Monday, December 7, 2009

Why The Holidays Suck: #493

Let me count the ways the holidays suck: Those "What We Did This Year!!!" holiday bulletins. Aunt Rita's Fruitcake. Those annoying-ass-plastic-clam-shell thingys that all toys come in now. The line at the Post Office. Tracking down the Lone Zhu-Zhu on the planet. The olfactory clusterfuck coming out of every candle store at the MegaMall. Eggnog gas (WTF? Eggnog is not my friend). "Feliz Navidad," the Christmas song from Hades. Shall I go on?

I know, I'm a crank and a Scrooge and Christmas is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Once upon a time, when I had a life and did not have children, I liked Christmas just fine. I'd shop, wrap, schlep my butt over to my parents' house and get shitfaced on Mimosas by 1 in the afternoon. And then take all my loot back to my apartment. What's not to like?

But then I had kids. Christmas dies an ugly little death after you have children. Because all of a sudden, there's this pressure to make magical memories with them. Total fucking buzzkill.

The pressure of creating the perfect Christmas for your children? It's the reason they need to install a Valium Salt Lick in the shopping mall after Thanksgiving.

And while they're at it, can they make the drinking fountains squirt out grain alcohol? Because mommies need that shit.

And what about that whole Mall Santa Photo Thing? There are pictures of horror-stricken, traumatized, wailing kids all over the Internet this time of year. Why do we subject our kids to this? We put them in the itchiest, most uncomfortable outfits they own, haul them down to the mall, make them wait in line for an hour with those freaks who bring their dogs to see Santa, hiss at them if they try to do anything normal, like fidget or run around, plop them into the lap of a strange bearded dude, and expect them to think, "This is the Shit!"

Now before you accuse me of snobbery and arrogance, I will admit to you up-front that I took first-born to see the Mall Santa. Guilty. I did it, and I paid out the ass for the dorky picture...oh wait. No, I didn't.

Because I was brilliant enough to wait until my child was three years old before I took her to see Mall Santa.

I have reasons for this. The first year, I'd just given birth. The Woman with the Hemorrhoid that Ate Colorado was totally not up for Mall Santa. Also, first-born was so underweight that she looked like E.T.

The second year, first-born was going through the Winter of Oozing Eczema. Enough said.

Year three, there was nothing holding us back. Except for the fact that she was three. The Demon-Child Year.

But I, determined to get my $24.95 snapshot of Holiday Bliss, put her in the itchy dress and schlepped her down to the Megamall. On a weekend in December. Clearly, Mommy ain't real bright.

Things went South within a half hour. First-born stormed the kiosk that carries those hand-held massager thingys. Ummm, y'all know those are vibrators, right? Massagers, my fat fanny. These particular specimens even glowed and sparkled. First-born snatched herself a snazzy pink vibrator and took off running through the mall, full-tilt. Not only did I have to chase after her, I had to drop my purse and 3 oversized shopping bags from Crate&Barrel mid-mall, because first-born is wicked fast. Finally, I tackled her, in front of the Coach store. "Hi, swanky ladies in track-suits buying overpriced bags...don't mind me here, wrestling The Vibrator Bandit to the ground..."

And then there was the hideous wait in line, with those freaks who bring their dogs to see Santa. First-born had an irrational fear of dogs at age three; it's a *long* 45 minutes when your toddler acts like every Shi-Tzu in a sweater is Cujo.

Admittedly, I was in a foul mood when at last, it was our turn to shine. (Hello? Can I campaign any harder for the Valium Salt Lick and the Everclear Drinking Fountain?) First-born shuffled towards Santa and then bolted, insisting, "I'm not sitting on the hairy man."

So I did what any mother would do. I shook her and hissed into her ear, "Do it now or no Happy Meal."

She sullenly plopped her butt on Santa's lap and as the Mall Elf chirped, "Smile and say Snowflake!" first-born spontaneously combusted.

