Some Great Moments in Williams Family Christmases:
5. Christmas 1980 – Deep in a proto-existential 12-year-old funk, I walk down the stairs Xmas morning to find a brand new Huffy 10-speed bike, colored burnt sienna with fuzzy handle grips. Promptly forget depression until I’m almost 20. Immediately take the bike outside and try to ride on sheets of Iowa ice. It will not thaw for another five months.
4. Christmas 1971 – About fifty of my family, half of us under the age of ten, are gathered at my Grandma’s place in Utah. In one of my first holiday memories, I begin to sense the whole “Santa” thing is a hunk of burning bullshit, and begin to caucus with my cousins. At that moment, sleigh bells are heard outside, and we all look at each other with unbelievable excitement and dread, and bolt upstairs to bed. I’m told about ten years later it was my Uncle Steve in the bushes with the sleigh bells.
3. Christmas 1985 – On Xmas eve, my parents scream at each other and throw antiques. My dad walks out, and my mom goes into a tailspin. I amble out into the snow in New Jersey, where my parents had relocated for a few months. I look to the black, cold sky and decide to change my life. I get a haircut, buy contact lenses, and in five months I have my first girlfriend ever.
2. Christmas 1993 – We rent a house in Big Bear, California. My mom nearly burns the place down by throwing hot oil out onto the porch. Sean and Michelle spend hours with fingernail clippers trying to snip out the burned tips of the shag rug. On the way to the store, I mention that “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is actually a song about date rape. I’m read the riot act for an hour by Sean’s first wife.
1. Christmas 2006 – We start the next generation of crazy-ass shenanigans with Lucy and Barnaby!
Christmas 1972 in Provo, UT – Santa freaks out Sean (held by Steve) while my cousin Vince and I are psyched