Happy Statutory Holiday

I grabbed an olive from the dish and popped it into my mouth. When I bit down, I realized I had made a mistake. Blue cheese. The olive had been stuffed with blue cheese.

If I were to create a list of people and things I consider to be my nemeses, blue cheese would fall somewhere around number fifty.

But it was Christmas day eve. Dinner was late to the table, and I was hungry. So the blue cheese ultimately won this round with its surprise presence and my need to consume something in order to silence the rumbling thunder that was emanating from my stomach region.

Christmas, as a whole, had been enjoyable but relatively uneventful.

During the Christmas eve service, my brother and I whispered back and forth to each other.

The minister called all of the young children to the front of the church to explain to them the significance of Christmas presents. "We give gifts as a reminder of the gifts of the three magi. They are in celebration of Jesus's birthday," she said.

I leaned into my brother and said, "Actually, that is only partially true. Yes, the gifts are meant as a reference to the magi, but they are not in celebration of Christ's birthday. They are in celebration of Christ's birth in general. He would have been well over a year old by the time the magi reached him. Evidence suggests that Christ was born in the summer or early fall, so handing out birthday presents for Jesus in December and calling it 'Christmas' is a misnomer."

"You should stop the minister right now and correct her," my brother said.

"Don't worry, I will," I said.

I didn't though.

I know where my bread is buttered, and I suspect correcting the minister in the middle of the Christmas eve service is probably a good way to cause the church to rethink the pay raise I am getting in the new year. Plus, I do realize that the minister was probably just trying to explain Christmas to the children in a relatively simple way.

My sister refused to attend the Christmas eve service. In fact, she refused to follow through with many long established Christmas traditions held by my family - my favourite being the one where she sleeps with one of the neighbour's sons on Christmas eve and my father has to use all of his problem solving skills to determine which house on our street he should call on Christmas day in order to summon her home to open presents around the tree. So she is in a relationship. Big deal. That is no reason to end what we all consider to be, arguably, the most entertaining aspect of the holiday.

And now, with the holidays over, it is time to dress my dog up in the Santa suit my father purchased. Sure, he cannot wear the pants (they are much too large), but I am sure he will look handsome in the coat, beard and hat. Humiliated... but handsome.