The Year I Ruined Christmas

Christmas Eve was spent at my brother and sister-in-law’s house eating Raclette, a Swiss dish prepared on an electric grill using Raclette cheese and involving a lot of potatoes. Yum!

During our dinner conversation someone mentioned that the youngest child is always the troublemaker. And then Cathy said, “All week I’ve been hearing from Richard about how Natalie ruined Christmas every year!”

“WHHHHAAAT?!” I screeched. “That is not true! The only year that I remember coming remotely close to ruining Christmas was the year of–”

“–the Super Nintendo,” my brother said matter-of-factly.

The youngest child may be the trouble maker, but the oldest child is definitely the bossiest. This is why as a tender 10 year old I knew that my brother would never share the Super Nintendo with me – not unless we were co-owners and he had to.

So that’s why I stomped, wailed, whined, threw my hands in the air and buried my face in the couch until my parents relented and added, “& Natalie” to the gift tag on the box.

Looking back, I’m not proud of the way I acted, but come on! I had a bossy older brother.

Take for example one year when my birthday fell on a Friday. All I wanted to do was engage in a little TGIF for the evening, spending some quality time catching up with Cory Matthews and Topanga from Boy Meets World. A week before my birthday I wrote up a contract for my brother to sign giving me rights to the television for that night. But did he sign it? Yeah right – bossy eldest siblings don’t let just anyone call the shots!

Of course, the TV was his for the evening, and the instant that the theme song for The X-Files began to play I was too scared to go down into the basement to watch my shows there. So against my will I watched Mulder and Scully investigate paranormal activity for the umpteenth time, exposing myself to images that would haunt my sleep. I’d lay in bed at night staring outside the window thinking I saw a UFO up in the sky (I was convinced that I saw many UFOs as a child, leading me to an obsession with the show Sightings). I wouldn’t get out of bed to pull down the blind the last three inches because I was sure there was a monster lurking somewhere in the shadows of my room.

I had to learn quickly that trouble was the only way to trump bossiness. That’s why I had to make a fuss about the Super Nintendo. Makes sense, right?

Christmas past carries a lot of fun memories, but I’m thankful for Christmas present and the new joys I get to experience as an adult this time of year. And of course, I look forward to Christmas future, where there will hopefully be some more people sitting around the dinner table joining in the fun!

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

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