The Christmas Spirit

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"We need a bigger turkey."

"We need more Christmas lights."

"We need a bigger Christmas tree."

"We need more firewood."

What else now? Are they gonna need more atmosphere?

If my dad and uncle could gift wrap the earth, they would for these two.

There weren't many hands to help out this year since everyone seemed to be moving further and further away. Me being the youngest child was blessed with the responsibility of looking after our parents since the heart my siblings were born with got sucked out of their chest the moment they got a chance to leave.

You're not married, they say.

You don't have children, they say.

It won't be a permanent thing, they say.

Then how come for the past six years, a girl like me with a degree in architect and interior design, has to lower herself to the menial labor of a store associate at Forever 21 because it was convenient?

Now, don't get me wrong. Being a sales associate is not as easy as it seems.

Customers are rude and don't have any respect for the merchandise, the store is always in need of polishing, the go-backs are horrendous and you find yourself formulating ways to have an 'accident' in hopes of them sending you home early.

But maybe that was all retail stores.

I can't imagine doing this for the rest of my life because I was sure to attack one of the customers if they start yelling about how we only give back store credit. I mean, it's on the receipt people...

Read. The. Damn. Receipt.

It's not my problem now anyway since I quit three days ago. I'm yet to deliver the news to my parents and my oh-so-traitorous siblings. Once they catch wind of me being unemployed, they'd nagged me to find another job or come look after mom and dad until I can get myself situated. I doubt it's the latter considering every conversation I've had with them ends with me agreeing to look after our parents a little longer.

I know what they're doing. I'm not stupid. They know what they're doing and they know what to say to guilt me into staying.

But not anymore.

I've wasted six years of my life, playing nurse, running around a retail store, rewatching every episode of Smallville on Netflix and keeping a bottle of vodka on the pillow next to me at night. I'd dwell on the fact that I was a very boring girl. I pitied myself.



"Tilly, would you come give us a hand! We need some help grating the cheese!"

No, actually. I would not like to help.

Every year on December 1st we would get together in case everyone is too busy with their lives to show up for Christmas dinner.

We call it the McMillan Not Christmas But Christmas Dinner.

"Hurry up, Tilly!"

God, I hate that name...

"I'm coming!"


I shredded my knuckles grating the cheese. Currently, I was in the bathroom tending to my wounds with the nursing kit, and a chilling thought resonated in me as I applied band-aids to my cuts.

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