This is our first Christmas with a cat. I was expecting some Christmas tree shenanigans, but was pleasantly surprised at Leeloo’s great restraint.
Then I wrapped her present and put it under the tree. Her catnip-stuffed present.
I woke up to her circling the tree in a wild-eyed frenzy, batting at ornaments haphazardly, but with no apparent joy. We adopted Leeloo, so who really knows what sort of shit she was into on the streets. I’m not judging. But I’ve seen junkies who didn’t look as desperate as this cat.
You may find it hard to believe, but this is not the first time my Christmas spirit has gotten in the way of good sense.
There was the year when I decided to give my mom hermit crabs and a plant as a gift. Both of which I bought weeks before Christmas, wrapped, and put under the tree. You’re welcome, Mom. Please enjoy these dead things.
I swear, it never even occurred to me that they would die without food or water. Or oxygen.
Then there was the
first Christmas that I fortified myself with antianxiety medication before the family gathering. It went well. So well that afterwards I told my little brother, “Wow! I love those guys. Everyone was so cool tonight, I probably didn’t even need that Xanax.”
One Christmas when I was a moody teenager (and had yet to be prescribed the calm-the-eff-downs) I got furious with my dad and, in the heat of the moment, decided his Christmas present was going for a swim. It was a toolbox. Quite a chore getting it out of the pool once I calmed down. That’s actually maybe the most effort I’ve ever put into a gift, if you count drying it out and all. Anytime, Dad, anytime.
There was the Christmas that I made bath products for my extended family and some friends. They smelled wonderful and were so pretty. It was sad that I didn’t think to test them out until it was too late. It was also embarrassing to have to call people and say, “Oh, about the gift, it’s just decorative, okay? DO NOT LET IT TOUCH YOUR SKIN.”
I’m not even going to go into the Christmas when Santa brought the kids a trampoline. Yes, I made my husband and my dad put together a 16 foot trampoline in the dark, in the cold, in the snow, on Christmas Eve. And they did it, because they love me. Or because I’m scary. Whatever.
This Christmas I’m going to try use my head for something other than testing to see if the pancake griddle is hot. Because that freaking hurts.