Alex’s Grinch Family Christmas

Thank God They Love Each Other More Than Christmas

Alex Brehmer, Writer and artist


Christmas isn’t my family’s favorite holiday. I don’t think we have one. Halloween is fun, but even then, we’re not very festive people. We’d much rather spend our time alone in our rooms than gathered together around the yule log, singing carols and making out. This isn’t to say we’re not close. We just all enjoy our respected hobbies a lot. That said, the spirit of Christmas is infectious. So much so, that late December caroling, drinking hot cocoa out of our handmade mugs, performing human sacrifices, and going to church.

Around the 20th of December, someone (usually my little sister) points out that we still don’t have a Christmas tree. Frantically, we pull up our fuzzy socks, zip up our sweaters, and tie our scarves nice and tight. It takes a while for our minivan to heat up, and it’s a long drive from my house to the “Christmas-Tree-Sale-Extravaganza” in the parking lot by the freeway exit. By the time we get there, the tree selection is slim. We like it this way! It makes picking the ugliest tree way easier. Our fascination with ugly trees started kind hearted. “We’re going to give this poor, sick, brown bush the merriest Christmas ever!” At least, that’s how we tried to explain it to our littlest sister. She doesn’t understand why we don’t buy the pretty trees, like her friends’ families have. I truly believe it’s because we’d rather make fun of a runty eyesore than actually take the holiday seriously. My dad tells her that it’s because we’re Jewish. We’re not Jewish.

When we get home with the tree, we grab the two grey tubs of old, dusty-smelling Christmas decorations. We go through and untangle the tinsel and make fun of my grandma’s hand painted gingerbread men. They are really awful. It’s not truly Christmas though until my dad turns on the Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas album on the Bluetooth speaker. My mom hates this album. She’s always hated it. The shrill cries of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore make her ears bleed. Every year, she begs my dad to turn it off. Every year, my dad reminds her that it is the ONE Christmas tradition we have. My sisters and I sit in front of the tree and pretend to inspect the same ornaments we’ve had since 2004. If we make eye contact with our mom, my dad will think we don’t like the music, and it will break his heart. If we make eye contact with our dad, our mom will take it as a sign of aggression against her. No one wants that. Right around Jingle Bell Rock, the room becomes too tense, and my dad turns the music off. Then my dad makes cookies, and we gather around the T.V. for a late night showing of the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It gets less politically correct every year. When it gets too offensive, we watch Bob’s Burgers. Then we go to bed.