You’re lying your pants off if you say that you didn’t.
For full effect, download “Tradition” from the musical Fiddler on the Roof, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.
Honestly, who doesn’t get a pair of pajamas the night before Christmas? It’s a given. It’s the most reliable holiday habit since TBS adopted the 24-hour marathon of “A Christmas Story” with Ralphie shooting his eye out. Show me a person who doesn’t get an overnight Snuggie from Santa Claus the night before he dances on their roof, and I’ll show you what a naked liar looks like. EVERYONE gets pajamas on December 24th; you, me, and Dupree.
Where did this come from? No seriously, all traditions have origins, I know that. But where’s the beginning of this one? Kissing under the Mistletoe originated from hanging an aphrodisiac in the doorway that increased the fertility of sheep. The Christmas Tree came when Prince Albert introduced a giant German fur to his wife Victoria on the day of their wedding. Even candy canes have a symbolical origin to the shepherds and the staffs that they used to corral all of their sheep.
You think I got all of this stuff from memory? Of course not, that’s what the Internet is for. And everything must be true if it’s on the Internet.
Seriously though, how in the curse word did the tradition of getting a pair of once-a-year pajamas on Christmas Eve come into effect? It’s almost driving me mad, to the point where I’m standing in a round room looking for a corner. It’s the still-beating heart of my landlord buried beneath the creaking floorboards, still pounding away a calamity in my brain while the local patrolmen talk nonsense at 3 am over freshly brewed tea!
Whoops, wrong holiday.
Ever since I can remember my family, and your family, even the Grinch’s family, all got together and were allowed the ceremonial unraveling of one present on the Eve before Santa’s arrival. Conveniently, that one package contained our predestined nightwear. This is something that everyone has been forced to endure over the holiday season. A tradition that stands in stone next to the hanging of stockings, and the leaving out a plate of cookies, this tradition is holiday doctrine.
And the thing about this tradition is that many times, I got some very ugly pajamas for Christmas. Yeah Mom and Dad, you read that right, UGLY PAJAMAS! There, I said it! I remember in 1992, when I was given a sky blue nightgown with a puppy face painted on the front. You read that right, a nightgown. Perhaps that year my parents were looking to get a bargain by buying the same type of pajamas for all of their kids at Costco, but why should a seven year-old in a house full of sisters be forced to wear a nightgown? It’s a crime, I tell you, a pure crime!
And don’t you dare forget about the Christmas of 1994, when my cotton-poly white Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle p.j.’s that were designed to coincide with my just as awesome TMNT bedspread were “accidentally” left in a load of red towels on New Year’s Day which forever stained them salmon! I had to wear pink for six months. Are you kidding me, PINK! As Barney Stinson would and should say, “A Bro never wears pink.”
The Christmas Eve pajama party has to stop. Or at least get spiced up a bit. You want to know why as a child I always copped out and got the most stereotypically cheesy presents for my parents possible; you know, the polyester tie and wrench set for Dad, the construction paper-coupon book and homemade oven mitts for Mom. It’s because of the pajamas they pathetically pushed me into. My cheesy gifts were almost out of pure spite. They were my Yuletide justice.
When I’m an awesome Dad, (and I do say awesome because come on now, you read my blog, I have to have great parenting potential right?) I think I’m going to come up with a newer, more exciting, overwhelmingly majestic tradition that my kids can look forward to every Christmas Eve, rather than just everyone sitting in a circle and unwrapping the same flannel sweatpants from Old Navy year after year. I’m going to try and avoid any kind of Christmas calamity like that at all.
Especially the part where I scar my sons for life by making them wear a sky blue nightgown.