"Stink! Argh! He stinky-stinky!" she hollered, opening her jaws wide and chomping firmly down on Mall Santa's wrist.

You'd think they'd prepare these Mall Santas for shit like this. I mean, kids piss on Santa all the time; can't they handle a leeeetle nibble?

Mall Santa hucked first-born off his lap and said accusingly, "Your kid just bit me lady!"

As if I didn't have eyes.

"She didn't do it that hard," I retorted. Pussy.

"She broke the skin," Mall Elf said helpfully. Stuff it, Enabler.

"She broke the skin," Santa repeated.

"Oh come on!" I said. "Don't tell me one of those things (gesturing to a sweatered and cranky looking Dachshund) hasn't ever taken a chomp out of you. Chill, Kris Kringle."

Which is how, in December of 2004, I ended up in the office of Paul Blart:Mall Cop, filling out an inordinate amount of paperwork. I also had to take first-born to the doctor, get her blood drawn and analyzed, and fax the results back to the MegaMall. Because my kid could, you know, have rabies.

The entire ride home after the Santa Incident, first-born insisted that she had done nothing wrong. In fact, she argued that Mall Santa deserved to be bitten. Because "he stinky, Mama. Santa not supposed to stink."

Pass the Valium Salt Lick, please.

Or a pitcher of these.

Champagne Cosmo
from Fine Cooking
serves 8 people, or 1 Mommy after a trip to the MegaMall

1 1/2 cups cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
8 thin strips of lemon zest
2 bottles (750 ml) brut sparkling wine or champagne, chilled

Combine the cranberry juice, Grand Marnier, and lime juice in a small pitcher and mix well. Hold a lemon strip over a tall Champagne flute, twist it to release the essential oils, and drop the zest into the flute. Repeat with seven more flutes.

Divide the juice mixture equally among the flutes. Top each flute with the sparkling wine (depending on the size of your flutes, you may not need all the wine). Serve immediately.

Author's tip: If you have remaining champagne, inject it.


  1. I needed a laugh - thank you, thank you! And seriously, I'd love a valium salt lick at the mall. But I'll settle for your champagne cosmo.

    Oh, and three is the year of the demon child.

    And I cannot stand those that bring dogs to places like that. Really people... come on!

  2. Okay, this might just be your funniest post yet. I'm going to show it to Husband, the original Grinch; it will be like lighter fluid on his Yule log. (Didn't mean that to sound pervy.)

  3. I knew your "Miss D bit Santa" story would be lol, but this shit is LOLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You're a comedic genius, Witch!

  4. I pissed myself laughing through this entire post.

  5. Kristen is right: COMEDIC GENIUS!

    My husband and I are sitting here LAUGHING OUR ASSES OFF. Seriously!

    Link it! Do it!

    Only question is: were you half-drunk when you wrote this? Of course, it's not a requirement, but I know fo shizzle youse a boozer like me girl. Can't wait to see more. Give me MORE!

    And also, where the FUCK is that Valium Salt LICK?

    Don't mind me - drunk over here!

    (Huz just added that with that valium salt-lick we could do a girls gone wild MILF site. oh yeah. now we're talking. in a creepy, totally valid way of course.)

  6. CRYING!!! CAN BARELY SEE THROUGH THE TEARS! I love that someone else can put my feelings into words. Okay, I'm starting to catch my breath I must scroll back up and read it again. Brilliant! :)

  7. You are ridiculously funny...I like you for these two reasons:
    1. And while they're at it, can they make the drinking fountains squirt out grain alcohol? Because mommies need that shit.
    2. The recipe. Oh that recipe is going to make me MERRY this year!

  8. Need sore throat spray now since I just laughed so hard. And the Vibrator Bandit segue was a nice touch. What JC said!

  9. Oh man. I didn't have any experiences like that one. But I did take my first born to see Santa too. Once. Never again. I have never done the Santa thing with either of my other two and they didn't care. they could sniff out phony Santas like a coonhound finding a Raccoon. Their analytical skills were top notch while they were still wearing training pants.

