Why so serious?
Why am I so serious? I take things to the heart and forget that life is small and we are but tiny tiny ants in the grand scheme of the galaxy. I am so small and insignificant, why would I take anything that goes on seriously? This is all just a silly little game where a random string of consciousness is shoved in a random sack of meat. We have over complicated everything that is going on to a point of frustrating ourselves daily. We have systems and structure and explanation for everything. Why are we taking it so seriously?
Yellow Butter Dish
As little kids, we had no idea what to get Mom for Christmas. While shopping at the five and dime, we saw what appeared to be a really nice plastic yellow butter dish. My brother and I immediately combined our coins, and home we went to wrap it up.
On Christmas Eve, Mom looked so excited when she opened our gift that we decided to get her the same gift the next year and the next. While we rarely had butter in our house, we always had a good supply of yellow butter dishes.
And guess what Mom will be getting on her 97th Christmas this year?
After Dinner Mints
I remember it so clearly.
that fateful Christmas day
of opening presents
at my grandparent's house
when I was a child.
I remember my grandpa smiling
as he handed me a present,
disguised in beautiful wrapping paper.
Within the paper
held a medium cylinder tin labeled "after-dinner mints."
I remember that tin,
with bright-colored cartoon mints adorning it.
I remember being so excited.
Feeling like I got a grown-up gift.
Something so fancy it had to be cherished after dinner.
My parents told me how wonderful it was and were giggling with each other.
I remember being so excited throughout the Christmas meal
to eat these magic mints.
Finally, the time came, and I begged my dad if I could have one.
He smiled at me and said of course.
I took a deep breath and popped the round lid off,
excited for my sweet treat.
And to my surprise,
I got smacked in the face
with a springy snake.
I remember my whole family laughing
and my eyes welling up with tears
because underneath that stupid snake
that gave me quite a fright
were no after-dinner mints.
I was driving home from work recently and a commercial came on for the California state lottery. Apparently, lotto scratchers are the perfect Christmas gift to show all your loved ones how much you care about them. They're festive fun for the whole family - mom, dad... and especially all the little children.
I'm assuming the whole thing was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek; as gifts go, lotto scratchers are about as tacky as it comes. Surely no one would actually give that as a Christmas present...
Well, except for my brother, one year. But he didn't just give me lotto scratchers - no, that wouldn't be good enough.
The gift that I actually received was a handwritten URL that directed me to a stock image of lotto scratchers that had already been scratched.
"It's so bad, it's good, right?" my brother asked, beaming at me with pride.
The Unexpected and Hilarious Gift
I once received a gift from my uncle that was so unexpected and odd, it made me laugh out loud. It was a live chicken! Apparently, my uncle had been on a trip to the countryside and came across a farmer selling live chickens. He thought it would be funny to give me one as a gift.
At first, I didn't know what to do with the chicken. I had never owned a live animal before, let alone a chicken. But after a few minutes of staring at it, I decided to name it Henrietta and give it a home in my backyard.
Henrietta quickly became a beloved member of the family. She would strut around the yard, pecking at the ground and making the most adorable clucking noises. Every morning, she would lay an egg for us to cook for breakfast.
Although Henrietta wasn't exactly the typical Christmas gift, she brought a lot of joy and laughter into my life. I'll never forget the look on my uncle's face when I opened the box and saw a live chicken staring back at me. It was definitely a funny, odd and unusual gift!
I had a beer swigging elderly step father-in-law hated everything but being Christmas we used to try with practical items like flannel shirts, pajamas and undershirts. One day I found several pairs of nice winter socks but to liven up the gift exchange, I put them in this long carpet tube and wrapped the entire thing with a bow. It leaned near higher then our tree that year and was the talk of the season.
When it came time for the gift exchange we were all waiting to get some kind of funny reaction from the death of the party, but my mother-in-law's husband instead sat down and I brought him the long gift to open with anticipation. He lifted one end while balancing it on his lap and then the other and then simply said, "Socks."
A gift for when the lights go out
This doesn’t count as anything really odd or unusual. Well, maybe to you, but to me it’s completely expected. Every Christmas morning starts in the dark. Truly, my internal alarm clock goes off way before it’s even dawn on Christmas morning. My sister and I are excited to pour out the contents of our stockings while we wait for the rest of the family to rise. Although, every year it’s the same. Chocolates, socks, little cute hair accessories- all your typical stocking stuffers come out. And every year, some new kind of miniature flashlight. Thanks Dad. He airs on the side of caution and frequently repeats that quote, “Ya never know when you’ll need it!” In his strong Midwestern accent. I really hope you can picture this. Does this happen in your family? Do you also have a collection of 2 dozen mini flashlights waiting for their turn to be switched on?
I’m not complaining. It’s kind of exciting to see what version was plucked for us each passing year.
Although, I wish I was 10 years younger and still able to receive the junior version- A colorful, velcro, finger light. Now those were a blast.
I’ve never really opened an unusual gift. However, if I think about it, my family has some very odd traditions.
One of these was back when we had a dog; we would always buy him canned dog food as a Christmas treat. However, to just give it to the dog would have been boring. So we would wrap them in wrapping paper, write Dad on them, and put them under the tree. And every year, Dad pretended to not know what was in then, while us kids collapsed in giggles.
Another tradition we carry to this day, is the layered gift. Every year there is a gift under the tree that is quite large. But, when you peel off the wrapping paper, you find someone else’s name on it. You then pass it to the next person, who repeats it. Eventually the gift shrinks down to a ridiculously small object, and someone finally gets to keep it. This might be one of my favorite Christmas Day traditions. Though I admit it was quite a shock the first time it occurred.
Why so serious??
Why so serious?? Got problems??
Why can't smile and have some fun??
Life is hard but you are brave ;
It ain't new so, why look grave??
You cry, crave for the things you lack
And fail to see how much you have
You've got worries; you're pressurized;
You're fed up and you're really tired;
But it's not just a case with you;
We all suffer just like you do.
All these hardships, all these storms,
All these battles make us strong.
Morning shines after every night;
Eventually darkness ends into light.
Life's a blessing, it's wonderful,
You've got so much, why ungrateful??
Look at the clouds, and look at the sun;
Why so serious, let's have some fun!!
Sometimes Things Shape Up
Growing up my Mom worked a lot and my Dad was a good Dad when we was around. This year my parents were together, living in my mother’s new home. She decided to have Thanksgiving at our house for her side of the family and my father’s. This was the first time, ever. They were married since 1988, it was 2001… trust me, it being the first meant something ridiculous would play out.
My parent’s had a chaotic marriage, they either loved each other or hated each other. When they laughed, they laughed hard… it wasn’t often. My sister and I heard them in the kitchen, hysterical! It was nice to see them together, so we ran down the steps and into the kitchen. My mom came walking out of the downstairs bathroom with a new unused razor, plastic cap still on it. It was the kind of razor women use to shave their legs, etc. She walked over to the sink, laid the razor on the counter & asked my father to hold the turkey, firm. The look in my face must have been priceless because both my parents noticed and laughed more.
The turkey still had a mass amount of feathers on it. She was late purchasing the turkey because of work. Gerritys had a kosher turkey, she said,“what the hell” & grabbed it. My dad took it out of the freezer to thaw, but kept it in the plastic packaging. My mother cut the packaging open & hit the ground laughing.
I watched these two spend two hours having to shave the god damn turkey, my Dad drinking beer & my mom drinking mixed drinks. I’m sure it would not have took that long, but they were laughing so hard. Having to watch that play out was one of those things that people wouldn’t believe. Never will I find someone talk about their mother and father shaving the feathers off of the Thanksgiving turkey.