by Julie Robinson
Hating the holidays is such a cliché, isn’t it? Friends and acquaintances from dysfunctional families use the holidays as an excuse to completely monopolize conversations that would otherwise be entirely focused on ME. The holidays for me churn up all sorts of nostalgia. I don’t think wistfully of Christmas’s past—rather, I dream up holidays that will be in my future.
Sooner rather than later (I hope) I will have a boyfriend for the holidays. Like many single women, images of this boyfriend are what float in our heads instead of those stupid sugar plums. Naked.
While I have reasons all year long for why I would like to have a boyfriend—the list has grown exponentially longer now that Saint Nick will be visiting soon—‘tis the season!
1. My fantasy holiday boyfriend (FHB) loves cuddling by the roaring fire. He is so sweet that when the logs burn low he heads outside with his axe, takes off his shirt so I have a view, and whacks away at the neighbor’s tree.
2. Having a boyfriend for the holidays also means family outings with the toboggan, his perfectly behaved kids, and my dog. My FHB is a wonderful father—every other weekend—and treats us to hot cocoa at a local coffee house (never Starbuck’s). His cherub children say “thank you” without being prompted and look so damn cute with their cheeks all rosy. Their mom picks them up soon after so we don’t have to deal with their runny noses and wet clothes.
3. Of course my FHB is athletic. He runs circles around me in every sport except one—ice skating. He’s a great sport, however, when I suggest we head up to Evergreen Lake to skate. I look gorgeous in my ear muffs and winter coat with tights. I hold him up as we inch our way around and around the lake. He gets the hang of it quickly, though. Before we’re ready to hang up our skates, we play tag and zoom around the ice giggling—only to fall down together in a heap of laughter.
4. Mistletoe (duh).
5. Gift giving is a holiday tradition I absolutely love with my FHB. He hands over his Platinum American Express card with the directions, “Have a ball.” I buy a little for him, a little for me, a little for my family, a little for me—you get the picture. I come home loaded down with shopping bags, a new haircut, pedicure, and complete wardrobe. He hands me a glass of wine—forgetting all the while that I have his credit card.
6. My FHB is such a trooper. When I suggest we get a group together to go caroling pub crawl style he doesn’t balk in the slightest. When I hand him a Christmas sweater with a reindeer and sleigh appliquéd on the front and explain to him that “ugly Christmas sweater” is the theme to the crawl this year, he gets undressed so I can slip it over his perfectly proportioned, broad shoulders.
7. Is it ever really the holidays without The Nutcracker? My FHB surprises me with tickets to the ballet. He has Tchaikovsky playing on his CD player when he picks me up for our date and doesn’t even complain when I hum along.
8. I’m kinda a bitch when it comes to trimming the tree. I like the ornaments to be spaced perfectly apart so it looks random and balanced at the same time. I’m so particular that I don’t allow anyone to help me decorate the tree. That’s all changed now that FHB is in my life—he knows (without even being told) that tinsel goes on one strand at a time.
9. My FHB is not a workaholic—especially during the holidays—but he does have a great job at the kind of corporation that still has a budget for an elaborate holiday party. I LOVE dressing up and appreciate how sexy he looks once he’s all dolled up for the party. My brand new dress and shoes come off instantly once we get home—flush with wine and good food—we hold each other tight as we rehash all of the office gossip and who went home with whom.
10. It’s a Wonderful Life is NOT my favorite holiday movie (I prefer Love, Actually), but I’m so in love with my FHB that I snuggle in close to him in my PJ’s and thick socks as his eyes well up with tears when James Stewart’s George Bailey realizes that being home with family means he has a wonderful life.
11. Nostalgic for winters of my youth, my FHB and I bundle up and build a set of snow forts where we can hide behind as we bullet each other with snowballs. His completely adorable children build a snowman. We’re cold, we’re wet, and we’re so damn happy no one even cares that the dog lifts his leg and pees all over the snowman.
12. I don’t cook often, but when I do you can expect that it will be delicious. My FHB’s family lives close by (but not too close), so we visit his folks a few days before Christmas. I’m expected to bring my famous pumpkin cheesecake and everyone raves about how much they look forward to it each year. FHB just beams with pleasure.
13. It just wouldn’t be the holidays without matching outfits for the holiday postcard photo session. We even get a matching Scottish plaid bow for the dog.
14. Downtown Denver is beautiful at Christmas time. All of the trees are covered with lights and this definitely makes my FHB in a festive mood. He surprises me one night by having a horse drawn carriage show up at our doorstep. We inch closer and closer to each other under the blanket seeing that the chill of the evening seeps in as we explore downtown.
15. It’s Christmas Eve and my FHB and I decide to exchange gifts when it’s just the two of us. He smiles broadly when he opens the gift I chose for him, but he’s just giddy for me to open mine. I shake the package a bit to see if I can figure it out—and I’m stumped. When I realize what I hear is merely a rock taken from the garden I grow suspicious. What is my FHB up to this year? I open his card and read his heartfelt words about wanting to spend Christmas with me in his new house (what new house? This is a surprise!) in the mountains. Will there be a fire we can sit in front of? Yes. Is there a copy of It’s a Wonderful Life? It’s already loaded in the DVD player. Does the kitchen need to be set up for cooking still? I even bought a springform pan for your cheesecake. Hmmm, I know there’ll be snow.
I can’t imagine spending Christmas any other way!