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“Do you even have a tree?” I asked.

“Yes and no,” my dad said. “I got a tree reservation. And it’s amazing, ok?”

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” I said. When I saw the Christmas tree, it reminded me of A Charlie Brown Christmas. The tree was about half the size of a high school locker, and we could only fit half of our ornaments on it. Dad thought that my little brother, Andrew would like it.

When we got home, we showed Andrew the tree and he said, “Not exactly Groot, is it?”

 The next day we went Christmas shopping, and like usual, we saw tons of little kids going “I WANT [random seriously expensive item] FOR CHRISTMAS!!!” Jeez! I’ve always wondered why little kids ask for all that stuff then blubber why they didn’t get all that.

“Do you think that mom will want a wrench for Christmas?” my dad asked. “Seriously?” I said.

I watched Andrew buy dad a lava lamp, and I bought Andrew a Lego set while Dad was chewing the cashier out for having such high prices for packs of gum. Next, we went to the grocery store and ran into a Salvation Army guy dressed as Santa, ringing a bell in our ears until Dad had to put some money in his bucket. At least dad thought it was money, it was actually a condom.

When we got home, dad tried to start a fire, but he ran out of sticks to start the fire, so he ran out to the mailbox, came back with an inch thick of bills and used them to start the fire. Next, we had to sign and send Christmas cards. I’ve never liked Christmas cards ever since we could just text our family picture to all our relatives. Plus, dad gets the wrong Christmas cards all the time, so he can’t blame Andrew and I when we say that we hardly even KNOW half these people. Soon, lots of my dad’s friends started trickling in and turning on dumb Christmas specials. So later, it was just me and Andrew watching over a bunch of grown men asleep in piles like the house was an overpopulated prison with no beds.

Andrew went to bed, but found one of dad’s friends in his bed asleep with a half empty beer. That was it for us. We got out our cap guns and used up half of all our gun ammo. Everyone woke up like they heard a nuke explosion. All of Dad’s friends cleared out, and we made dad shave and take a shower twice. The first shower, to wake him up, the second, because he REEKED of beer.

It was just a few more days until Christmas, and dad had a lot of trouble with stringing up the Christmas lights. I kept trying to tell him that if one light goes out, don’t tap it or all the other lights will go out. All Dad would do is complain about: “One light goes out, THEN THEY ALL GO OUT!!” Later, he used so many lights, that when he connected the power, all the other houses in the neighborhood went dark.

On Christmas eve, things got a little bit better (notice I said “a little bit”). We got a fruitcake from one of our neighbours, but I didn’t have any when Andrew took his first chomp and, SPITOOIE!! “This tastes like burnt rubber!” He took another bite, “YUCK! This part tastes like unburnt rubber!” And yet, another bite “Oooh, this one tastes like wood!” Weird. I decided to have a piece, and it tasted like sand. dad had a piece of the fruitcake and said it tasted like it was stored in boots that someone ran a marathon in. Later, dad ran out of bills to start the fire, so he went to the patio and found his bag of charcoal in the snow and tried using it to start the fire.

Most of our relatives came for dinner and once they entered the house, Andrew and I had to give up our seats on the couch and sit on the floor. Then I started to get kind of annoyed when some of our relatives started making requests for what’s for dinner. They mostly asked for prunes and milkshakes, but my dad got annoyed and just made pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and hot turkey with kumquats on the side.

Our grandparents were awfully disappointed that they didn’t get EXACTLY what they wanted for dinner, and just started chatting about stuff like, “My coffee machine broke down!” and “Later, let’s watch some TV! ‘White Men Can’t Jump’ is on at 8!” After dinner, dad, Andrew, and I turned on a football game, but one of our relatives got ahold of the tv remote and turned on “The Golden Girls”, and the rest raided the pantry and drank all of my diet Coke. Later, I went downstairs and found Andrew duct-taped to the wall while our relatives shot him with our Nerf guns. The only good news was that we weren't at our relatives’ house for dinner where we would be listening to them yell comments to the T.V. and sitting on a couch that smells like eggs and cheese. One hour later, the County Sheriff was at our door and said that he received a call that this “restaurant” didn’t serve requested food. Two seconds after dad was done with the Sheriff, he gave our relatives the boot, big time.

