Amy and Trevor were dreading the drive. Two hours to Toronto to visit her parents for a dinner a week before Christmas. It was meant to be a Christmas dinner but the mood had not hit them yet this year and so it was feeling more like a burden than a holiday.
“Are they going to have any food we can eat?” Trevor said.
“Mom is making some veggie dishes for us, but Dad said he couldn’t find a tofurkey,” Amy said.
“Great,” Trevor said with zero enthusiasm.
It had only taken them 45 minutes to get to the city limits, but because of traffic and an accident ahead they had spent the last hour creeping along the 401.
“Is your brother going to be there?” Trevor said.
“Yup, with Darren as well,” she said.
“At least they will provide some humour.”
“You weren’t going to make fun of my Dad getting ripped off whisky and crapping his pants at Thanksgiving?” Amy said, talking about the last time they had dinner at her parents.
“No no, I was just going do the same thing myself this year so he didn’t feel bad about it,” Trevor said.
They spent the next half hour listening to Christmas carols in a last ditch attempt to get some Christmas cheer going. As they drove down Shaw Street toward her parents place near College, Trevor and Amy both took a deep breath and tried to exhale any negativity. When they got out of the car they were greeted by an interesting sight.
“What the sweet fuck is that?” Amy said, referring to the 14 foot, blow up Santa Claus someone had on a front lawn across the street and down a ways from her parents.
“That is a massive Christmas kick in the ass,” Trevor said.
They stood by the trunk of the car and took in the giant red nylon pylon and then a man in his thirties exited the house behind where it sat. He noticed them staring at the great erection on his lawn.
“Hey guys!” he said with a big wave and bigger smile. “He’s a beaut, isn’t he?”
“Sure is!” Trevor said.
“A beautiful red mess,” Amy whispered to Trevor.
“If you want to come by for a drink later just knock on the door,” the man said as he starting adjusting the straps holding Santa down.
“Thanks Ozzie!” Amy said.
“No prob sweetie,” Ozzie said.
They started walking to the front door of her parents place.
“You know that guy?” Trevor said.
“Ya, he’s actually hilarious and pretty much like Clark Griswold from Christmas Vacation,” Amy said, remembering the movie. Between the Santa, Ozzie’s enthusiasm, and thoughts of the classic Christmas film she was actually starting to feel a little better about the season.
“Wonderful,” Trevor said.
“Oh shut it,” Amy said.
“Jesus Christ Lorna, how much damn food do we need?” Jack said, when he walked into the kitchen.
“I don’t know Jack, you wanted all the trimmings!” Lorna yelled from the dining room she was trying to set up.
“You bought the tofurkey?” Jack said.
“Yes, I did. Amy and Trevor should have something more than just potatoes and green beans.”
“Well, as long as I don’t get any of that shitty vegan gravy I’ll be fine,” Jack said pouring himself a healthy glass of Jack Daniels, before walking into the dining room.
“They are going to be here in 15 minutes so you should start getting ready,” Lorna said.
“I am ready!” Jack said.
“No you’re not.”
“This looks spectacular,” he said.
“It should, I’ve spent the last week preparing everything.”
“Are you trying to say I haven’t helped?”
“I’m not saying that at all.”
“So then what are you saying?” he said, taking a sip from his glass.
“I’m saying that I hope you don’t get drunk and shit your pants again. That was embarrassing,” she said.
“I wasn’t embarrassed. It happens. I blame the vegan gravy. It went right through me,” Jack said.
“Chris was embarrassed. It was the first time he brought Darren to meet his family and you literally shit all over it.”
“It couldn’t be helped.”
Lorna walked around to each table setting and made sure everything was in line.
“Did you wrap the presents?” she said.
“I wrapped everything you gave me,” he said.
“Okay good,” she said as the doorbell rang. “Oh, I guess they are early.”
“I’m glad your Dad didn’t get wasted again,” Darren said.
“Ya, me too,” Chris said stifling a yawn.
The had just left the dinner and had stuffed themselves.
“You know, for what I was expecting, that was actually a pretty tame get together,” Chris said.
“Well, your Dad only referred to “the gays” once, and Trevor seemed pretty drunk but he was hilarious,” Darren said.
“I was glad they made food for him and Amy as well, though I’m sure Dad was against it,” Chris said.
“He was for singing Christmas carols around that massive Santa on that Ozzie’s lawn,” Darren said.
“Ya that was pretty random, but I think it was most likely because Ozzie gave him a couple beers,” Chris said. “Either way, the Leaf tickets he gave us are pretty good. Should be able to sell them for a couple hundred each.”
Darren laughed. “Four hundred dollars for making me sing the song from Christmas Vacation while listening to him praise that massive Santa is a fair trade. But thank you Ozzie!” he said.
“Ya, he is a sweetheart,” Chris said.