama says…”  Tell them to choose between food and shelter or an iPad.

    Day 16. Receive heartfelt, manipulative note from kids about how much they love you and cherish you, complete with photo of them smiling like cherubic little angels. The letter is served with a mug of hot chocolate, chocolate covered pretzels and a heaping dose of Catholic guilt. They serenade you with your favorite Christmas carols.

    Day 15. Go to the Apple store and purchase two iPads. Stock up on mac and cheese.

    Day 14. Cross two more aunts and a friend off your list. Man, those iPads cost a lot of money.

    Day 13. Go to the mall to get the accessories for the iPads that you forgot to get the first time. Get in a fight with a rude salesperson. Kick a small child who has wiped their snotty nose on your pant leg. Walk around for three hours in the cold because you can’t remember where you parked your car.

    Day 12. Take the family out to buy a tree. Listen to your kids fight over who gets the final say. Listen to the other families fighting and wonder if that’s what yours really sounds like. Lock kids in car and pick out the damn tree yourself.

    Day 11. Discover that the box of fragile Christmas ornaments was stored under a box of books. Run to the dollar store and purchase cheesy, faded ornaments. While you are there, pick up some lights that were made in some third world country that doesn’t believe in electric codes. Plug in lights. Blow ten fuses.

    Day 10. Consider selling a kidney so you can finish off the rest of your Christmas shopping. Your partner suggests that standing on a corner in a green bikini and red fishnet stockings while holding out a cup might work better.

    Day 9. Make attempt at baking for the holidays. After six hours of intensive labor that has left your kitchen in shambles, drive to Dunkin’ Donuts and purchase two dozen of their festive donuts. Eat them all yourself.

    Day 8. Explain to children that they will not get anything for Christmas if they continue to behave like wild animals. Watch as they roll their eyes at you because you have never, in all their lives, followed through on that threat. Cry as the ungrateful little bastards walk out the door to spend time with their friends instead of decorating the tree with you.

    Day 7. Return iPads. Buy two used Sony Walkmans at a garage sale for 50 cents each. Include cassette that plays nothing but Mr. Roboto.

    Day 6. Panic. Even though your kids have been rotten to the core and even though you have sworn not to buy presents for the seven generations of cousins, aunts and uncles this year, you find yourself at the mall again, frantically trying to finish off your list.

    Day 5. The first credit card bills come in. The Christmas tree caught fire. Your mother informs you that seven more people will be joining you for Christmas dinner. Your son has invited all of his musician friends over for a rock and roll Christmas jam. Your daughter says she is going to protest Christmas dinner if any animals were harmed in the making of. Renew Xanax prescription.

    Day 4. Do a reverse Christmas shopping. Go to Target and start buying whatever is on sale. You’ll figure out later who to give the items to. You’re sure Uncle Fred will adore the stop-motion animation version of It’s A Wonderful Life, even though he’s deaf and blind and consumed with hatred.

    Day 3. Stand on the street corner wearing nothing but a green bikini, red fish net stockings and a “Will work for Christmas cash” sign. Your sister uses her Christmas bonus to bail you out of jail. You swear to fight the sexual solicitation charges.

    Day 2. Make a last dash to the mall. Return all the presents you bought for your 27 distant relatives you only see once a year. Go to Best Buy and purchase two iPads because it will be a cold day in hell before you let your kids be disappointed on Christmas, because that will pave the way for them to blame you for every single failure for the rest of their therapy-filled lives and your daughter will write a book from jail titled “The Christmas That Ruined My Life” and your son will hit the Billboard charts with an angst-filled punk rock song which contains the refrain “all I wanted was an iPad. Just one iPad. And she wouldn’t give it to me.”

    Day 1. Christmas morning. Your kids find you curled up in a ball under the Christmas tree, humming Fear’s “Fuck Christmas” and stinking like cheap rum. You’re still wearing the bikini.

    Merry Fucking Christmas.