Wednesday, December 22, 2010 in

Traditional Christmas (Almost)

I was asked a week ago if I had any special Christmas traditions and I couldn’t think of any. My family does all the normal stuff. We open gifts Christmas morning, eat a nice meal in the afternoon, then my mom, my brother and I usually go to my Grandma’s house later in the day. We usually end the night watching Christmas movies.

It’s always special and fun to me but nothing really out of the ordinary. Actually, it sounds like kind of like a picture perfect Christmas, right? Well, almost. 

I tend to cause a little bit of mischief every year on Christmas, usually to my older brother, Eric.  Who wants a perfect Christmas anyway?

Before I get into how I terrorized my brother every year, it’ll make more sense if you know a little bit about him. He’s only a year older than me but we are almost complete opposites.

He’s six foot and looks like he would have made a pretty good football player (if he was into sports as a kid, which he wasn’t). He has a pretty mellow nature and doesn’t get excited about anything too often.

The holiday season tends to make him a little uncomfortable because he’s not really into the whole family time “let’s get together and emote.” So basically, Eric is never very thrilled about the holidays and mostly keeps to himself trying to stay under the radar. Unfortunately for him, I know his aversion for the holidays.

Over the years my stupid pranks usual involved wrapping my Christmas gift to Eric.

Several years in a row, I got the bright idea to wrap his gift using box, packing tape instead of regular office tape. After picking out some the most feminine Christmas paper, I would wrap the entire gift with layers and layers of packing tape. Not only did this make the gift completely water resistant it also made it extremely difficult and time consuming to open. Eric never really saw the humor in this.

Then there was the year that I decided to get a little bit artsy with my wrapping. I remember looking down at his gift that year and it looked so ordinary. I couldn’t possibly let him down with a normally wrapped gift. So I made it into a Christmas origami bird.
There were the years I wrapped his gift with as many bows and ribbon as I could find making his gift the most attention grabbing and ridiculous under the tree. 

I like to think that under his disgruntled attitude, deep down he really liked the special thought I put into wrapping his gifts (Yes, I do realize I was a total brat to grow up with).

My parent’s Christmas tree is another normal yearly Christmas tradition in our family. They always buy a real tree and decorate it with white lights and red and gold ornaments, taking time every year to find new ornaments to match the color scheme. It is always very pretty and smells perfectly like Christmas.
What a lovely tradition, right? Well, I have a tradition too. You know when you’re ornament shopping and in every store you find a couple of ornaments that make you wonder, “What is it?” or “Who in their right mind would buy that?” Well, you’ve just stumbled upon my own Christmas tradition. I buy those weird ornaments and put them on my parent’s Christmas tree.

Every year I go out in search of the most bizarre ornaments (It’s really not that hard to find some really weird ones, Americans have pretty bad taste). One of my favorite parts is the look on the cashier's face while they are wrapping whatever strange ornament I picked out. It’s always the same forced bright, smile while they’re choking out, “This is... sooo cute” or “What a fun ornament! Where are you going to put it?”

This should probably embarrass me. But what makes it all worthwhile is the exasperated look on my father’s face every year as I hang whatever sequined, glittered monstrosity on the front of their carefully planned and decorated tree.

These are the ornaments I found this year. Try to guess what the second one is. Don’t worry if it takes a little bit to figure it out what it is, that’s all part of the tradition.
Glitter, feather, bright purple

The tail is the best part

Hot pink with glitter
Sequined eyes = Christmas cheer

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