My Countdown to a Horror Holiday
The world looks different through the eyes of a child. Clouds are fluffier. The sky is bluer. Everything’s bigger. Scary things are scarier. Even the Holiday Season is fraught with fright. As a child, I found all kinds of things to be afraid of, and it started with all the secrecy and furtive behavior by mom and dad. Even at an early age, when I still believed in Santa, I knew something was fishy about their whispers and sneaking around and that began my strange relationship with the Holidays. But it didn’t end there. Like I stated, lots of things about Christmas used to freak me out as a kid. Here are my top ten…
10. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town was and still is one of the most beloved Holiday songs ever written. Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, even Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus have taken turns recording the chestnut, making it a perennial classic. It’s a wonderful tune. And it’s terrifying. Just think about these lyrics, “He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake.” What is Santa? An NSA spy or something? Let me get this straight. This big, scary guy living in the North Pole is watching my every move? I want a restraining order, pronto! Seriously, that played games with my head when I was three.
9. That Awkward Gift From Your Great Aunt You Never See. It doesn’t sound so scary, but this one always bend my noodle. How to tell someone thank you for a gift you absolutely despise. We’ve all gotten those strange presents, the Lionel Richie LP or the homemade cookies that tasted like chalk. I used to fret about those unwanted turds and how to react appropriately.
8. Mistletoe. Sure, as an older kid, I loved the stuff. A teenage boy would do well to carry a sprig of it in his pocket, ready and accessible at a moment’s notice. It’s a perfect excuse to steal a kiss at a festive holiday gathering. But, as a pre-adolescent, I was terrified of the stuff. I mean, girls were always trying to trap me underneath it. Yuck! Cooties!
7. Stop Motion Animation. I know, I know. These shows, aka Claymations, are holiday classics. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. The Little Drummer Boy. The list goes on and on. Families have gathered for generations to watch and enjoy these timeless gems. So what can possible be scary about them you ask? Plenty. For one, the clay models have that dead look in their eyes. And quite often the animation flaws would appear, and strange things would move or twitch when they weren’t supposed to. But what scared me the most was one character…Mister Heat Miser from The Year Without a Santa Claus. Man, that dude was freaky.
6. Christmas Trees. I was a sensitive kid. Never liked to hunt or fish. Didn’t like the thought of hurting those poor animals. That sensitive consideration extended to all of nature’s creatures. Not just the ones with faces, either. Plants and trees are living, breathing organisms, and I understood that even from a very early age. So the thought of cutting down a tree to celebrate Christmas, a season of lights and life, seemed antithetical to me. And it was a little sad. For years my family had a plastic tree, and that was okay, but to this day I prefer a living tree, one that I can plant in the ground after the season has ended.
Stop by tomorrow for my next five Childhood Scars of Holidays Past!