The Holidays Are a Weird Time

So I’m sitting here in my parents’ living room, which is all decked out for Christmas tomorrow. There’s a huge fir tree in the corner, lit up with lights that glint off the ornaments. Underneath it is a pile of presents, all gaily wrapped. The cats are sprawled on chairs, the wood stove is burning hot next to me as I sit in a rocking chair. My mother is baking something and my father and sister are getting ready for church (I’m exempted from that, thank goodness). It’s snowing outside. I am about to start drinking red wine before dinner. I am so cozy I could just explode with excitement about Christmas.

But every few minutes I get this moment of: “Woah, this is weird.”

I mean, think about it. Every year we cut down and drag small trees into our houses, where we prop them up as if they’re still alive and hang baubles on them. We put all of our shiny new things under it, wrapped in more shiny stuff, pretend that a fat man came down the chimney after flying in his sleigh from the north pole behind flying quadrupeds, to give those shiny new things to us. We do all of this in the name of a guy who died two thousand years ago and who had never seen a reindeer, or probably snow. Well, maybe snow. Rumor has it he traveled quite a lot. But still. You get my point.

None of this makes me enjoy Christmas any less, since I absolutely adore giving people gifts and this is the best excuse all year. But it is all rather… bizarre, isn’t it? I think I’m just bitter because my parents cut down three big old trees in the yard since I was home at Thanksgiving. I grew up with those trees. They were my friends and companions, and now they’re lying in pieces right outside. So when I look at the Christmas tree, I can see right out the window behind it to the corpses of the other trees. It’s all very gruesome.

Ah. Sigh. I’m starting in on the wine.

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