November 16th, 2006 by

I wasn’t gonna celebrate Christmas this year. You see, it was Eric’s favorite holiday. He loved his family’s traditions, buying and wrapping gifts, Christmas music, decorating, the whole nine yards. And I was planning to deny its existence this year, to refuse to decorate and bake, and possibly not even visit my family for the holiday. There was a moratorium on holiday cheer in the works; I had already told family members not to expect gifts or cards from me this year because I just didn’t know if I could bear the atmosphere long enough to make any purchases. By gum, if I was miserable for the holidays, everyone around me was going to be miserable too, dammit.

That all changed today. I found the Christmas spirit in a sex toy shop.

While I had been Googling phrases such as “offbeat Boston,” “alternative Boston tourism,” and “local Boston” in preparation for my trip, Sweet and Nasty was the only listing that routinely appeared in the top ten results. It turns out that the bakery/confectionery-cum-sex toy shop (heh heh) was a local institution, and is even listed in several mainstream, highly recommended travel guides. And because I am the sort of person that really, really wants to be the eccentric old lady full of highly amusing anecdotes when she’s sitting in a nursing home somewhere, I suggested that we visit. Because really, whose life is complete until they’ve sampled a penis cake?

It turns out that the store, aside from selling novelties and questionably-shaped baked goods, also purveyed a wide assortment of insanely funny and wildly inappropriate holiday greeting cards. One of my favorites has a charming picture of a 1950s-era Pollyanna on the cover, with the lyrics to an old Christmas favorite, “Oh, I’m getting nuthin’ for Christmas! Santa says I’ve been bad!” On the inside of the card is a single word: “Asshole.”

And as I stood in the aisle, laughing until my sides hurt at the sheer audacity of the cards (and snatching up more than a couple for purchase), I had my revelation: I’m not supposed to deny the holiday season this year. This Christmas will be a difficult and painful one for me, but there will be no good of attempting to bury my head in the sand and pretend that the holiday doesn’t exist. I can find my own way to celebrate this year, and it might be extremely non-traditional and slightly tinged with anger that Eric isn’t here with me. But if I can find ways to express that anger in a constructive, smart-ass manner…well, that is what Eric would have wanted. He would have wanted me to find a way to laugh in spite of it all, and to celebrate in his absence. After all, remembrance is what the Christmas season is all about.

Ps. The cake was delicious.

naughty cupcakes

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