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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

What Christmas Means to Mini-Me

Well, folks, it’s Christmas Day here, and I don’t know how much time I’ll have to post, with the eggnog and the wrapping paper and the jingly bells flying all ’round. Family duties, you understand. So I thought I’d bring in a guest poster, to keep you entertained for the day, while I flit to and fro, playing nice and trying to secretly get hammered along the way.

(So far, no luck, but I’m still hopeful. All of these people can’t possibly be sober, can they?)

Anyway, I couldn’t find a real guest poster on Christmas, and on such short notice, so I’ve decided to try something radical. Just this once, because it’s Christmas, I’m going to let my inner child tell you what he thinks of the holiday season. Unfettered, unadulterated, and no holds barred. Now, I’m sure you wouldn’t guess it, given the drivel that spews forth from my keyboard every day, but I actually usually censor my inner child, just a bit. What you see isn’t usually quite as horrific as the first version, believe it or not. I know — scary, isn’t it?

But Christmas is for the kids, and I do have an awful lot of things (or a lot of awful things, depending on how you look at it) to do today, and he’s the only one available. So you’re stuck with him. At least you only have to put up with my inner child for a day; I hear the voices in my head all the time. Let’s see how you like it for a change.

In any case, I hope you enjoy this look at Christmas through the eyes of my younger, more immature self. Well, I hope a little, anyway — mostly I don’t really care. I just scored a flask of bourbon, so my main concern right now is to find some nog to hide it in. Screw Calgon — alcohol, take me away!

The Yuletides of My Youth

by ‘Little Charlie’

(No, not that ‘little Charlie’; get your mind out of the damned gutter for once, would you?)

Hi. My name is Charlie. I’m firty-fwee years old.

Okay, not really. I live inside another Charlie, and he’s thirty-three. But I never got older than nine or ten years old. Mommy says that’s because I didn’t eat my aparagus. One time, I told Mommy to suck my asparagus. I don’t get to talk to Mommy directly any more.

It’s Christmas today, and I get to play on the computer like a big boy. ‘Old Charlie’ told me to talk about Christmas time, and presents, and Santa. Christmas is fun!

He also said that I shouldn’t click on the little icon on his computer that says ‘Hot Three-Way Action Pictures‘. But I did, anyway. It was weird. Were those people fighting? Maybe they were mad, ’cause they lost all their clothes. Maybe it was a wrestling match — they didn’t have enough to do tag-team, though. Maybe since there were two girls, it was more fair to only have one boy. I don’t know. I don’t think it has anything to do with Christmas.

So, Christmas is the best time of the year! I remember when ‘Old Charlie’ was little, too, and we were so excited about Christmas together! We would always help put the Christmas tree up — that’s when you knew it was almost Santa time. Of course, Daddy always says that we didn’t really ‘help’ — we would hang an ornament, and then break a couple, and try to stuff tinsel up the dog’s butt, and Daddy would have to give us a ‘time out’. I don’t really remember all of that, but I’m pretty sure the dog would have been happier with tinsel up her butt. Everybody needs a little Christmas spirit.

And then, we could listen to Christmas music and carols for the next couple of weeks, until Christmas Eve. Or at least, we did, until Daddy told me that listening to Christmas carols makes your ears bleed. I don’t know if I believe it, though. The next year, I stuffed cotton in my ears and played ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer‘ real loud, and I didn’t see anybody’s ears bleeding. Dad’s face got really, really red, though, until he found the radio and broke the record in half. Maybe he was bleeding on the inside. I dunno.

Anyway, things would really get exciting on Christmas Eve. There’d always be a party, and games, and presents, and other kids. And it was all family, so everybody had to pretend to like each other for once. People even spoke to weird cousin Judy, who Mommy said was ‘three cards short of a deck‘. I told cousin Judy I was sorry, ’cause I lost some cards once, and I couldn’t even play solitare, or Go Fish. She just looked at me with her one good eye and drooled a little, but I think she understood. Cousin Judy always was a little hard to figure out. I think these days she’s in something called ‘Congress’, but I don’t know much about that. Sounds like a good place for her, from what I can tell, though.

The Christmas Eve parties were always a lot of fun. Me and the cousins would go off and play, and we’d have chips and cookies and sandwiches, and even a whole bowl of Christmas punch! The adults would all eat the same food we did, but they had a separate bowl of punch. Mommy said there were ‘spikes’ or something in it, which didn’t sound very tasty to me. Adults are weird.

I think spikes make you really sleepy, too, because after a while, all the people drinking that punch started stumbling and falling down and acting like cousin Judy a lot. One year, they even got the bowls mixed up, and we got the punch with spikes in it. I think they must have been spikes, anyway, because they burned going down my throat. Still, I wasn’t about to stop drinking it. I don’t remember getting sleepy, but I sure wet my pants a lot that year. Mommy said that wasn’t what ‘big boys’ do, but I told her I was only a freshman in college. I didn’t have to be a big boy yet. And ‘Old Charlie’ told her to ‘step away from the goddamned punch bowl‘. ‘Old Charlie’ always was a mean punch drinker.

But the most exciting part of the Christmas party was when everyone left, and we would get ready for Santa Claus! All the aunts and uncles would put their shirts back on, and stumble out, and pee their names in the snow for us to see. Mommy said that was our own little guestbook, out on the lawn. Some of my uncles could even write their phone numbers, too, if they’d had enough spiky punch! Uncle Tommy even tried writing something called the ‘Gettysburg Address’ once, but he only got halfway through, and fell over into the middle of it, with his head right between the ‘four score‘ and ‘seven years ago‘ parts. Nobody would kiss Uncle Tommy under the mistletoe after that.

