Christmastime makes me remember how stupid I am.
There was the year Mom asked for this gold manatee necklace. When Dad and I returned from the mall, I excitedly told Mom that manatees and dolphins were not the same animal. Dad's bug eyes revealed the Christmas secret had been spoiled.
There was the year I decided that animals needed presents too. And I made stockings for every horse in the barn I rode at. I filled each one with carrots and sugar cubes and got Best Friend's dog presents. This is why kids don't get money.
There was the year I got a surprise dog for Christmas and while everyone was sleeping, he escaped and ran into my room. Dad woke up to my shrieking and Parents entered the scene to a huddled April in the throes of an existential breakdown (I had reoccurring nightmares of elves watching me sleep). After being told it was my new dog, no one got any sleep because over the child monitor was me mercilessly repeating: "I got a dog. I got a DOG. I GOT A DOG!!" until the sun came up.
There was the year I decided every present of Mom's that Dad and I wrapped needed a bow. I made Dad buy 10 bags of bows. 10 bow per bag. 100 bows. One hundred mother fucking bows.
Inevitably, every year, I miss something. We forgot the Christmas pajamas for Mom one year and tried to cover it by wrapping her a pair of underwear instead. In a stroke of passive aggression, she wore her oldest, ugliest pair on Christmas morning. I forget to wrap something. Something comes in late. I buy the wrong size. I forget the brand that I am supposed to get. One year we forgot to buy enough stocking stuffers and started putting anything small into Mom's - she got gold jewelry and a digital camera in her Santa bag that year.
I will send Christmas cards and forget someone important.
Christmastime makes me remember I am dumb, but good hearted. That I try, but I am human. Most of all Christmastime just makes me remember that cards and bows and forgetting key elements and surprises are just the means - the means to the ends: that I love my family and my friends and being with good people and that my idiocy doesn't really matter.