Pint-size Santa to the rescue. He dares you not to get into the holiday spirit.
Benson hates Christmas. It brings back too many memories he wants to forget. Most years he hibernated his way through the season, but not this year, this year things are going to change. Is Benson ready for them? Ian loves everything about winter and spending time with his son. They spend their time making traditions and soaking up the holiday season. It's just the two of them against the world, until they meet Benson.
It was that time of year again. I wished I could crawl into my bed and not come out until January. The holidays suck big giant donkey balls. At least in that scenario, the donkey got off.
Thanksgiving I could deal with. Just another day in the neighborhood. Sure, my friends invited me over for the big meal, but that was all it was, a meal. Growing up, the only thing it meant was time off school. I had fond memories of playing games with my sister. God, I missed her right now. I didn't see her as much as I wanted to; I'm a bad brother. We never did fancy meals or anything. It was a non-holiday in the Kessel household.
Christmas was another beast altogether. The end of joy usually started right after Turkey Day. My mom would want to put up a tree; my dad protested, telling her that wasn't what the holiday was about. Let the fighting and lectures ensue! The fighting usually lasted a week, with my mom begging for a tree, â€˜just this year'. In the end, we didn't have a tree. Nope. My mom never won that argument and usually ended up with a black eye for her trouble, but she still tried every year until my sister and I were in our teens.
We did have a nice nativity scene that was passed on from my dad's folks. The only time Tim Kessel got religion--December first until December twenty-fifth--the Kessel folks would be in church every service they could. Most would think the family time would be a great thing; not for the Kessel's. It was better when my dad ignored us all. During the Christmas season, no one could do right in my dad's eyes. And forget about presents. That didn't fall into the true spirit of Christmas either.
So December was filled with fighting and church. Don't get me wrong, we got practical stuff, but we didn't do lists or visit Santa in the mall. If Mom tried to slip us something fun, there would be more yelling. Sometimes a backhand to the face for good old Mom. My sister and I learned early on not to say a word. There was no whining in the Kessel household. It wasn't that my dad was violent all the time. Usually he had a firm hand, and we all listened to him. He only raised a hand for things he felt were important. Most of them were normal things kids get in trouble for, but it seemed the Christmas season was his trigger. He got all man of the house on each and every one of us. It was his way and that was it.
My mom fell in line, but she would rebel by telling us stories of all the traditions she had with her family. It was a fairy tale to me and Shelly. It wasn't until I got into college and was invited to a friend's house that I saw the way other people celebrated differently. I never went home with anyone again after that. It hurt too much for me to see what my mom had missed all those years. What she'd tried to give us.
I felt for my poor mother. She should have left Dad's sorry ass ages ago, but, nope, she is still with good old Pop. Not that I talk to them anymore since I caught the gay. Sometimes my mom would sneak visit me, but that didn't happen often because there was hell to pay when Dad found out. And somehow he always found out. I didn't want her getting in trouble for me.
But me being gay? That's another story. This story is the day I got Christmas back. Or should I just say, got Christmas, because I'd never really had it before. Some people might think I'd go whole hog with the season once I broke away from my family, but all the season ever did was give me bad memories I just wanted to forget.
This year was no different with the lights they put up in the city. A giant Santa and his sleigh on one building downtown and a wreath. I think there was even a candy cane. I stayed home those nights while most of the city waited outside in the cold. Well--every year but this one.
A week ago...
"I have hot cocoa." Trent shoved a thermos under my nose.
I should have never given him a key. At least this time I was in my living room watching TV and not in bed masturbating. That was always fun. Not. Especially when you thought of the guy like a brother.
"Dude. No." I shoved it away. There was no way I was going downtown. He knew that.
Just like I refused to go anywhere near the mall from the day after Thanksgiving until the end of December. It just wasn't going to happen. Every year they started with that Christmas crap earlier. They'd been playing Christmas carols since Halloween! The world was coming to an end. Death by Christmas.
"I have a blanket to snuggle under." Trent was still trying to entice me to go with him and our other friends, but it wasn't going to work.
"I do too. So... no."
Trent and I had been friends for years. He knew I never had anything to do with Christmas. Ever. Maybe he thought he could talk me into it since I'd gone to his house in college one year, but I never went back. That was his first clue on my hatred of all things Christmas.
"I'll suck your cock."
That made me sit up and do a double take.
"What the fuck? What? No. Trent."
"What? It got you to say more than no."
"Well, I said dude too. Would you please leave now? And give me my key back."
"Nope. Come on. There's someone I want you to meet." Trent tugged at the covers.
"Come back in January." I pulled it out of his grasp and snuggled back under my covers. It was a cold snowy day. I wanted to sit in front of the TV and veg before going back to work tomorrow and face all the shiny happy people. I was just happy we didn't go the whole Secret Santa route. Getting presents for people was hard, made even harder if you really didn't know them.
I didn't give or receive presents. Saved me on money. While my friends were paying off their debt, I was on a tropical holiday. I love going somewhere warm in the winter.
"This man is too hot to wait for. If you don't go now, some other bitch is going to snatch his ass up. Now go take a shower, Benson. We are going downtown."
"Then let them snatch. I'm not that desperate, plus there are other guys out there you know, and I hate it when you try to set me up. Remember Russ?" I shuddered. That was one momma's boy I never wanted to see again.
"Oh, really? I set you up with great guys. Russ was an accident. When is the last time you went out?" Trent gave my leg a pat, encouraging me to answer.
It wasn't like he didn't know what I was going to say.
"Last year," I mumbled. It had been with Russ, as a matter of fact. That was enough to turn anyone off dating.
It might have been a while, but I still wasn't desperate. I had a hand. It got things done with no complications. I also had friends to go do things with. I didn't need a man in my life.
"Right. Last year. Get off your ass. You can grumble and insult Christmas all you like while we are down there. Just try to keep it away from the kids. No need to make them cry. You have five minutes to start getting ready or I'm calling Jesse to get you in the shower."
Trent would too. Damn it. Jesse was the only one of our friends bigger than I was, and it would be no problem for him to manhandle me into the shower. Not that it wouldn't be fun, but I didn't date my friends. We were too close. Our little circle was as close to family as I'd ever have.
"Fine. Why can't you just leave me alone? I don't ask for much."
"Because I love you. Now go shower."