    Do people really bring their dogs to see Santa??? I don't get into the mall much, rural living. Weirdos.

  10. Sarah: When am I NOT half-drunk? This fucker took me 3 days to write AND edit...and I never edit. Which is probably why I am a fucking suburban housewife.

    Sad thing is, this whole story is 100% true. I am expecting my Mom of the Year Award by January.

  11. OMG.OMG.OMG.

    That is truly, 100% the worst Santa photo story I have ever heard. Definitely makes ours sound like a breeze.

  12. Oh I'm laughing so hard it hurts...what a story. I think I love your girls! They have more personality at three than most adults I know!

  13. Can I invite you over, give you a few shaken cocktails and let you rip with these laugh out loud stories you write? I have already pocketed the valium salt lick line...I plan on using that description on my girlfriends when we are at the mall this Saturday trying to buy holiday gifts for our kids.
    This has got to be the funniest post. Maybe, it's so damn funny because it is so true, and you expressed it so well.

  14. You are so, funny. You edit? :) I know you have a flair for words, and it helps to have the stories be true! I never took my daughter to see Santa, she was petrified of him and she could care less if she had a happy meal. Oh, and agreed, three is the year of the demon child. (I don't think we could take her anywhere that year) :)

    Thanks, I needed a good laugh after struggling with sick kids that come to school on Mondays. I wish I had a pitcher of your cocktail waiting when I got home - or better yet, the valium salt lick for teachers and staff!

  15. HYSTERICAL! I loved every word, every every second of reading this. Now I have another person I wish I was as funny as. Shit. Just when I think I'm funny... something like this is written and then I know I'm not.

    Thanks for the laugh!!!

  16. Yikes, not a fun combo. A Valium salt lick would be nice as a year-round offering at the mall, no? Malls in general stress me out, even without the Santa line.

  17. I'm so glad to add another drinky-poo to the repertoire. We the pomogrante-fizz drinks again tonight! Boo-yah!

    I have never done the Santa thing. I just know my kids would look at him and say, "That's just a man in a Santa suit." And then they would question the myth, and then their littles bubbles would be burst, and then they would turn on me and should "Liar! Deceiver!"

    So I avoid all events with fake Santas. Although once we saw a fake Easter Bunny. The Girl was just shy of three, and she said, "That's a man in a bunny suit. I can see his hands."

  18. This is so freakin hilarious! I laughed out loud and feel a little bit better about being the only bitter old lady at playgroup not taking my snotty nosed child for a screaming contest with Santa! I shall use this post as evidence in my case =) Thank you!

  19. HAHAHAHA, this is hysterical! Thanks for the good laugh!! Love it!

  20. too good. had to tweet it. hate those mall santas. pervs.

  21. The only way I get through the holidays is my tradition of shopping WITHOUT the kids!! I go with my girl friends and we start with a shot and a beer, then buy a couple of presents, then another shot and beer, then a few more presents. By the time I get I, I have no recollection of what I've bought, but I just don't care at that point!

  22. i'm now totally regretting the yearly update letter i am stuffing into our christmas cards this year. first time i've ever done it. if i had not already printed all of them, i'd skip it, but i have, so all 28 of my recipients are going to have to deal dammit.

    i would have totally bitten santa too.

  23. I am laughing so hard, I almost fell off my chair!! You kill me. And you summed up exactly why I have never even attempted to do the mall santa thing. That little girl of yours has some moxy! It's good to see that she's going to grow up just like her mama! ; )

  24. I'm still mopping up my keyboard- there is tea all over it.
    Ah yes- a three year old in the mall. I had one like this and am grateful the other two were more docile- although it was rather stupid of us to have 3 kids under 3. Duhhhhh.
    I am sending everyone I know over to read this blog. Funniest one yet. Happy Christmas and remember, ask Santa for valium and Bellinis.