Then I woke up and heard Andrew and dad screaming. We all got together and agreed that we all had the same nightmare. Then we got calls from our relatives saying they wanted our house spotless because they were all coming for dinner. My dad replied with “On one condition!: Don’t act like you are all a bunch of teens that were born yesterday!” Nobody came, so we all just plopped down on the couch and watched football. Then we heard tapping on our window and saw our relatives with creepy looks on their faces looking in on us like stalkers. We got so freaked out that we called the exterminator and described our pests as “old and wrinkly”. Next, we locked all the doors and windows. Andrew and I grabbed some Nerf guns and used only a few seconds to teach dad how to use them. Suddenly, I woke up. I found dad and Andrew, and we all nodded at the same time.

It was Christmas morning, and we saw our stockings full of loot! dad got Michigan socks and a can of “in-law repellent”, and Andrew got a new Nerf gun. I looked in my stocking and found 2 new video games, and 5 new The Punisher issues. We saw on our calendar that we were having dinner at our grandparents’ house. Dad said “It’ll be fine!” “They turned our christmas dinner into a 60’s hangover, and they stalked us overnight!” I said. “They are our relatives!” dad said “Plus, that was just a nightmare, that… we.. all… so happened to have on the same night.”

“They talk to the sky out loud in the middle of the night!” Andrew said

“And after they learned about Minecraft, they tried enchanting forks with dictionaries!” We called for a pizza, but the only open places in town were Chinese restaurants. So, we turned on “The Pete Holmes Show” and opened a bag of chips and some onion dip.

Only a few hours later, we all heard a tapping on a window and we turned the TV, and all the lights off. We trampled each other to get downstairs. We bolted all the doors and windows and waited. After an hour, we played “Truth or Dare”. Dad was first and he said “dare”. I dared him to go to the door, and let our relatives in. Andrew was scared to death by the dare.

Dad grabbed a Nerf gun and 3 extra ammo clips, and cautiously went to the door and saw a guy from Domino’s who said “Your order of a large pepperoni with cheese bread and chicken wings… That’ll be 20 dollars” dad took the pizza and paid the guy, just when he noticed that that the pizza guy looked like he was African/Jamaican and he seemed very skinny. I thought that maybe Snoop Dogg retired and started a minimum-wage job. I was gonna ask him to autograph the cover of my favorite Snoop Dogg album, but Dad said “Hmmm. Pizza guys smell like cheese and olive oil, you smell like...” I didn’t know if Dad thought he was talking to one of our 90-year old relatives, because I was pretty sure that he was talking to a 43-year old rapper who sold over 30 million albums. Dad was a total embarrassment, but at least I got my album signed.

Later, when we were playing with our new remote control cars, I heard a shuffling sound coming from the chimney. I looked up the chimney and saw our relatives trying to get down the chimney. “If Santa can do it, and the Grinch can do it, then it’s completely possible for our relatives to do it” I heard Andrew say. “It’s impossible.” I said. “Our chimney is too tight of a squeeze.” But Andrew didn’t take his chances. “Dad, do we have any fireworks?” I asked Dad. “What for?” he said. “Ummm… we… just… wanted to have a fireworks display in the chimney” Andrew said. “Guys! Go away!” dad yelled up the chimney. Then, I heard the garage door open.

“See? I told you it was a bad idea to remember the code by writing it on the door!” Andrew said. We called the cops, and they said that from now on, they will keep an eye on our relatives. When we got back to school, we had an early lockdown apparently because of “Senior citizens, peering through the windows.” When Andrew and I heard why we were having a lockdown, we both groaned.

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