Holidays – The Understory and Next Theme

Here’s Rob McRay’s understory for our December 2016 theme “Holidays.” 

Tonight we celebrated the holidays.

We celebrated a nightmare before Christmas with Pinterest projects of disembodied heads and zombie angel blobs, all while wearing a giant pink rabbit suit.

We took a walk on a snowy Christmas Eve to the Grove Park Inn, travelling from childhood dreams of luxurious parties to a disappointing reality of fanny packs and screaming kids—and found we had fulfilled a better dream.

We shared holiday memories of great-grandmother Gigi in brightly-colored Easter outfits, 42-holidayswith eels and fishhooks and violins and a cat in a Cheerios box…and those special rolls.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with a large family of strangers, feeling awkwardly cared about, before escaping to Black Friday—only to learn during the flood what it means to be your cousin’s sister.

We remembered a Christmas with Aunt Rene, and angry growling Sput, and Spanky in our cornflakes—and screaming at a family who still wonder what that was all about.

We saved Christmas for a little boy in a hotel full of junkies, and a lonely woman in a line outside the letter room…and somehow saved Christmas for ourselves.

We wanted a better Christmas after a terrible year of divorce and debt and a destroyed car. But when our quiet coffee was interrupted by our always loud brother spewing shocking insults, we were possessed by some insanely mad spirit—but it felt good!

On a Christmas Eve we gave birth to a son and could not grasp the news that all was not OK. But three wise men led us through it all, until we heard the news that he was OK…and saw the news that for others it was not.

We celebrated a “Merry Freaking Christmas” that began with frantically wrapping our own gifts and crankily cooking carrot cake, and ended with traffic tickets and being late for dinner—and a wonderful meal full of family traditions.

These were our holidays.


Thanks to Darcie, Anna, Brittany, Will, Gayathri, Laura, John, Michelle, and Dana for their stories! Join us on January 30 at Douglas Corner for our first 2017 theme, “Starting.” Pitch your story here.

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