(Photo stolen from The Doifter on Flickr)
I love Christmas, usually. This year I'm having trouble getting into that jolly yuletide spirit. I don't know why... Maybe because my family are a bunch of manic depressives and drug addicts, and I get to spend the holidays pretending they aren't?!
See, one of my brothers is eight years older than me. My first memory of him was when I was six and I caught him stealing my birthday money out of my purse. He was already doing drugs by then and ran away from home not long after. My next clear memory of him was when my brother and I had to get out of bed in the middle of the night to go with my dad and bail him out of jail. Now he's a full fledged crack head and is currently on parole from the state prison. He has disappeared. No one has heard from him in two months, so we don't know if he is even alive at this point. The good news is that since he isn't here, he can't rob us all blind as soon as we bring our gifts home.
Then there's my dad. He is a prescription drug junkie from way back. Sleeping pills, pain pills, anti-depressants, and whiskey. That's his daily combo. Since all his drugs (aside from the whiskey) are scripts, he will never listen when we try to talk to him about his drug use. He needs them all, you see. Depending on the amount and combination of these that he's taken on a given day, you get the most fun guy in the world, or you want to kill him within minutes of hearing his voice.
Of course, you can't really blame Mom for being bummed on Christmas, with her son strung out and missing and her husband in a stumbling stupor. But still, the aura of sadness around her is so thick you can almost feel it when you walk in the room.
So, for my family's sake I will continue to fake the Christmas Spirit. It gets a little more real every day that I do so, and maybe by the big day, I will be able to smile genuinely through all our festivities. I refuse to bring them down the way my family does me.