“Gather round everyone, have a seat.” Donald said. It was a holiday party with a few familiar faces. Coco was there wearing nothing but a diamond covered lingerie set and a trench coat. Santi was drunk on the balcony trying some new stand-up to an audience of dead plants that were covered in snow. They weren’t laughing but Santi said they responded better than the audiences in New York. When Donald called for the group to gather, they all sat down around him, cross-legged on the floor. Except for Marc. Cuz he can be stubborn – so he stood. On one leg. With the other leg up over his head in a weird-looking yoga pose. You know, just to be different. “I have a very special Christmas story to tell you all tonight. It’s about the real meaning of Christmas,” Donald said, and then he began to tell his tale.
Twas the night before Christmas and Sean still hadn’t found a gift for Orlando. It was an absolute disaster. He’d been shopping for months and months, had found gifts for every single other person on his Christmas list – but still hadn’t found what he wanted to get for Orlando. Then again, the gift in question was highly specific. A golden burrito. A burrito Orlando could be extremely proud of and display prominently on his shelf at home. Sean searched high and low, sniffed many things (because that’s how Sean sees things – through smell, like dolphins experience sonar), and had yet to come across a golden burrito. Nevermind the fact that Sean had begun to have doubts whether the gift was even a good idea. All this time, Sean had thought Orlando was from El Salvador, but Donald had recently said something about that all being a lie and the truth being that Orlando was really from Iceland but too embarassed to admit it. Sean didn’t quite understand why Orlando would find it so embarassing, and had dismissed Donald’s comments initially. Now they lingered at the back of his mind. Now that Seans quest for the golden burrito had led him to an extremely sketchy part of town on Christmas eve. It was getting dark and he was in a bad part of town. Tracy lived there.
Sean tiptoed through the back alleys of Tracy’s part of town. He didn’t want to accidentally bump into her. Things had been weird between the two of them ever since they’d made out in a closet at Marc’s Christmas party. Well, that wasn’t exactly true. The two had been playing spin the bottle (just the two of them were playing, and it had made perfect sense at the time though clearly the stage was already set for disaster) and off they’d gone into the closet. Only Sean was feeling a cold coming on and didn’t want to give it to Tracy, so he’d reached in the darkness for something to substitute for his own mouth. Tracy was leaning in, eyes closed, lips puckered. Sean reacted quickly and grabbed a teddy bear that was sitting in a dark corner. It was only a few seconds into the ‘make-out session’, after Sean had breathed a sigh of relief, that he realized in horror that he was actually holding Marc’s cat up to Tracy’s enthusiastic lips and tongue. And it wasn’t the good end. Tracy was moaning all kinds of encouraging things, none the wiser that she wasn’t partaking in a drunken, friendly makeout sessions with Sean, who was shocked in silence, mouth agap, staring eye to eye with a very happy looking Logan the cat. When Tracy finally opened her eyes, she screamed, bolted out of the closet and promptly threw up on Sherry, who herself was passed out on the floor clutching an empty bottle of Jack Daniels.
And now Sean found himself in that bad part of town on Christmas Eve, scared to bump into Tracy, but in desperate search of a golden burrito for Orlando. He knew Orlando would love the gift, but even Sean didn’t understand why he felt compelled to go to such great lengths to find it. He turned a corner and was so absolutely shocked by what he saw that he hid behind the corner of the building and tried to collect his thoughts. Had he really just seen Emma and Isabelle working together and beating the shit out of Santa? That’s what it had looked like. Emma had been holding him upright while Isabelle punched him hard in the stomach. Sean wiped his eyes, refocused his thoughts and took a better look. That’s exactly what was happening. Emma had Santa in a chokehold and was saying “Yeah, you like that bitch? You like that?” while Isabelle, holding a baseball bat, belted him repeatedly in the stomach yelling “Take that, Fat man!” It was a horrific sight and Sean had to cover his mouth to hide the gasp that escaped his lips. What would have driven Emma and Isabelle to do such a thing? Being someone who hated conflict, he knew he’d never find out. He’d never tell them what he saw or ask them what they were doing. But one thing was absolutely clear to Sean, Santa was going to be in no position to travel around the world and deliver presents. Christmas would be ruined. That’s when Sean realized he needed to find Santa’s sleigh and save Christmas. Orlando’s golden burrito would have to wait.
Staying absolutely quiet, he climbed the fire escape ladder to the roof of the building where he found Santa’s sleigh and reindeer. Looking down, he saw Santa lying unconscious in the snow, while Isabelle and Emma made out passionately in the alley. Sean felt shocked, repelled, engrossed and slightly turned-on by this turn of events. “Mmmm” Emma said between wet, sloppy, deep, passionate kisses that involved an elaborate amount of tongue, “I love it when you’re violent like that baby.” Isabelle reacted by kissing back even more aggressively and with an unnecessary amount of saliva. “No one can know about our bad ass secret love boo.” Sean would have liked to stay and watch more – clearly these two were secret lovers who got aroused by violence – but someone had to save Christmas! He got into the sleigh, grabbed the reigns – it was almost instinctual how easy the thing was to pilot and he immediately began his journey around the world delivering presents.
