A Bitter Christmas to All, and To All a Bitter Christmas

Everyone gather around.  This won't burn much.

Everyone gather around. This won’t burn much.

Come on in, there’s plenty of room.  Have a seat by the fire.  Arizonians and Brazilians with your shorts and T-shirts, you are in the corner, where the bitter draft comes in.  North Dakotians, Russians and Canadians(and other northerners) with your parkas that could keep you warm in Anarctica, keep your thermal gloves, thermal underwear and your earmuffs on and sit right next to the fire.  I don’t want anyone comfortable here.  I’m surely not.  I was going to regale you with a bitter version of the Night Before Christmas, because I am unique like that, until I realized that everyone else thought of that idea first.  So I decided to sit you down and talk about your bitter memories. I know some of you would like to go on about how your family likes to go Christmas caroling together, or you have a heartwarming ugly sweater contest, or you exchange your one gift of socks on Christmas Eve before all the kids go immediately to sleep and don’t try at all to catch Santa.  But is that really the kind of tradition that creates the memories that you are talking about years later? Nope.  It is the bitter memories that you remember for years to come.

There is no bitter gift to get than this one in our family.

There is no bitter gift to get than this one in our family.

Think about it.  Do we love Home Alone because they all got to go on a perfect trip together to Europe? Nope.  It was the bitterness that Kevin had of being left Home Alone.  How about the Christmas Story?  Was it because Ralphie got to take down the robbers with his little pea shooter? Nope.  It was the bitterness of him almost shooting his eye out.  How about me?  Do I remember and talk about the years of Christmas when I got my siblings the nicest possible gift I could? Nope. The gift my family is still talking about years later was one I got my sister.  Her birthday is two days before Christmas and she loves to read.  So of course, me being the bitter gifter that I am, I waited until the day before her birthday. I was furiously scrounging the discount bin at the bookstore, when it magically appeared.  The least thoughtful gift I guy could ever give.  I will never forget the title of the book, nor will any of my family members.  I gave my sister a book called White Ninja.   I still remember the reaction she had when I gave it to her.  “Why would you ever think that I would want to read a book about a White Ninja?”  Of course my reaction was, “You love to read.  It’s a book! Why would you not want to read a book about a White Ninja?”  It was such a bitter memory for us, that just last year (15-20 years after the incident), I opened my gift from her with white rapping paper, and utter bitterness(utterness?) crossed my face when the paper revealed the words, White Ninja.  Never more of a bitter moment than that.

These oranges look delicious.

These oranges look delicious with their green Christmasy color.

My most memorable Christmas?  In one of the most awkward years for Christmas ever, I was done with school, but not quite done with being single.  This was the time period where I was bouncing checks as a hobby, so I couldn’t afford to go home for Christmas.  My sister, (yes the White Ninja one) and brother-in-law and their twiners (I call them that because they are twins) were gracious enough to allow my bitter presence (not presents) to be felt in their house that year.   At this point in our lives, we were still “drawing names” to decide which sibling we were forced to buy a gift for.  The sibling (I have two brothers and two sisters) that had drew my name was newly married and living in an igloo selling ice to eskimos and Caribou at the time, so unfortunately couldn’t afford to freeze something and send it via Polar Express that year.  My sister was nice enough to let me watch her and her family open present after present until I saw one little box from my parents.  Surely they would get me something nice right? Yes! It’s what I always wanted! They got me that Dilbert calendar so I didn’t have to wait until next week to get it for $4.99!  Oh, and what is this?  A button up shirt for work! I bet they didn’t order something from the Discovery Channel so they could get this Discovery Channel shirt for free right?  Oh, and don’t forget the oranges. They aren’t old at all!  My head was spinning.  Nothing could make a bitter man more bitter than a Christmas haul like this.

Don't worry. I'll just fix this one myself.

Don’t worry. I’ll just fix this one myself.

After that amazing Christmas haul,  I had planned a trip up an hour and a half north in my old car that had no problems (other than everything) in my pajamas.  This was nothing but a recipe for success. The car started revving really high, but I just figured it was just excited to get to our next destination.  About halfway up there, I noticed steam coming out of the engine, so I assumed that my hot chocolate was ready.  I pulled slowly onto the next exit ramp.  The car had finally stopped revving so much(I guess it tooks it ritalin) and it glided the several hundred feet like I was on top of angel wings.  As soon as I stopped the car (exactly equidistant between the middle of nowhere and the end of the earth), lovely green fluid gushed upon the ground like the Hulk was bleeding.  I found myself bitterly complaining that there was no red fluid to complete the Christmas Car Firework Fluid display.  Since there were none of those modern “phone boothes” that people kept raving about, I used this really inconvenient cell phone thingy to call the people who I was going to visit to tell them I might be a little late.  I also called my sister to ask her how her Christmas was going.  Then I called my parents to tell them that I got their gift and when did they land at the airport? Just curious.  Also did they know of any mechanics open on Christmas that might be willing to spend all day fixing a transmission in a town they weren’t familiar with?  Just wondering.

