Anyone who has read this blog at least twice (or even once, if it was a long post or if it involved making puppets out of fresh roadkill), knows there’s a whole lot of weird taking place. As my holiday gift to you, I want to give you a sneak peek into how the weird happened in the first place. Trust me, it will make me feel better about yourself because you will never again read one of my bizarre stories and worry that something similar could happen to you.

I am writing this from an Army cot in my parents’ living room. My head is actually under their piano. We celebrate Christmas several days prior to actual Christmas because there are a butt-load of atheists in the family and we don’t observe on the actual day out of respect for their beliefs. Wait, their lack of beliefs. Whatever.

It turns out that about 53% of the family consider themselves to be somewhere on the “I’m not a Christian” spectrum, so they are fairly confused about why we’re exchanging gifts and cooking a turkey. Add to that the fact that the remaining 46% who consider themselves to be “believers” actually believe in a wide variety of different things, so there’s some argument as to whether or not Mary stayed a virgin for the rest of her life and if the wise men actually showed up at the manger. (For the record, I’m one of the 18% of us who are Catholic, so trust me…she kept her legs together and the wise men showed up about two years later.)

To keep the festivities interesting, 24% of the people in attendance cannot eat any gluten products or consume any dairy products and 3% of the family members don’t eat root vegetables, so the meal takes a downturn whenever it comes to deciding how to prepare the smashed ‘taters. There is also an ongoing rage-filled argument about how coffee should taste, with an unfortunate majority (77%) insisting that it be so black and thick that it could be used to attach the shingles to the roof.

Here’s where it gets sticky: Santa Claus, or no Santa Claus. We’ll happily respect each others’ religious and dietary beliefs, but the fists are gonna fly when it comes to believing in Santa or not. We are also pretty much evenly divided on the issue, but the 2% majority the pro-Santa crowd holds means that there will be no disparaging remarks about the kids’ Christmas hero.

DISCLAIMER: I’m really, REALLY bad at math, so these figures are completely made up but they feel very, very real. I hope it provides a very calculated look at some of the hurdles that we can manage to overcome, even if it’s only once a year. Trust me, if this crowd can try to get along, world peace is gonna be a breeze.

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