Twas the 24th of December, and in the living room
Were boxes of presents, wrapped beautifully in maroon.
The tree was lit up, full of tinsel and light
And there were glittering ornaments of silver and white.
Everyone was happy; music played in the air.
The merriest of songs were coming from our tape player.
We began opening gifts; I was quite excited to see
What Santa, or my mom, had bought for me.
I unwrapped the ribbon, with thoughtful care,
And peeled off the wrapping tape, so the paper wouldn’t tear.
I pushed off the paper to find a clothing department store box!
I giggled, I smiled, “Clothing from my mom always rocks!”
See I had been away at school, and didn’t have time to shop
Instead of going to the mall we would make midnight food runs to IHOP.
Plus, I needed new clothes, my old ones looked lame
Compared to those of my peers, who dressed less tame.
So I opened the box, and peered inside,
And gasped in horror, for what did I find?
A baby blue velour track suit, the whole matching set –
There were velour pants, a shirt, a jacket, all things I didn’t want to get.
It was hideous, and tacky, and why would she buy it?
I didn’t want to wear it; I didn’t even want to try it!
Velour track suits are for people who feel heavy; was she saying I got fat?
Maybe I gained a couple pounds, but I was fine with that!
I gaped and stared and thought for a while,
And then decided I should fake a pleased smile,
Because my mom was looking at me with a very happy face.
She was hoping I would love it; she expected an embrace.
“I was worried you wouldn’t like it, because it’s different than other clothes you wear,
But I saw it in the store, and I fell in love with the outfit there!
Then I bought it and brought it home for your brother and dad to see,
‘It’s a great outfit! Great color! She’ll love it!’ They reassured me.”
“I love it indeed,” I smiled at my very dear mother.
And then for a split second gave the evil eye to my dumb brother.
He’s my age, he’s young, he should have been aware
That this velour ensemble was not something I could wear.
I pulled him aside later, and gave him a verbal thrashing,
“What were you thinking!? Why did you approve it? I should give you a lashing!”
“What?! I thought it looked nice!” he said in his defense.
“Are you kidding me?! I thought you had taste! You’re making no sense!
It’s VELOUR and it’s baby blue and come on, the shirt has glitter-
Were you mad at me when you approved it? Did something make you bitter?”
“Well if you don’t like it, tell mom so she can return it to the store.
I’m tired of hearing you whine about it; you’re such a bore.”
I glared angrily at my brother, knowing I would take vengeance –
No more Christmas for him! No more cool new presents!
I waited until the summer, when I was home from school,
And said, “Mom and Dad, I’ve been thinking, you know what’d be cool?
If this year for Christmas, we switched things up a tiny bit,
And were together for a fine meal, and then that was it.
No exchange of gifts, presents, or toys for each other.
For example I would get nothing from you and nothing for my brother.
We would focus on the importance of family and being together.
What do you say? Doesn’t that sound lovely, less stressful, and ultimately better?”
I could tell they liked the idea, but they were concerned
“Will your siblings like the idea? It won’t be spurned?”
“Naw they’ll love it! Big Sis will totally agree
And little brother will totally understand, we’ll make him see
That material things are not the things that really matter
It’s bonding, spending time, and eating delicious cake batter.
The holiday season has turned into a consumer celebration
We’re missing out on the feeling of real Christmas elation.”
My parents were delighted, and pleased with how I am so sweet and caring,
And they thought the no presents idea was hip and daring.
And sure enough the following Christmas we did not see
Any giant boxes of presents under our beautiful tree.
Instead we watched a movie after a fine family dinner,
And then we chatted delightfully over dessert, which was truly a winner.
And that velour suit, I kept it and wore it around the house once in a while
Even though it was odd and definitely not my style.
I specifically wore it around my brother to make it very clear
When approving clothes and gifts for me he should be full of fear,
Because if he makes a velour mistake again I will make him pay.
I’ll find another holiday to destroy for him, I’ll find a way.