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Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Seasons Greetings! Happy Christmas! Yuletide Greetings! Greetings of the Season! Love, Peace, and Joy! Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noel! Ho. Ho. Ho.

Or,Oh. Oh. Oh.

Oh, shit.

Or, Son of a bitch.

On this Christmas day, I am grateful and thankful to be in my pajamas, soaking up the chaos with biscuits and gravy, cinnamon cake, and kids entrenched with the fat man in the red suit and his eight tiny reindeer. Nine if you count Rudolph. However, if I was being truthful, the month of December left me with more inner dialogue wrought with profanity, anxiety, exhaustion, and humor. In fact, one of my favorite songs was on repeat in my head from about November 30th till about two hours ago.

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats are genius and have put a smile on my face with their song, 'S.O.B.' Have a listen: You feel happy right? Joyous? Don't sweat the lyrics yet. You can drink in a minute. I'll even supply the recipe.

My 'S.O.B.' list in no particular order:

  1. My poor, decrepit old Saturn died a slow death. In our driveway, usually at 6:30 a.m. when I needed to be leaving for work. Or taking the kids to swimming lessons. Or when my husband needed to get his car out of the driveway, and I was blocking him in. How many times we put it in neutral and had to back in out into the street, with my husband in PJ pants and I steering: 1. How many times I couldn't get the car in reverse to back out of my driveway in the first place: 9. How many times I drove it to the autobody shop and walked home between the months of August and December: 6. #S.O.B.

  2. I have the worst voice ever. I sound like Patty or Selma from The Simpsons, on my best day--and I don't even smoke. On my worst day, I sound like Patty if she woke up with bronchitis after a wicked bender with Principal Skinner. I enjoy holiday parties. I enjoy people. I genuinely enjoy conversation and community. I cringe and want to hide if I have to sing. Especially Christmas carols in a small room with many people. With really good voices. I find if I move my lips a lot and sort of whisper-sing ( like Jamie Walters from The Heights--think 90210 and Donna Martin) I fly under the radar. At least in my mind I do. #S.O.B.

  1. A well-meaning, very thoughtful friend, who is always very sweet to my children gave me this for them. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't even move the damn Elf on a Shelf on a timely basis and now I have to figure out this reindeer 'pet.' The former middle school teacher turned author was on her 'A' game when she wrote the story/marching orders to have the reindeer sleep with the child to bestow love, warmth, belief, warm fuzzies, etc. Then on Christmas Eve, the reindeer becomes life-size and flies away to help out Santa. I don't have to move it, but we do have to name it. And fight about who gets to sleep with it. My children love stuffed animals, so they quickly figured out a rotation schedule for their new lovey. However, their ability to name these things is piss poor. The self-conscious Elf was named Pickles Lollipop, Sparkles Sunshine, and/or John Stardust depending on their moods. I couldn't stomach another stuffed animal or doll with a stripper name, so I guided them--or so I thought. Cocoa Candy Cane was lovingly cared for and was a big help to Santa on Christmas Eve. Pickles Lollipop would be so proud. #S.O.B.

4. Speaking of reindeer, I took my children and my daughter's friend to see them. One Sunday, at a local Christmas tree lot, Donner, Cupid, and Comet made an appearance. The kids were curious, albeit a bit apprehensive, to be so close to Santa's reindeer. They became enamored after a few minutes and wanted to pet them. They weren't allowed to pet them, but one friendly worker let them each take a turn holding the antlers they had on display. With good intentions, he let each child take a turn holding the very heavy and cumbersome antlers. He then made a fatal error.

"Did you know these were Rudolph's antlers?! Yes, they were! Isn't that cool?! He grew new shiny ones after these fell off. These are...wah wah wah wah wah wah wah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah."

OMG. He led with Rudolph? ?? He led with Rudolph!!

The look on my son's face when he heard the first few words fly out of the man's lips was pure horror. He couldn't rid himself of those antlers fast enough and almost fell over if his sister didn't help him hold them. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. #S.O.B.

5. We took the kids to see Christmas lights and because it wasn't too cold, we didn't need to stay in the car--we could walk the park instead. The kids loved the light displays, hot chocolate, music and sleigh ride. I also got to listen to this:

"Mom, ,the lights are soooooooooooooo beautiful here. Why don't we have lights up? Can we get a blow-up penguin for our front yard?"

" We could get a really tall ladder and put rainbow colored lights in our pine tree. Lots of them. Then our house would look as pretty as Grammy and Grandpa's."

" Ooohhhh....look at the water. Oohhh...look at the presents. Oooohhh...look at the steps. Our house is so sad. This park is happy. Can we make our house happy too?" #S.O.B.

6. Coffee. It is a necessary evil and I always have some in a to to-go mug enroute to work. After said work is done for the day, I have a tendency to throw all objects, including, fluid-filled objects, like water bottles, leftover soup in Rubbermaid containers, and coffee in the same bag as my gradebook and student's papers. Yes, psychologists, it is my way of being passive aggressive and I am fully aware. However, after grading for hours one night and getting ready to return essays, projects and input grades to find all documents in a puddle of day old coffee, I almost wept into that dastardly to-go mug. Instead, a drying station was set up behind my desk at work, while co-workers sauntered by and giggled. #S.O.B. 7. I obviously didn't have enough coffee the other day as I complimented a co-worker on her Ugly Christmas Sweater. I even went as far to flick the bell on the back of her sweater and chortle about the high pitched sound it made when she walked down the hall. It wasn't an Ugly Christmas sweater, but one of her favorite Christmas sweaters she always wore around the holidays. Apparently, the Ugly Christmas sweater day was Thursday, not Wednesday. Huh. #S.O.B.

8. Inwardly, I really do love and appreciate the holidays. Outwardly, sometimes it is hard for me to behave accordingly. Gingerbread houses, Christmas cookies, and wrapping presents make my skin crawl and I just want to run in a hole and hide. Well, my children helped me with this task this year as all tape was consumed by December 23rd. Because all art masterpieces must be hung up-----because they are that good. Long live gift bags. #S.O.B.

9. One child didn't go to bed till 11 p.m. Christmas Eve, the other one was up at 1, 3, and 5 a.m. and consequently started opening up presents without my husband or I knowing. The other one was so insistent on carrots for Santa Claus's reindeer, he went outside barefoot and without pants, to check if Blitzen ate some. I knew this would happen, so I made my husband gnaw and eat carrots like a deranged jackrabbit. #crazyparents #nothotdogs #S.O.B.

10. Finally, why shouldn't we permanently put our mark on Christmas. Literally. My daughter decided to do some 'serious' artwork and apparently needed multiple Sharpies to get her vision across. Now, our dining room table looks like a Leopard gecko. #wantedanewtableanyway #thankyou #S.O.B.

As Christmas day comes to a close, a drink is as redemptive as any. I leave you with a recipe for a delicious holiday cocktail that will make you mumble, 'Son of a bitch,' but in a complementary and joyous way.

The Purcell

2 oz. Bourbon ½ oz. Brown sugar simple syrup Two whole cloves 1 oz. Cranberry juice Cider Cinnamon Stick

Mix all of the ingredients except the cider in a cocktail shaker with ice. Once it is all mixed, pour into a martini glass. Top with the cider. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Breathe. Take a big gulp. Repeat.

Good tidings to you and all of your kin, good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I am an educator by trade...

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