Archive for December, 2020

All I Think I Wanted for Christmas

When I was a kid, I found that the only good aspect of Christmas having happened rather than Christmas going to happen was the presentation, comparison, and discussion about loot with my comrades. This took place as soon as possible after Christmas morning, which, in the kid interpretation meant about 7:13 a.m.

By 7:14 am, I was chomping at the bit to go show Eddie my toys. My parents would usually draw me back to our house with the offer of breakfast foods topped with maple syrup. However, at 10ish all bets were off and I’d be storming across the street with my booty.

Perhaps the best part was that when you have a best friend, your loot becomes his and vice versa. I wasn’t jealous of his toys, because they became my toys by extension. It falls under the Latin legal precedent, de buticus est mea buticus. And so as I ran the thirty yards between our houses with my baseball glove and a platoon of military toys, I knew that they would only be enhanced by what he had.

At some point in our teens, our thirst for toys waned and we looked for things of use, and like most kids in our neighborhood, things to use outside. Running across the street for a booty conference didn’t happen on Christmas morning, but rather later that week. And when we showed off our gifts, it was clothing, bows and arrows, pen-flashlights, pocket warmers, jeans, stereos and tape players, eventually CD players, and enough Drakkar to win the Battle of the Somme. Nevertheless, the question of the week was “So, what’d you get?”

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A Zoom Family Christmas

My brother floated the idea yesterday.

“Hey, I think I’m going to set up a Zoom meeting for the family on Christmas.”

“Great idea!” I said as if I had mentioned in the previous text, which I had.

“Almost everyone is in. Even Danny.”

This was big. My Uncle Danny has long been famous within the family for his iffy views on family get togethers. Sometimes he comes, sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes he comes and disappears without a trace.

At this time of year, I am usually heartened by the traditions that involve my visit home to my parents’ house. At this point, I would have travelled through the airports with their Christmassy atmospheres and picked up a gift or two on the way if my layovers allowed. My parents would have picked me up at Philadelphia International a couple of days ago. My mom would have taken my cheesesteak order in the car on the way home and my dad and I would have played our countdown my trip game.

“Well, you have two more weeks.” We count down like this until the day I leave. On the day I leave, tinged with mourning we count down the hours, supplanting it with “Oh, listen, we’ll see you in the summer.”    

I’d spend my time relaxing and watching football with my dad. We’d go to Barnes and Noble the day before Christmas Eve, as per tradition, and buy books and sip 12,000-calorie coffee drinks. I’d visit my brother for a night of tipsy debauchery; my liver would sue for separation. When Larry (my liver’s name) had (partially) recovered, we’d visit the Langhorne Hotel – my home away from home away from home. And I’d be gearing up for a night of food and fun with my wild and zany family.

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Tis the Season for Bad TV

Photo Very Courtesy of Hallmark

For some reason, my tolerance for a movie’s quality goes up about 40 points if it features an evergreen conifer or a wreath. Nevertheless, Christmas movies are a good way to have little blasts of Christmas without all the additional weight gain. While we usually save the big guns for just before or on Christmas (looking at you, Clark), here are some we have watched that will bring the ho ho to your ho.

Office Christmas Party

Watch it. Without your kids. This is a surprisingly funny movie with snappy dialogue, a clear goal, and enough nudity to thrill you while not making you feel guilty. TJ Miller tries to jump a bridge in a Prius, Jason Bateman fellates eggnog out of a statue’s willy, and Kate McKinnon farts herself nervous. Just like any great comedy, the story builds into a crescendo and ends crazy into an appropriate Christmassy(ish) finish. For eighteen-year-olds. It had never occurred to me how lacking Christmas movies were in psychopathic hookers and eggnog blowjobs.  

A Bad Moms Christmas

I know, I know. I made the same face you’re making now when A Bad Moms Christmas was suggested last Saturday as our evening entertainment. But this movie is not bad. In fact, it’s pretty funny. Three moms have bad moms and those moms come to visit at Christmas. Hence – bad moms. If nothing else, it’s a great way to enjoy schadenfreude at the expense of someone else’s insane family over the Christmas holidays. Again, a bit off the wall and raunchy (sensing a theme here?) but still delivering a good theme and even a few little tearjerker moments. Also, who can miss with Susan Sarandon and strippers?

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Hector helping us keep out the coronavirus blues

Well it’s almost Christmas. Normally, I’d be preparing for a holiday visit home. I’d be buying gifts and stressing about a flight. I’d be stressing about the layover times and reading up on airline disasters each morning.

Ho Ho Ho.

Prague is usually quite charming in this season as well. Markets and music in squares, done-up trees, stands with ginger bread and hotdogs, and pools of carp awaiting a serious bludgeoning.    

But of course, the world is not in an ideal state. There’s a pandemic raging and you know that unless you live under a rock in a cave on the dark side of Neptune. Or you’re a Republican. Who also believe that though Donald Trump recently got his ass kicked in an election, he’s claiming he won it. He has no proof. He has lost 48 court cases. He still won’t stop.

It would be kind of funny to imagine little Donny stamping his foot and crying about the election, threatening to take his veto stamp and go home so nobody else can play government. But thousands are dying from that pesky virus each day and instead of helping any of them, little Donny seems far more intent on saving a face that has long since sailed off to a historical level of pathetic while he literally poisons a democracy that had been around for two hundred and forty years before he waddled into the place. Also it’s not funny because lots of people believe little Donny, not because he has zero evidence, but because they’re in his cult. They have hats. A whopping 27 Republican politicians have relocated their balls to admit that Joe Biden won. That means than about 220 congressional Republicans won’t admit that Joe Biden won the presidential election, which he did by 7 million votes. The election was more than a month ago. It doesn’t bode well.

In order to steel ourselves against the negative influences this year, we got a tree. Or, as Burke suggested, a big tree.

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