Christmas: A Defense

Our own Morgan Meis in The Smart Set:

Id_ic_meis_santa_ap_001I have a particularly vivid memory of a childhood Christmas during which my sister would stalk the Christmas tree day after day counting presents. On the final day she made a stack in the middle of the room. On one side were the presents with her name on them and on the other, those with mine. She tallied them up. The number was not to her liking. I can still picture the stunned calm as she counted and counted again. But there was nothing to be done. It was clear that my pile was two presents larger than hers. I think it was the “two” that really bothered her. A difference of one is one thing, a difference of two is quite another. When there was nothing more to be done she gathered herself up, collected her faculties, as it were, and then proceeded to throw an epic and violent fit. Right there. She screamed and raged, she tore paper and hurled objects. Her little face took on the specific pallor and twist of mythical figures, semi-human things on frescoes buried in ruins—the shards of lost time. She dashed her head, as only she could, on the kitchen floor, her beautiful blond curls bouncing up and down against the tile and mixing with the tears and saliva. She grunted things that couldn’t be understood. I say again that this is one of the clearest memories of my childhood. She was magnificent, glorious, as she took up arms against a sea of troubles. She was having no bullshit whatsoever. She wanted the presents that were due her.

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