  25. Late to this party, but pour me a Mommy Mimosa. This is absolutely hilarious. I think I must go tweet this now. Bye :)

  26. Bwahahahahaha....valium salt lick......(wipes tear from eye),,,

  27. You hit every note. Every. single. one. And your kid bit Santa. And I'm wondering how my in-laws would react if I wrapped up a promise for oral sex for my husband to open on Christmas morning. And here's my sister's Mall Santa Picture from this year: Please note my comment.

  28. Valium salt lick, grain alcohol in the water fountains...woman, you are genius. You're probably also a bit insane but I love every word.

  29. TKW, after I read your post, I read this one -

    You ladies should get together and invite us all over for drinks.

  30. Holy Hannah Montana did I laugh at this post. Thank you for that!

  31. Jesus fucking Christ on a pogo-stick. Guess who's never having children?

    I can't blame first-born, though. Stinky, hairy Santa? Eff that noise. Next time just buy the vibrator, truck back home and call it a day.

    And yes - oral sex makes a lovely gift at any time.

  32. TKW, I rarely laugh out loud at stuff I read, but I have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard at this. LOVED IT. Thanks for helping to turn an otherwise crappy a.m. around. Pass the valium.

  33. Laughing, trying to convince my coworkers that I am doing something work related.

    I have found that when you put it into an Evian bottle, Vodka looks exactly like water. No trip to any mall in my area happens without it.

  34. I laughed out loud about 6 separate times. you are soooo good.

  35. I always wonder throughout the holidays, listening to how busybusybusy everyone is...what the f*** are they doing: making love in front of the fireplace every second of every day? hugging and kissing relatives they lovelovelove? playing boardgames with their kids all the while eating bowls full of holiday candy--and nobody gets sick, or fat? I just don't get it. You buy some gifts, wrap them and give them away. You make a turkey and stuffing and eat it in five minutes. You go to a movie, or ice skating and that takes half an afternoon--what to do with the rest? Am I just a total loser who never gets invited to fabulous holiday parties every night for two weeks? Are we the only family that, fights? Are we the only couple that isn't having sex all day? What's wrong with our picture?
    BTW, great post, great writing, great story. At least someone is honest!!!

  36. I should know better than to read this, while at work-- with coffee. IT's a good thing that my beverage didn't short-circuit my keyboard.
    You are wickedly addicting and hopelessly naughty. I adore you.

  37. ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!!! "This is the Shit!" and Cujo?! Child tested for rabies?! Oh my word! Hilarious! Super, super hilarious!!!! Chuckled way too much at this entry! I'm forwarding it to another friend who I know will LOVE it! Best entry yet!!! xxx

  38. How I love thee, TKW. Let me count the ways. (And not just because your offspring is a Vibrator Bandit.)

  39. HAHAHAHA... loved the post and the recipe. I think my mom has a picture of me with Santa where I look... concerned to say the least. I'll ask her to dig it up. It's awesome.

    Even though I don't have kids I wish the drinking fountains were squirting out alcohol. Christmas shopping is such a pain in the ass, I cannot imagine how bad it gets when you are carting around toddlers!

  40. Ha! You really are a scrooge. Call me Lithium Lily, but I love the holidays. And creating the magic. BUT I take my kid to a Santa who allows you to take your own photo, on your camera. Because who wants to pay for that?

  41. Totally making that! And stupid wanker of a Santa. I would have bit him too. Like our Miss D. would have rabies! Yeesh!

  42. haha, too funny...I agree with ya, we need Everclear Drinking Fountains!

  43. No wonder you don't like the Christmas season. Sounds like you deserve a do-over! Next year, join me in *my* Christmas world (I love this time of year) and I'll show you the ropes! Just don't forget to bring the Champagne Cosmos!!!

  44. No wonder you don't like the Christmas season. Sounds like you deserve a do-over! Next year, join me in *my* Christmas world (I love this time of year) and I'll show you the ropes! Just don't forget to bring the Champagne Cosmos!!!

