Two years ago, on Christmas day, I had my 3rd miscarriage. The year before that, I was pregnant, but soon to have my 1st miscarriage. This year, I am recovering from surgery to deal with an ectopic pregnancy.
I was never a real nut for the holidays, probably because of one particular Christmas when I was a little girl (maybe 3 or 4 years old). My dad, as per usual, overindulged in the, ahem, spirits, of the season, and sustained a black eye from a street fight with the wall in our apartment hallway on Christmas Eve. My brother and I were asleep after a fun filled party (and an even more jovial Christmas Eve Mass) with stuffed tummies and visions of loot in our heads. We woke up the next morning to find Dad with a shiner (and probably a wicked hangover). He told us Santa had beat him up. This was the beginning of my disillusionment with the fat guy, but my brother's had begun years before.
Until I came along, he was the youngest of the cousins. The next-youngest cousin was a girl, and so, predictably enough, my brother developed a fascination with Barbies. They played with the Barbies a lot, and even though he was pretty young at the time (maybe 2 or 3, but really, I have no idea. I wasn't born yet), he surely dealt with some teasing from the older male cousins and their dad. I think this was probably harmless enough, until Christmas that year. Our uncle dressed up as Santa and passed out gifts to all the kids. My brother got a dress. To this day, he still remembers an almost uncontrollable desire to punch Santa right in the nose.
The year after the whole Santa-breaking-into-our-place-and-beating-up-Dad incident, I put two and two together and realized that the fat man is a myth developed by adults to keep kids in line: I found the Sears price sticker on one of my presents. I certainly had never seen an elf standing in line in a Sears, with a cart full of goodies for the nice little boys and girls of the world. I did know that my mom liked Sears. A lot. The whole thing was a sham.
I've tried, as an adult, to find some magic in the day, but never really with any enthusiasm. Hubby seems to have caught my malaise. We always wait till the last minute to buy gifts (this year we were traipsing through Target one and a half hours before our family Christmas Eve shindig). We've tried putting up a tree, though it seems to function as more of a cat magnet and endless supply of new doggy chew toys than anything else, so it hasn't been de-basemented in several years. After the turn of recent events, it seems even more depressing - after all, the whole holiday is about the birth of an infant (for the religious) and the spoiling of children (for the secular), and I am confronted yet again with my body's inability to function as it should.
When I found out about this pregnancy, before we knew that it was the right zygote, wrong place, I had visions of a joyous Christmas spent exchanging meaningful looks with Hubby, drunk on our secret bean and visions of next Christmas, our baby's first. I should have known better than to indulge.
Next year, we're boycotting the whole thing. I'd like to take the money we would have spent on gifts (okay, plus a whole lot more) and escape to someplace warm and wasteful, with a beach and lots and lots of alcohol.
Anyone want to tag along?