For my family Christmas was just another reason to party.
By party, I mean get drunk and high.
The images of happy families around a tree, opening piles of gifts seems as fake to me as canned snow. It was all a facade, a display to impress others who were as joyless as I was. It was yet another thing out of my grasp of which I envied and imagined was real for everyone but me.
There were few photos taken as an occasional attendee was running from the law. Gifts were sparse and booze was plentiful. At the end of the day the tables were littered with empty beer cans, the floors and couch littered with passed out bodies, and the stench of cheap beer, cigarettes and filth hung in the air.
I knew I didn't belong here. I didn't fit in. I wanted to escape. There was no way to run, nowhere to go, because my mother owned me. My body was her property to sell to her drunken friends for drug money. My only worth was to clean the messes, be her whore, and make her feel worthy.
I hate Christmas. When my child was young I wanted to enjoy it. I didn't want to ruin it for her. All of the years of trying to fit in with others, find joy in the season, decorate, erect trees with handmade ornaments and cookie baking never covered over the agony of the memories.
Now my child is grown and gone and the old memories haunt me more than ever.
I hate Christmas.