You're too good for your home.

Go home.

Story is over folks.  Go back to your homes, and leave me in bitterness.  By the way, here’s hoping that you and yours have some sort of disaster whether it is planned (having a lot of people at your house) or unplanned (your Christmas tree lights on fire.  If so, can you let me know? I’ll bring my stick and marshmellows.) because let’s face it.  You can have a Christmas that is fun, goes perfectly and everyone has a good time, or you can have a memorable bitter one.


Bitter Christmas to all, and to all a Bitter Christmas Ben


100 thoughts on “A Bitter Christmas to All, and To All a Bitter Christmas

  1. Dang. That was bitter-astic. Enjoyed it start to finish. You have a flare for conjuring up the joy of the holidays Bud. I would say I’m sorry it didn’t go better for you, but I don’t think you want any pity, I think you want to say “To HECK with that!” lol. So, may I say instead, may your next Christmas be memorable, but maybe not so bitter. BTW, ‘White Ninja’ for a girl? Really?


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    • I think she got it from some old used book store. I was pretty shocked and thought it was pretty awesome that she thought of it. It’s pretty much our family joke. Does your family have anything like that?


      • It was really awesome. Even more awesome that she didn’t just re-gift you. Does she still have her copy? I’d imagine so if it’s a family joke.

        And honestly…I can’t think of anything like that with my family. Unless you count jokes about our southern accents that are ongoing. Anytime the words ‘oil’ or ‘bubble’ are said, ‘Earl and Bubba’ comes out of my mouth. I have some that are somewhat embarrassing in that regard, but I realized a bit ago that I’ve kind of lost my accent. I blame it on editing.
        But no, no physical joke carrying on things. 😦


        • I don’t know if she still has it, but if she does it will probably be a family heirloom that gets passed down to our grandkids.
          Southern accents crack me up. Too bad you lost yours. I’ve never had much of one since I grew up in South Dakota.


        • That would be awesome. 😀

          And yes, southern accents can be pretty ridiculous. My entire family has them (with variances in severity), but yeah, mine is lost for the most part. Except for when I throw fits. And sometimes when I talk to my parents. I think my husband (who is not from here) has a worse one than I do now.
          Did I already say that?
          My memory is so bad.
          And I’m cold.


        • I think I would pay money to watch a southern family just talk back and forth. As long as it wasn’t Honey Boo Boo.

          I heard it was really cold there. Is your shed not heated. Now that is something you will need to remedy right? Can’t edit while in the cold…

          Where is your husband from? Where did you meet him?


        • I’ve never watched Honey Boo Boo. I’m scared I would lose intelligence points and I don’t feel like I have any of those to spare.
          And what’s with the southern family thing? I’ve heard a lot of people say that they like southern accents, but I just don’t get it.

          And I have some heaters in my shed. They work well…until it gets to a certain temperature…

          Husband is from Ohio, and we kind of met through a mutual friend. Roundabout. 🙂


        • Ohio is pretty cool. I am a big fan of Cincinnati because I was Reds fan growing up. Also went to Kings Island. You ever been there? It is awesome. Especially the Beast.

          Don’t ever watch Boo Boo. Total waste of your smartness.

          So was your shed built by Mr. Treehouse Master? Speaking of which we are watching it right now. The one in Texas.


        • I’ve actually never been to Kings Island, which is ridiculous because it’s only one state over. Most people I know have been there.

          Haha, I will stay away from Honey Boo Boo. Just the previews make my head hurt.

          LOL, unfortunately it was not built by him.
          I definitely want to get him to build me a treehouse to work in one day. That is the plan. It’s going to take a LONG time before that can happen . . .

          I think I’ve seen almost all of them. Might have missed one or two.


        • If you do go to King’s Island, make sure you see if my wallet is there somewhere. I lost it and it had a lot of money in it. I think it was on the one water ride. And it was like 20 years ago. I’m sure it’s around there somewhere.


        • Oh man, that’s a bummer. Though no one in my family does rides either so I usually have to go alone. But at the Everest one in the Animal Disney, my son went with me. He hated it though because it was dark and it went backward and it was loud and fast. I didn’t enjoy it near as much as I would had I gone with someone who wanted to.