  45. BTW, it makes me feel better that it took you three days to write this. I imagine you busting out this stuff in 15 minutes while the sauce simmers.


  46. You. Are. Hilarious. So glad to call you my friend. Us twisted freaks need to stick together!

  47. Good Enough Woman - I'll second that. I'm okay with TKW being an attractive mother of three with time enough to be a bitchin' cook and still have the stamina write about life, but I'm glad that the superb writing at least takes some effort. Otherwise I was just going to throw in the towel and hang my head in shame.

  48. OKay. Mom of the Year award on the way. Kablammie!

  49. GEW and J. Harker: yeah, this one took a lot outta me--the first draft of it was as bad as Will Ferrel's Elf movie. Thank you for the kind words.

  50. OMG! TKW, #5 wants to be first in line at the Everclear drinking fountain. We need a big sign that say MOMMIES AND DADDIES OVER 21 ONLY!!! Don't want him thinking that is a reason for unsafe sex.

  51. And J. Harker, don't forget to add "Junk-Breaker" to my list of talents! :)

  52. I think it has all been said in the previous comments. But, if you have an extra salt lick, could you send it my way? Did someone beat me to the request?

  53. Oh crap that was funny. Momaloms, are you doing a Christmas Post Contest??? B/c you should. But no one should bother entering, cuz this is it. The winner. HILARIOUS.

  54. OMG That was the best/worse story of Mall Santa ever. LOL Thanks for the laugh and giving me a reasonable excuse why I don't take my boys.

  55. TKW, you are a fucking riot!!!! You could have stopped with the opening gift idea (excellent idea, by the way) and left us rolling on the floor (and practicing gift giving...?), but how happy we are that you kept writing!


    In the words of your daughter, Santa deserved to be bitten. Because "he stinky, Mama. Santa not supposed to stink."

  57. I. Am. Crying.
    Of Laughter!!!!!! Can you come over here on Christmas? Things would be so much more fun.

    Those damn Santa pics. Since day one, Poonch has been terrified of Santa. She would never sit on his lap, and I never made her. My mom hated that she didn't have pics of her granddaughter on Santa's lap and always complained to me about it. Just this last Sat, we were in our town square where everyone was lining up to sit with Santa, including Chuckles. Poonch, WHO IS EIGHT FOR GOD'S SAKE, turned white and immediately started sweating and mumbling incoherent sentences. I took her out of the line and we looked at Christmas lights instead. For all the therapy my kid will need because of me, I hope she at least remembers I never made her sit with Santa. Merry freaking Christmas.

  58. Oh LORD. That needs to be published. Or bought by a prime time sit-com. Or SOMETHING. I have the hiccups from laughing so hard.

  59. hahahaha.....

    Hey, for those clamshell plastic thingies? Open them with can opener. Piece of cake.

  60. Natalie: For Realz? A can opener? You are the MacGwyver of Annoying Toy packaging. I am wicked impressed.

    And what is with you compassionate mommies who let your kid out of the whole Mall Santa visit? No, dammit! You have to wait in line with the small dogs in sweaters and make them sit on the hairy man!

    And Nicki: Tell #5 that he only gets to drink out of the O'Doul's drinking fountian. The Everclear fountain is ours, all ours.

  61. Valium Salt Lick and Vibrtor Bandit are now my favorite requested gifts and Halloween costumes, respectively.

    btw, you note in this post the frightening lack of foresight in going to a mall on a weekend in December. Um, we need to talk. Before this weekend. ;-)

  62. No worries, Nap. We will take Peanut nowhere near the hairy man.

  63. I know I'm late to this but I've been sunning myself at the beach. I've heard it before but this story is GOLD!!

    Stinky, hairy Santa's deserve to get bitten. She should have taken a chomp out of Mall Cop on her way past too :-)

    For the record, I think Daffy may well be one of the most gorgeous creatures ever to walk the earth but your ET photo has me in fits.....LOVE IT!!!