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December 22, 2010

For it to really feel like Christmas, there are a few things I need to experience to make it official.  Nothing says Christmas to me like:

1.) Gross Christmas-themed novelty food.

Tastes like sugary oil.

My dad loves his Little Debbie, and how fortuitous that LD makes Christmas-tree shaped snack cakes.  They taste pretty bad.  I imagine at the plant they roll out blocks of Crisco, sprinkle gallons of sugar on them, and then cut out tree shapes.  Still, it tastes like Christmas to me.

Also included are minty Christmas-tree shaped ice cream bars.  I couldn’t find a picture online but they do exist, usually on grocery store endcaps.  These also taste gross (I don’t think it’s real ice cream and I would be surprised if there was dairy in them).

2.  Caribbean Christmas music.

When I was about 13, my parents took us on our first cruise.  That year for Christmas, my parents, apparently still on a tropical high, found a CD of Christmas carols performed by a steel drum band.  That CD was so horrible that the following year my sister and I hid the CD before Christmas morning.  Even so, it has been burned into my brain as a true reflection of Christmas.

3.  Jello shots.

Growing up, my parents didn’t really drink that much.  There would be shitty beer in the fridge for when my dad cut the grass, but they rarely imbibed anything (when I started sneaking sips from my parent’s liquor shelf in high school, most of the stuff I was sneaking had to have been over 15 years old).  When my sister and I went to college, my parents started drinking a bit more, and now their fridge always has a beer or two in it for when we visit.  One year my family hosted the Christmas party for our relatives, and my mom, excited that most of the cousins (her children and her siblings’ children) were in college and boozin’ it up, thought jello shots would a great way to spread the Christmas cheer.  And indeed, it was.  No one really got hammered (I mean, who wants to do a ton of jello shots around their parents and relatives they haven’t seen since the last major holiday?), but it was a pretty good time.

4.  Socks.

Sometime after I left home, I requested socks for Christmas.  Most kids growing up hate getting clothes (and especially socks and underwear) for Christmas, but as an adult, what a treat!  Also, growing up my sister and I usually wore white socks, so when we finally made our own money, the footwear world was our oyster.  I still get a “Box o’ Sox” every Christmas, and this tradition has spread to my sister and husband.  I bet even the baby will get socks this year.  He’ll just have to wait until he’s born to wear them.

5.  Begging our parents to open a present on Christmas Eve.

My parents are pretty strict that present opening happens on Christmas morning, not Christmas Eve.  In the past few years we’ve been able to convince them to let us open our stockings on Christmas Eve, or that my sister and I can open each others’ gifts.  I have a feeling this year will be different as I know my sister didn’t want presents, but I’m sure my husband and I can whine just a little bit on Christmas Eve in the hope of relieving some of the excitement over presents.

Making this list has made me wonder what kinds of things my son will think of as defining Christmas.  Hopefully, it will be the humiliation of wearing this little number:

Our poor son.

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