        • My dad is the only person in my family that will ride rides, and he DEFINITELY shouldn’t.
          It really is a bummer. I honestly can’t tell you how many times I’ve been bummed out about not having an amusement park partner. Shame we live on opposite ends of the country!


        • Yep, just lonely little amusement park riders. I am hoping that my little buddy will someday grow into that role, but for right now we are just destined to have to ride amusement park rides alone. So didn’t you say you had a little trouble on the Hulk ride at Universal? I actually really liked that one as one of my favorites in those six days.


        • Unfortunately, that’s not something I would do alone (go to an amusement park).
          I also wouldn’t make my husband go then stand around while I rode rides.
          It’s all just a bummer.

          Yeah, the Hulk was horrible for me. I have a bad neck, and it was just too . . . JERKY?

          Great. Now I want some jerky.


        • Yep, it is a connundrum we have when it comes to amusement park rides. I just hope the heck that my son someday likes them so I have a riding buddy. Actually when they get older, we can just leave them and my wife could go with me. Either way, just a few more years….


  4. One year friends got us cheese from some Trappist monastery. You were supposed to heat it before eating. After heating, it smelled so bad we almost threw it away. After tasting, we did throw it away.


  5. My bitter Christmas memory was last year when we didn’t put up a tree and spent the entire day moping around. Somewhere in my self accusatory depression I did find time to lament my life choices. Then I fantasized about my ex losing his hair, gaining 50 pounds, and eating a gallon of ice cream. Seemingly harmless, but he’s lactose intolerant. He could rocket to the moon on a gallon of ice cream… heh. Heh heh. Heh heh heh heh! That was a fun mental picture


  6. Here’s a post-Christmas bitter memory: this year, one of my cousins got me dark chocolate covered edamame beans. I’m not even entirely sure what what they are, either.


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  8. My bitter memory for this holiday was a cell phone ringing two pews ahead of me at Christmas Eve service.
    It had the nerve to blast it’s ring tone, and that ring tone was more fitting for Halloween than Christmas.
    “Bwah hah hahah.” “Bwah ha ha ha hahahaha.”
    Since the moment it rang was at the solemn moment the pastor was talking about Jesus coming to save the world, I tried to hold in my laugh. It sounded like a snort and that made my daughter laugh and within seconds, we were both snorting choking fools who sounded like the sermon they were hearing was the funniest thing ever.
    At least we didn’t get burned by the dripping candle wax like last year…


  9. Sorry to report we didn’t have any disasters today – unless you count burning the cinnamon buns one! I guess it is a disaster, those things are gold! Hope you had a bitterly awesome day with your family. 🙂


  10. “…so I assumed that my hot chocolate was ready.” I really did LOL. And that orange and caption… Oh, sir, the Grammar Goddess, Punctuation Princess, and Spelling Sorceress in me often cringe, but your content is so… so… and so… well, words fail only one of us, which is why one of our blogs is read. (How do you find the time to be so witty so often, and find the perfect gifs?) Thank you for adding the perfect bitter gift (; ) of envy to the bitter gifts of the season.


    • I know people are just cringing when they read my stuff, because I wasn’t trained at the school of Grammar and Witchcraft and Wizardry. I was trained at the B.I.T.T.E.R. School of Bitterness, which pretty much ignored grammar. (Did I spell that write?)


  11. I thought I’d drop by and discuss my cat story further. After my ancient control freak neighbor trapped my adorable cat, left her out in the freezing rain, and sent her to the animal shelter, without ever mentioning that she had a problem with the cat, I first blogged about how she sucked and then wrote her a note about how she sucked and tossed it over the fence. Yesterday I received a manilla envelope with indeterminate contents, covered with scripture and an order to stop being cruel to her. She shortly followed in person, informing me that we had to be nice to each other. I yelled at her that she had trapped my cat and left her in the rain, and that I did not have to be nice to anyone who did that, upon which she sailed off into quoting scripture and haughtily informing me I had a devil in me, upon which I fell into cursing her. Why be difficult?

    Meanwhile I put the cat up for adoption, lest she somehow fall into this woman’s hands again, and she promptly got adopted into some kind of farm mansion with heated dog houses.

    I’m stuck with this neighbor and missing my cat. Bitter? You bet. The envelope? Threw it in the trash unopened. Probably has anthrax in it.


      • I know, shocker!

        One year, my sis got me a wreath made out of those shitty red and white peppermint candies, but hey, when you’re 8 yrs old, it’s a fantastic gift!

        I had completely forgotten to get her something, so on Xmas morning, I put a ten dollar bill my mom gave me, in a used book and handed it to her, unwrapped. She still hasn’t forgiven me!


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