I believe in Christmas magic. Or holiday magic. Look, this time of year is magically no matter how you phrase it. There is something wondrous that happens. We all have our holiday traditions, travel plans, seasonal depression and hangovers. Some of the best memories I have are from this time of year when I would travel home from college to spend time with my family and Trifecta. Usually karaoke and peanut butter cookies are involved in great quantities as well as multiple viewings of “The Christmas Story” because let’s face it, none of us catch it at the beginning when it runs for 24 hours so you kind of just watch it in pieces throughout the day.
My parents are great at Christmas. They give presents you never even asked for but somehow, after opening, you can’t imagine living without. EXCEPTION: My Go-Go Puppy. I begged, prayed, and wished for that damn little white robot dog that came with a pink leash and barked and walked itself, surviving on batteries alone. Of course, I had a real dog (the best dog) that I loved more than anything but I still needed this toy desperately. Christmas morning came. There was no Go-Go Puppy. I was devastated. It’s so funny to think how sad you are as a kid when you don’t get the big present that you wished for. My dad still hasn’t lived it down. In his defense, he explained that it probably would have broken and I would have hated it by February and that is probably true. I also found out it was the hot item that year and almost impossible to find. So I guess I should forgive him. But I haven’t.
Snuggies for all!
This is typical.
There are several moments that stand out the most in terms of magic made by Santa (or my parents…the jury is still out on that one)
-When I got my canopy bed: My parents somehow set up this bright pink, bordered with lace, canopy while I was sleeping. I woke up in a rose colored cloud and felt like a princess with a soft drapery overhead and fluffy comforter snuggling me. It was one of those moments where you believe in Santa and feel that holiday joy that no other time of year holds.
-When my parents bought my brother these massive plastic building blocks: They were basically giant Legos you could build real forts with. I remember waking up and going down the hall to find the tree surrounded by these rainbow colored blocks surrounding the tree, looking like a castle wall. Again, Christmas magic that only Santa could do.
-Whenever my dad hid a present or forgot one. This happened several times in my childhood. He would sneakily hide special presents behind the tree or tucked in a corner so that my brother and mother and I would think Christmas was over and then be extra surprised when he revealed there was more. There was also the occasion where my parents forgot a present in their hiding spots and had to fetch it when they realized it wasn’t sitting atop the mess of wrapping paper on the floor.
-When my parents allowed me to go to Paris: I gave my mom an empty picture frame when they paid for me to study abroad in London. I wrote that I would fill the frame with a picture of me in front of the Eiffel Tower because I couldn’t express how it felt to be able to achieve my dream of vising Paris and I thought maybe the look on my face would help. I think it did.
This was the shot.
Trifecta Christmas is the holiday tradition I always look forward to next after celebrating with my family. Bethany, Alia, and I would be home for Christmas break and Alia’s birthday was right after the holiday so we would spend Christmas with our families and then have a night out for us and her aging. At this point, they all sort of jumble together but consist of going out in Burlington and bar hopping.
We are not even drunk in most of these scenarios.
-I had bought the girls matching underwear. Somehow, the underwear ended up on my head at a bar closely followed by us having a photo shoot in the bathroom and one of the pictures I’m pretty sure I’m grabbing Bethany’s boob.
-There are pictures of us in my basement in winter clothing playing in sleeping bags and eating Frostys. Also reenacting Lord of the Rings and making mustaches out of hair (which we totally started and now is some sort of fad. We are due credit on that one)
-Alia’s fedora: She wanted to wear a fedora out and it was her birthday so we couldn’t say no. However, in the car on the way to dinner, her and her now husband were arguing about the music and she said “I hate this music” to which he responded “Well, I hate your hat.” Note: fedoras were not in that year. I love you, Alia, but…no.
-We got drunk at Vermont Pub and Brewery and went to see Brokeback Mountain. I don’t know why we were playing with this scarf and making faces but it happened and now all three of us have a photo of us making this face. It was the most inappropriate movie to be wasted at ever.
-Topless sleepovers deserve their own entry but until then, we usually had a sleepover over Christmas at some point. Usually at my house because my dad would make us Belgian Wafflays (don’t ask) in the morning. I miss sleepovers.
I don’t mean to take this post down to a depressing level but sadly, I don’t know when I can have my next Trifecta Christmas. I love knowing I’d get to see the two girls I love most in this world and who know me best and who I just slip in next to as if no time has passed at all. I miss the opportunity to sing “The Thong Song” while showing off your thong at a dive bar as some creepy Burlington dude takes your picture. That really happened. We’re all married or engaged or having babies now and quickly realizing how important family is and the friends you consider family. I miss the surprise building blocks and Holiday Barbies. Are those worth money? I have like 18 of them…
As a kid you can’t wait for presents and treats. As an adult, you enter into this world of returning home and running into people you knew in high school. Back a few years ago, it was all about jobs, people thinking I was famous because I was an extra on Gossip Girl, and significant others. Now it’s about babies, marriages, new houses, promotions, and people still thinking I’m kinda famous which I am completely fine with (because I totally am). Bethany and I used to avoid some people when we’d go out just because we never knew what to say to them. We’ve actually hid from people like cowards because what do you say that to that person who you had English with and sang next to you in chorus but you have no idea where they even went to school or if they did and what their life is like now so you just say “How are you? How are things? Oh, that’s great…what else?” about 45 times. You can always hope for the guys who were really hot and built in high school hitting on you because you are more put together and sexy and they…are fat. That happens and it.is.awesome.
Christmas will always be important to me. It will always catch me off guard at how soon it arrives and make me feel a little guilty for not planning ahead. But in the end, it always comes together no matter how hectic it begins. I can always rely on that quiet moment somewhere on Christmas Eve when I am alone and it’s silent and I’m surrounded by the soft multicolored lights and I can take the time to reflect. I will miss those moments when I was on my couch in Vermont with my beloved kitty beside me and it was snowing outside and I was awake because I stayed up later than everyone else and I’m at peace with myself and the year and the year to come. But I now have those with my New York kitty and my fiancé and our home in this incredible resilient city. Things change drastically as we’ve seen this past week, this whole year really. Life is precious so we need to see the magic in it, especially this time of year, and be grateful we have loved ones to surround ourselves with and take comfort in and treasure those who love us from an unreachable place. I believe in Christmas magic. I mean, if we can all so easily believe one man brings presents to the whole world in one night in a sleigh driven by eight flying reindeer, we can see the magic every other day of the year, too.
And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of *ten* Grinches, plus two!