Badassery Magazine December 2017 Issue 19 - Page 21

Ladies and gentlebeings , I come to you with a confession : Christmas is a very difficult time for me . I lost my adopted little sister Rain to a car accident on Christmas day , and the absence of my late-fiancée Raven ( who was killed by a drunk driver a year and a half earlier ) only makes the loneliness more pronounced .

Despite this overlay of sadness , I still love Christmas . I love the feeling of joy and nostalgia it creates . I ' ve always felt that the imagery of snowbound homes lit with bright lights , redolent of Christmas dinner and filled with happiness and , at least ostensibly , peace on earth , is a powerful thing .
Perhaps you feel that this is nothing more than an idealized Norman Rockwell painting , a myth created by a million Christmas movies , and nowhere near representative of real life . You may think that the holiday season is a time for driving yourself to distraction . If you ' re like many people , you ' ll spend much of that time decrying the " commercialism " of Christmas , as if it were some sort of outside force , compelling folks to roam department stores like zombies , trying to find the perfect item for Uncle Joe or Aunt Martha .
The trouble is , it ' s all a pile of tinsel-laden nonsense .
Commercialism is , and has always been , a participatory sport . Holidays become commercialized because we decide that they are . We spend the months prior to the holiday period shopping , spending far more than is necessary or even viable on trinkets and baubles to satisfy a perceived sense of obligation . " Well I have to get them SOMETHING for Christmas ..."
If I may be so gauche , my dear and long suffering reader , allow me to share a short tale about one particular Christmas I spent some years ago . I share it only to provide an alternate view of Christmas gift giving . Your mileage may vary .
I was in Boston at my fiancée ' s parent ' s home , spending the holiday with my new family . That alone was an experience that moved me ( literally ) to tears , but that story will have to wait for it ' s own missive .
At the time I was working at KFC , and could barely afford to get to Boston , much less buy Christmas gifts . Despite reassurances from Raven and her sister , I felt a deep sense of guilt that I was unable to " do my part " in the gift giving , especially since this was mine and Raven ' s first Christmas together .
I felt as if I was letting her down , and the feeling stayed with me right up until the day before
Christmas Eve , when I decided I had to do something .
Inspiration and creativity ( mixed with a little desperation ) took hold .
On the evening of the 24th , I was in the living room with Raven , her sister Rain and their parents , enjoying homemade eggnog ( if you ' ve never had homemade eggnog , you ' ve not truly lived ) and chatting while soft Christmas music played in the background . The scene was idyllic , like something out of a holiday special . There was no snow falling , but outside a fresh layer of white powder coated every surface .
At a subtle glance from me , Rain smiled slightly and went to the window , apparently drawn there by something she spotted through the sheer curtains .
"... the hell ?" she muttered incredulously . " Raven , come here and look at this ."
Puzzled , Raven rose from her place at my side and moved to the window .
I watched my fiancée carefully , my heart hammering in my
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L adies and gentlebeings, I come to you with a confes- sion: Christmas is a very difficult time for me. I lost my adopted little sister Rain to a car accident on Christmas day, and the absence of my late-fi- ancée Raven (who was killed by a drunk driver a year and a half earlier) only makes the loneliness more pronounced. Despite this overlay of sadness, I still love Christmas. I love the feeling of joy and nostalgia it creates. I've always felt that the imagery of snowbound homes lit with bright lights, redolent of Christmas dinner and filled with happiness and, at least ostensi- bly, peace on earth, is a powerful thing. Perhaps you feel that this is nothing more than an idealized Norman Rockwell painting, a myth created by a million Christmas movies, BvW&PV"&W&W6VFFfRb&VƖfRॖRFFBFRƖF6V62FRf"G&frW"Ч6VbFF7G&7FbRw&RƖPVRRv7VBV6bFBFRFV7'rFR&6ЦW&6Ɨ6"b6&7F22b@vW&R6R6'BbWG6FRf&6R6VƖrfƷ2F&FW'BЦVB7F&W2ƖR&W2G'pFfBFRW&fV7BFVf"V6PR"VB'F7VFrf"&RF2V2ЦW76'"WfVf&RG&WG0B&V&W2F6F6gW"Ц6VfVB6V6Rb&ƖvF%vVfRFvWBFV4UDpf"6&7F2"6&7F2WfRvVFV6FVBBFF6WFrखb&R6vV6RגFV Br7VffW&r&VFW"pRF6&R6'BFR&W@R'F7V"6&7F27V@6RV'2v6&RBǐF&fFRFW&FRfWr`6&7F2vgBvfrW"֖RЦvRf'FRWfVrbFR#GFv0FRƗfr&vF&fVW"67FW"&BFV"&VG2VrVFRVvvr`RwfRWfW"BVFRVvrЦrRwfRBG'VǒƗfVB@6GFrvR6gB6&7F0W62VBFR&6w&VBFR66VRv2GƖ2ƖR6RЧFrWBbƖF7V6FW&Rv26rfƖr'W@WG6FRg&W6W"bvFPvFW"6FVBWfW'7W&f6Rऒv2&7FBגf<:Rw0&VBw2R7VFrFRƒЦFvFגWrf֖ǒF@Rv2WW&V6RF@fVBRƗFW&ǒFFV'2'W@FB7F'vfRFvBf"Bw0v֗76fRBFRFRv2v&r@d2B6VB&&Vǒff&@FvWBF&7FV6W72'W6&7F2vgG2FW7FR&V77W"Ц6W2g&&fVBW"67FW"fVBFVW6V6RbwVBF@v2V&RF&Fג'B"FRvgBvfrW7V6ǒ66PF2v2֖RB&fVw2f'7@6&7F2FvWFW"ऒfVB2bv2WGFrW"FvBFRfVVƖr7FVBvFP&vBWVFFRF&Vf&P7&FB7&VFfG֗V@vFƗGFRFW7W&FFBB7V'FRv6Rg&R&6֖VB6ƖvFǒBvVBFFRvFr&VFǒG&vFW&R'6WFr6R7GFV@F&VvFR6VW"7W'F2"FRV"6RWGFW&VB7&VBЧVW6ǒ%&fV6RW&R@BF2 WVB&fV&6Rg&W 6RBג6FRBfVBFFRvFrऒvF6VBגf<:R6&VgVǒגV'BW&rאFRG&V&R2Bw2R`F6VFV6V6R6W&6Ɨ62B2Чv2&VV'F6F'7'BआƖF2&V6R6W&6ЦVB&V6W6RvRFV6FRFBFW&RvR7VBFRF2& FFRƖFW&B6r#