It ain't Christmas 'til drunk uncle Billy insults the dog, metaphorically speaking
They say the three biggest disagreements in any marriage that lead to divorce have to do with money, children and religion.
Jenn and I knew this going into our union so in true lesbian fashion we talked about these three topics longer than some straight people stay married. Neither one of us had any money but we knew we wanted some. We had one kid and knew we didn’t want anymore. We agreed that religion was a spiritual thing that took care of itself. Those things behind us, we were ready to enter our first year of bliss.
We thought we had approached all of the hard topics head on, so you can imagine my surprise when our first Christmas rolled around all hell broke loose.
Christmas is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year, but I discovered that my sweet angel loathes the holidays. Who hates the holidays? I mean one of my dearest friends spent some years on the streets and even he said that the holidays rocked during that time of his life. So how could the love of my life, my source of happiness, and my sexy yammy-yam love could hate the happiest time of the year?
Well, lesbos and gaybos, turns out it's all geographical. You see, my angel is from L.A. California and I am from a different L.A….lower Alabama. I never thought that two families from two states within the U.S., both raising lesbians, could’ve celebrated so differently that one day, when those two little curly headed lesbians grew up to love one another, their first big fight would have been over Christmas traditions.
Let me break it down for you. I grew up on a horse farm, my dad was a blacksmith, my mom a bank teller and we were broke, broke, broke!
The only time throughout the year that my sister and I ever got gifts was at Christmas. We looked forward to it every year. Santa would come and on Christmas morning our house was like every cheesy Christmas movie ever made.
We came downstairs and there were mounds of gifts, stuffed stockings and it was all from Santa! My mom would cook a huge breakfast, all the aunts and uncles would come over to eat, my uncle Billy was already drinking and would call Santa a fat ass and all of the kids would go play with each others' toys.
At some point we would get out of our jammies and into our jeans and Christmas sweatshirts and get ready for the huge family lunch that was always served buffet style on my mother’s kitchen counter. There would be no less than 50 people eating off of paper plates the best food cooked all year. Football was on the television, aunts were swapping kid and husband stories, we were all laughing at my uncle Billy (still drinking) as he heaved a clump of potato salad at the dog who he called a fat ass for stealing turkey off his paper plate.
And the deserts, damn the deserts were awesome. Everything was homemade including two churns of ice cream. One year, Uncle Billy made the frozen treat with beer instead of milk and three cousins got drunk and ran the go-cart through my dad’s barn and killed two roosters and broke a goat’s leg.
Ever since that Christmas my mom insisted on two different churns and we could eat as much of it as we wanted…cause it was freakin’ Christmas in Lower Alabama!
Now, cross the country with me to a Los Angeles Christmas. Christmas Eve night is when most of the gifts come from families and parents and Santa only brings one gift on Christmas morning. WTF…one gift from Santa…that is sacrilegious! Who wakes up early and runs downstairs for one lousy present?
There is no time for Christmas breakfast because little angel has to stand on a stool for two hours to have her hair curled into ringlets with a blazing curling iron. Once she was curled up, she was shoved into a lacy white dress with matching gloves and forced to sit on a couch and not move an inch in fear of dirtying the dress or messing her hair while she waited on the rest of the family to put on their finest threads.
While she waited, she wasn’t allowed to even play with her one Santa gift.
After the family was packed into the Audi they trekked across Ventura Blvd. to her grandmother’s house where she was made to play “Silent Night” on the piano alongside her family singing opera style as her little brother carried in the ceramic baby Jesus to be laid in the manger.
Then they all gathered around the antique mahogany table, ate off of the finest china, drank from crystal glasses and passed around desserts clockwise. At the end of the night, a Christmas toast of red wine was shared and they all piled back into the Audi and crossed back across Ventura Blvd. At which point it was past her bedtime and she had to go in, brush her teeth, say her prayers, get in the bed and still didn’t get to play with her one Santa gift!
So you can see why the two of us may have fought our first year. But as any great marriage, we worked it all out and combined our two family traditions into one great tradition of our own. Santa comes on Christmas morning, she cooks a big breakfast, we don’t drink until lunch time, we do eat off of china but we can do it in front of the television, the ice cream is store bought but we can eat as much as we want…’cause it’s freakin’ Christmas!