After everyone was gone, Mommy and Daddy would clean up, and I’d get a snack ready for Santa Claus. I used to think that Santa liked milk and cookies, but Mommy told me that Santa is something called ‘lactose intolerant’, and that Mrs. Claus doesn’t like it when Santa drinks milk, because it makes him ‘fart like a whole herd of reindeer’. She also said that Santa likes to give Mrs. Claus ‘Dutch ovens’, but I thought Santa lived at the North Pole. Mommy doesn’t make much sense when she’s been drinking ‘big people punch’ sometimes.

Anyway, since Santa couldn’t have milk, I’d always leave him beer. Mommy said to only leave him one can, but when I asked Daddy to help me get the can out of the plastic ring, he’d always tell me to just leave the whole six-pack. He said the reindeer liked beer, too, and that they’d rather have pretzels or potato chips, instead of cookies. Apparently, one year Santa even asked Daddy if I could leave him a roast beef sandwich and a bag of Cheetos. I thought the roast beef might scare the reindeer, but Daddy said it wouldn’t, and to just make the damned sandwich. Daddy was always looking out for Santa like that — they must be really good friends.

The hardest part about Christmas was always getting to sleep. I’d go to bed around ten or eleven, but I’d lay awake for a while, listening for hoofsteps on the roof. I never heard any, but I don’t really see how I could’ve, with all the giggling and squeaking coming from Mommy and Daddy’s room. One year, I went to ask them to keep it down, but it looked like they were pretty busy. I guess they were wrestling, too, or just mad at each other because they lost all their clothes. That seems to happen to adults a lot, come to think of it. You’d think they could Velcro their pants to their legs, or something.

Finally, though, I’d get to sleep, and dream of all the cool presents that I was gonna get. I didn’t ever dream of ‘sugar plums’, ’cause I don’t know what those are. Everybody always talks about ‘visions of sugar plums’, but I’ve never seen one of the things. And what’s so exciting about plums, anyway? It’s not even a good fruit! Maybe ‘sugar oranges’, or ‘sugar strawberries’ I could see, but ‘sugar plums’? I never did get that.

Then, at five in the morning or so, I’d wake up, and get Mommy and Daddy to go open presents. They would always pretend to be sleeping, or sick, or something called ‘hungover’, but I knew they were just kidding around. Nobody’s ever sick or sleepy at five o’clock on Christmas morning! Silly adults! You’re not foolin’ me.

So, I’d drag them downstairs to the tree, and we’d see what Santa brought. It would always be fun — there’d be toys, and games, and sports equipment… Santa wasn’t so good with the stuff that needed to be put together, though. My metal toys that read ‘some assembly required‘ on the box were usually bent, and my bicycles would have grease, or blood, or Santa sweat all over them. I always thought it was weird that Daddy would have a bandage or bruise or sling on Christmas morning, too. I always figured he got it while he and Mommy were fighting over how they lost their clothes.

Christmas would always be lots of fun until the afternoon, when we had to go see the rest of the family again. That was never good. For one thing, I couldn’t take all my new toys with me to Grandma’s house, so I’d have to pick out just a couple, and leave the rest behind. Then, at Grandma’s, all the cousins and other kids would want to play with me. Well, they said it was with me, but I know they just wanted to scarf all my toys, ’cause mine were store-bought. Lousy stinkin’ poor cousins, anyway. Get your own toys! Then we’d open all our ‘practical’ presents there — socks, and jackets, and packs of tighty whitey underwear. That’s not Christmas — that’s a back-to-school sale! I love Grandma, but her Christmas parties sucked. And there was only one kind of punch, so I don’t think the adults liked it much, either.

Anyway, that’s how Christmas used to go, back in the good old days, when me and ‘Old Charlie’ were about the same age. But he keeps getting older, and Christmas gets more complicated, and now he drinks the spiky punch every year, too, and acts like weird cousin Judy. It’s fun, in a way, I guess — and I do like writing our name in the snow — but it’s just not the same. Now we don’t leave anything for Santa to eat, or get up early to open presents, or get much of anything but ‘practical’ gifts, anyway. Well, practical to me, anyway. ‘Old Charlie’ seems to like stereo speakers and new shirts and those little tubes of strawberry-flavored ‘Love Lube’… but what good are those things to me? Gimme a cap gun, or a board game, or GI Joes or something. Where’s the good stuff these days?

So, that’s my Christmas story. I hope your holiday turns out well this year. That’s no matter what you celebrate, whether it’s Christmas, or Chanukah, or Kwanzaa, or ‘Wild ‘n’ Woolly Wiccan Winter’ — whatever it is, I hope you get just what you want. Just try and save room to wish for something for your inner child, too. Maybe a baseball glove, or a party game, or some nice holiday candy.

Because we’re still here, sitting inside you and taking whatever scraps you give us. Throw us a bone this year, okay? Just a little something to keep us happy, and to help us both remember how simple and fun things used to be. Seriously. Otherwise, we’re gonna get you up at five in the damned morning and make you wet your pants in public. Don’t screw around with us. You know what they say — inner children can be so cruel. Happy holidays!

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “What Christmas Means to Mini-Me”

  1. Amber says:

    You know, our dog had tinsel in his butt, too. Our way was easier though…we just let the dog eat it. Merry Christmas little Charlie.

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