Nir was lighting another candle for Hannukah. He was a terrible jew and had no idea what night of Hannukah it was, or even if it was Hannukah but he enjoyed candles and lit some in a menorah every night of the year just to be safe. He was reciting the traditional jewish prayer, well, he thought it was a jewish prayer but it was really mostly lyrics from a sir mix a lot song, when he heard a clatter from the living room. Since his condo was compact, his living room was also his kitchen (and bathroom) the clatter came from exactly a foot and a half behind him. He spun around with his menorah, ready to attack whatever intruder had come into his place only to find Sean getting to his feet. “Sean, ” Nir said, “How did you get in here?” Sean explained the whole story and Nir didn’t blink an eye as he listened. When Sean was done, Nir promptly went to the bedroom to put on some underwear and pants. He’d been lighting his menorah naked, as was the jewish custom (as far as he knew), balls flapping in the breeze from his humidifier. He had tried to maintain eye contact with Sean during the length of the story but when Sean’s eyes had drifted down at the end of his tale, Nir threw the menorah at his friends face, temporarily blinding him with hot wax. “So you’re going to save Christmas Sean? All by yourself?” Nir called, putting on pants and a shirt. “Yup!” Sean replied, “I have no idea if I can do it, but I’m going to try. Do you want me to put Santa’s gift for you under your tree….er….dreydl?” Nir returned to the living room, now fully dressed “Sure – but I’m coming with you. You can’t save Christmas by yourself!”
So off Nir and Sean went to save Christmas, they delivered gifts around the world, carefully avoiding anti-aircraft missiles and alien abductions. It took all night and some questionable energy pills to keep their focus (provided by Jason) but somehow they managed to do it. Their journey brought them full circle until their was only one house left. Tracy’s. “Do you want to do this one?” Sean asked, an uncomfortable silence settling between the two. Nir shook his head, “What the hell happened between you too?” Sean wanted to confess what had happened at Marc’s party, but was far too emberassed. Nir crossed his arms, “Well, I’m not going down that chimney. Presents are nice, but friendship is magic. You need to fix what you broke.” Sean went to reply but realized the truth in Nir’s words. So he made his way down Tracy’s chimney which, since she didn’t have a fireplace, was really an air vent that led into her oven. He popped out of her oven and trying to be as quiet as possible, tiptoed over to her Christmas tree. He had just placed her gift beneath the colourful, twinkling lights when a voice spoke at his back, “What are you doing here?” It was Tracy, and she stared him down with cold, indifferent eyes. “Tracy,” Sean said, “I’m sorry that I made you kiss Logan’s ass.” She coughed and corrected him, ‘French kiss Logan’s ass.” “Nobody said you had to french kiss.” Sean tried to defend himself. “Listen, I don’t phone it in buddy.” She replied. Sean shook his head, “Just stop. We both had had way too much Whiskey. Remember Sherry passed out on the floor? She had alcohol poisoning. When you left, Michel and Marc had to jump up and down on her chest to get her to throw up. I don’t think it was CPR, it seemed pretty violent, but it’s the thought that counts. They saved her life. We were all really really drunk. We all make mistakes, especially when drinking. It’s not worth losing a friendship over.” Tracy seemed to consider, then finally she crossed over to Sean and the two hugged it out, with a little tongue. It was a Christmas miracle.
When Sean got back on the roof, Nir was anxious to hear the good news about the reconciliation. “Oh, “Nir said, “I forgot to mention. There was one more gift in that bag and it’s for you Sean.” Nir held out a box that was clearly labelled with his name. He opened it up and inside, found a golden burrito. At first, he thought there may have been a screw up – this gift was clearly destined for Orlando but upon further reflection, Sean understood the message perfectly clear. The gift of giving, of bringing a smile to someone elses face is the biggest, most wonderful gift anyone can ever hope to experience. It transcends receiving gifts. Giving love feels even better than receiving love. Whether it’s an iPad, a cruise or a thoughtfully crafted story, the real magic of Christmas is the gift of thought and caring. The golden burrito would go to Orlando, sure, but Sean would spend his holidays feeling truly happy with his contribution towards the happiness of those around him.
“So,” Donald asked, back at the party, “What did you all think of my story?” Santi started to make a joke about brocolli but Coco did the splits and he lost his train of thought. Marc was now stuck in his weird protestful yoga pose and Jen was desperately trying to untangle him. Sherry was passed out on the floor clutching a bottle of Jack Daniels and moaning her own name. Donald realized that none of them were paying attention, and while at first it made him upset, he then realized that simply having all of his favourite people in one room for the holidays was all he really wanted. His heart swelled with joy and happiness.
Then the roof collapsed and killed them all.