|A season of bickering, fights and later, exhuaustion|
TYPING: No one tells you Christmas fuels hatred. If they ever tell you any truths, Christmas reunites a family. At least that’s the whole rationale behind a Christmas family dinner. But it’s a time for unwanted relatives to rear their heads, a time to cuss and a time to make… hmm… weary?
We all stared around the table at one another waiting for the worst to happen. And it did.
Now, as a child, you are told when adults fart, you are to shift the blame on yourself. Possibly why my parents produced five children so they could make up a rota for who to take the shame. But equality is nothing my parents grasp. I’ve been taken the blame for years.
“Kobs, next time excuse yourself,” my mum yelled in my face, “you must be so nervous, aren’t you?” Of course she was indirectly referring to my dad and he knew this.
“Yes, so, so nervous.” Dad backed her up with mock-sympathy.
Pot. Kettle. Brown.
I’m really not nervous about this whole family dinner thing. No big deal, we do this every year. And one of us children lose (the full functionality of) a body part. Last year, Godwin, the eldest lost his virginity to a distant cousin. Kojo, the second, lost his appetite when told to wipe the nose of a nephew whilst Kwame lost shape of his head from uncle who headbutts as greeting. Isaac, directly after me, lost his foot when Gran Gran mistook it for the floor and jabbed at it constantly with her walking stick to prove a point. And I lost an eyebrow––don’t ask why.
This year around everything was really going well. Food was politely moved around the table without any insults. Gran Gran, my dad’s deaf and blind mum could have retaliated to the insults Grannie Grandma was levelling at her if she, well, could hear or at least read lips. Aunt Flo, my mother’s identical twin sister’s pastries were put out, and being the lab rats, we children ate them all up ignoring they tasted like a split between freshly cut grass and manure. Uncle Pat, my dad’s singleton brother was even hitting on my mum with my dad restraining every urge to clock him in the eye.
Things were really going pretty well until, Aunt Flo broke the silence, “It’s my forty-fifth birthday tomorrow and I am still menstruating. Merry Christmas.”
In synchrony, all the men on the table spewed out their food.
“It’s about time I quit calling my husband’s penis, a prick. Merry Christmas.” Followed mum.
“I got slapped in the kitchen trying to cop a feel of my brother’s wife’s boobs. Merry Christmas.” Uncle Pat.
“I slapped my uncle for grabbing my mum’s boobs. Merry Christmas.” Said Godwin.
“I would love to have my boobs grabbed by son-in-law’s brother. Merry Christmas.” Grannie Grandma was next.
“I really do not like my impotence being discussed at a family dinner. Merry Christmas.” There was dad.
“Even if I do get kids, I wouldn’t care if they looked like the black one there. Merry Christmas.” Aunt Flo pointed at me.
“Aunt Flo your pastries suck! Merry Christmas!” I was the first to raise my voice.
“If Grannie Grandma would draw close I’d grab her boobs! Merry Christmas!” Uncle Pat.
“I’d prefer a squeeze, at this age these bazookas don’t get sore anymore! Merry Christmas!” Grannie Grandma.
“I want to feel like a woman again! Merry Christmas!” My mum yelled at my dad.
“Shut up and teach your kids some manners! Merry Chistmas!” Aunt Flo yelled at my mum.
“Yeah, shut up! Merry Christmas!” Dad backed Flo.
“I have every right to say I am not satisfied woman! Merry Christmas!”
“Mum, really, you keep scarring us for life! Merry Christmas!” That was Kojo.
“Oh, leave your mum alone, I’m in my seventies and I haven’t forgotten what an orgasm is! Merry Christmas!”
“I really wished I had a normal family! Merry Christmas!” Kwame screamed.
“Me too! Merry Christmas!” Isaac.
“Me three! Merry Christmas!” That was me.
“Oh, tell the black kid he was adopted! Merry Christmas!” Aunt Flo’s yell got the table silent.
Long. Awkward. Pause. On. A. Holy. Night.
I stared in confusion at my mum and dad, then turned to Aunt Flo in annoyance, “At least I know I have a sane family out there! Merry Christmas!”
“I am your biological father! Merry Christmas!” Uncle Pat broke out.
“He fucked your mother! Merry Xmas!” Grannie Grandma yelled…
TYPING: Christmas is a time for family reunions, family secrets and sometimes… the odd miracle.
“Oh, Aunt Flo, guess why you are called Flo! Merry Christmas!”
We all turned our gazes to Gran-Gran in shock.
“Well, let’s have a merry little Christmas!” Grannie Grandma encouraged.
“Merry Christmas!” We all gave a collective cheer, chinking our glasses brimmed with not-so-sparkling wine (thanks to the type: palmwine). And in that moment we felt like one big, happy family.
“I STILL CAN’T SEE!”
“Wait, till next Christmas!” G.G told her off.
TYPING: Majorie Holmes, a best-selling Christian author once said, ‘At Christmas, all roads lead Home’. Christmas is meant to be celebrated with the people you love, or possibly hate most: your (biological) family. Have a brill time with anyone you consider family, because it's these little moments that make you thankful for whatever might have happened throughout your year and remain hopeful that no matter What the new year brings, you'd have your family—the people you love—and they would help you pull through. And while at that, figure out what rocks your boat: water, wine or prosecco. Happy Holidays, people. Merry Christmas.