Growing up the way I did - barely getting by, fully understanding what hard times meant, and dealing with some messed up family stuff - we never really made Christmas a big deal. At least, it never really was to me. For example, one year we couldn’t afford a Christmas tree (but when we did, we kept that thing for like a decade), my mom made us get some fallen twigs outside our apartment and she delicately wrapped them up in tin foil. We put it in a green vase and I think my sister actually tried decorating it by coloring the tin foil red and green. Ah, youth. Well, I couldn’t totally blame her for her attempts to make something bad into something good, afterall, she had a perm and actually thought it looked cool. But, heck, it was the mid-80s, so the poor choice made by my nine-year-old sibling could be forgiven in retrospect.
In all honesty, the last Christmas I remembered before this particular one I’m about to tell you about when I was eleven, was when I was five. I got a whole bunch of Micronauts and this huge plastic Spider-Man doll that had a grappling hook, which was supposedly a web that he could “climb.” Mind you, I don’t blame my parents for any of this lack of remembering several years in between as they always did their best, God bless their hearts, and I’m glad my sister was always in the Christmas spirit, but I knew what was up. Okay sure, I was a Holden Caufield without knowing I was at the time, but whatever. I dealt with it. You couldn’t fool me, I tell ya.
But, this particular Christmas, I got fooled.