Just as we’re about to dive in, he suddenly pulls me aside and hands me a pair of ear plugs, winking. I give him a look – is this some sort of new kink?
‘I know it’s been a tough year for you and all women, so I’m volunteering to field the shit-storm of Kavanaugh comments my family is going to lob at us over Christmas dinner,’ he whispers to me as we sit down at the table.
‘Just ignore them and focus on eating all the roast potatoes you possibly can, honey.’
I come into the bedroom and he slams his laptop shut sheepishly. I look at him strangely.
‘You can look at porn, you know I like it too!’
‘It’s not porn.’ He says. I frown.
‘If you must know, I was actually finalising all our holiday arrangements. I’ve booked our flights and hotels. I’ve arranged the dog’s kennel stay. Rented the car.’ He pauses. I’m about to say something before he carries on, ‘I’ve put together a list of gift ideas. Bought the wrapping paper, ribbon and cards. Every tiny little thing that needs doing.’
He pulls a sheath of papers out from under his sweat-panted leg. ‘Here are all the printed confirmations. I was hoping to finish this final order of Scottish shortbread for your dad before you came in. He mentioned how much he loves that stuff a couple of summers ago and I’ve remembered it this whole time.’
I jump onto the bed, already in the throes of ecstasy.
‘Turn on the real porn – now!’
She finishes setting out the myrrh, suddenly feeling something hard and pointy pressing on her lower back.
‘Oh, look out Mar! I got the manger up from the desert basement without even being asked,’ Joseph said, carefully maneuvering around her.
‘As his devoted stepdad I want to make sure little Jesus has the best birthday ever – because that’s how blended families work!’
Mary beamed at him. ‘Joe, you’re the best human stepdad Jesus and God could have asked for.’
I eye my Christmas gift. It’s a square box on his lap.
‘Come on over and open it,’ he says, wiggling his eyebrows at me. I slide over, and I can hear his breathing speed up.
As I lift off the top, he can’t contain himself any longer.
‘It’s a dick in a box!’ he exclaims, as I pull out the voodoo doll of Boris Johnson.
‘I LOVE IT, HONEY!’ I shout, immediately jabbing a pin in Boris’s pillowy crotch.
He rolls down the window, slowly sizing me up from head to toe.
‘Did someone here ask to see some quality wood?’
I giggle. ‘Um yeah, me!’
‘Well then hop in!’ the Christmas tree farm proprietor says, throwing open the door to his clean, not murdery-at-all pick-up truck. ‘Let’s head to the good ones. I don’t doubt your ability to pick out an amazing Christmas tree yourself as a single woman, but please let me assist you because it’s cold and that’s my job! I’m certainly not going to ask where your husband and kids are!’
He added, ‘And here’s a free candy cane – feel free to suck on it however you like, I won’t take any subtext about your sexual appetite from it or watch you far too closely while you enjoy it. It’s just candy!’
‘Ho ho ho, wanna sit on my lap to get your present?’ Slurred my boss Dave as he sauntered into our office Christmas party wearing his Santa suit, the same one he wore every year.
‘No thank you!’
‘Probably for the best, I’m feeling quite barfy. I’ll just leave your Christmas bonus on your desk, then. Great work this year! Cheers!’