Growing up in Minnesota, Christmas was a magical time filled with white flakey snow, ice skating, warm fireplaces, black ice on the roads and black-outs in our homes. Nothing says Happy Birthday Jesus like watching your 115 pound Aunt down 8 shots of Jagermeister and 4 Schmidt beers and then puke on the front stairs of your parent’s St. Paul duplex. Did you know puke freezes rather quickly when it’s -26 degrees outside. Growing up, Christmas was the one time of year that my parents allowed criminals, racists, sexists, homophobes, pervs and crazy people into our home because they were family. Here are a few of my favorite memories – written in creative nonfiction.
**Names have been changed to protect the guilty**
FAVORITE Christmas Memory #1 –
Mom – “Okay kiddos, clean your rooms before the company gets here.”
My brother and I – “This sucks.”
Dad – “And hide your money and anything worth stealing – Uncle Brian’s coming over.”
That Christmas Eve, my Uncle Brian stole my Barbie Ferrari, but I forgave him in the spirit of the holidays. Also, I heard that he got some really great crank for it so I was actually happy for him since crank is referred to as “the working man’s drug” and by then he’d been out of work for almost 15 years. Maybe this will help him find a job and pay his child support, I thought to myself as I gazed upon my mother’s Nativity set. And in that moment, her ceramic baby Jesus helped me realize just how thankful I was that he had not stolen my Barbie 57 Chevy. Peace be with you, Brian.
FAVORITE Christmas Memory #2 –
One magical Christmas Eve back in 1988, My Uncle Dave brought over his new girlfriend. Each year Dave had a new girlfriend. Each one more of a mess than the one before. However, this Christmas the girlfriend he brought to my parent’s house was different. She was pretty and nice. Unlike the usual crackies he practically had to carry in, I didn’t once get a shot of her lady-parts because she was too drunk to close her legs. She was a real class act. Later that night before I went to bed, I asked her to read me a story (being that I was 8 years old at the time, this question was totally appropriate. Now had I asked her today, being 30 years old, a move like this may be considered a cock-block). But that night, she sat on my bed and read as I began to drift off into the normal dreams of an 8-year-old girl living on the Eastside of St. Paul. Vivid dreams of my neighbor being shot, my Huffy being stolen and being chased down Johnson Parkway by a group of boys with bats (Lesson learned the hard way: Don’t look directly at anyone on the Eastside – it’s taken as a sign of disrespect). And just before I fell into a deep sleep, I thought – “Wow, I can’t believe one of my uncle’s girlfriends can read.”
FAVORITE Christmas Memory #3 –
One special Christmas, my family gathered to celebrate and rejoice in the fact that my Aunt Beth was not in attendance. But then Beth burst through the front door of my grandpa’s home with the tall, blonde, flake of woman who had been following her around for years. At first we thought they were lovers, but then we realized she was just too hot for my Aunt Beth. Plus, Beth drove a yellow Saturn and I don’t know about you, but I’ve never known the yellow Saturn to be the car that makes the panties drop.
It wasn’t long before Beth was up to her usual antics…blaming everyone else for why she was miserable and had such bad taste in automobiles. But the icing on the cake came when Beth accused everyone in the family of molesting her, even me. At the time, I was 9 years old and she was 40. That night I learned, never trust your unborn self. You’re dangerous, inappropriate and can’t even remember your crimes.
FAVORITE Christmas Memory #4 –
The weather outside was delightful and some of the guests inside my parent’s home Christmas day 1997, were frightful. My cousin Angie brought her boyfriend to our house for Christmas for the first time and *GASP* he was black. Coming from a long line of super pale white people, I guess he kind of stood out in my family. And since my Aunt Leslie had a penchant for marrying ignorant and unattractive men who call her fat, her husband wasn’t afraid to speak his “mind.” After opening gifts, most of the grandkids headed upstairs to listen to my new Jay-Z CD including Angie and her boyfriend. But right as I started to make my way up the stairs, my Uncle Jake (through marriage-ONLY mind you) waddled up behind me in his Minnesota Vikings-colored Zubaz and MUFF DIVER t-shirt, his receding hairline was sweating from moving off the recliner to walk the 10 steps toward me, and he whispered, “Hey Ickoleen, (that’s the kind name he had given me at the age of 9 years old and then never stopped referring to me that way), “Don’t leave him alone with your stuff. You know how they are, he’ll steal it.” Since technically, he was my uncle, my response had to be appropriate and respectful so I said, “Shut up you f*cking racist idiot.” That’s just how I was raised.
More memories coming soon!
Now enjoy some fun family holiday pics!
Even though we’re losing our home and had to give away two dogs and a hamster, we still spent $1,000 at Sears to appear as though we are happy, fun-loving, successful and not seriously considering selling one of the kids. “The ugliest one should go,” – Dad.
If your table looks like this, go eff yourself. Happy Holidays!
“Bitch, this is the best outfit I own and I’m wearing it to your mom’s for Christmas.” – Dad
“Why are you sweating so much and when are you going to learn to read?” – Mom
“I can’t believe American Eagle is 40 miles away. Ugh, I’d give anything for my license and fur-lined hoodie!” – Son
“We married-off all of our children, except for Sandy. Damn Sandy! If she’s not married or impregnated by someone white by next Christmas, we’re Photoshopping her out of the holiday card.” – Loving Parents
This pic screams, “LOOK! We’re both married to dudes who like to do each other.”
“The kids outnumber the adults. It won’t be long until they go all Menendez Brothers on us.” – Grandma Judy
“Little do they know we rent our home, have massive credit card debt and lease our Kia. Boy, will they be disappointed.” – Mom