Christmas Part 1: The Nudeman Before Christmas

by Dillon Hayes

The children leapt atop their parents’ bed, wailing, shaking their heads violently, their grins too big for their faces. It was Christmas day in the Howell household, much like it was in the neighbors’ households…and everywhere else, too. The nudist and his wife assessed their surroundings, still in a REM-stage fog.

“IT’S CHRISTMAS!” yelled both kids, somewhere between five and one hundred times each. Keith and Marcia both widened their eyes for a couple seconds, the way an irritated person does.

“Go downstairs,” said Keith, stretching his words in that sleepy way while turning over. In his opinion, he had bought his kids what were some, how the French say, “bomb-ass gifts.”  Because of this, he felt no further obligation to them this morning or any mornings in the foreseeable future. Keith turned to Marcia, who was hardly fazed by the cacophony and resumed sleeping, and joined her.

The two slept another hour before making the trek downstairs. As a parent, Christmas morning can be either a joyous occasion or a wrong-gift-induced disaster. As a naked parent, one must worry about that, but also about not bending over too much when picking up gifts.

The children had already ransacked the stockings, which had been hung over the fireplace with real indifference, the parents not giving much of a shit what St. Nick thought. Pez dispensers, disposable razors, malt balls, carrots, yo-yos, a copy of Face/Off starring John Travolta and Nic Cage, packs of bubble gum abound! After all of the stockings’ contents had been carelessly strewn about the living room floor by Sonya and Joseph, Marcia and Keith entered the room, looked at the mess on the floor, and forced loving smiles.

Joseph sobered up and approached his parents. “I would like to open all of this stuff immediately,” he said without expression.

Keith laughed and did a James Brown impression. “You wanna get into it, man?! Well, get into it, man!”

Marcia shook her head as she walked toward the kitchen to pour herself some coffee. She needn’t see the massacre in her living room to know that she would be finding scraps of wrapping paper stuck in crannies for the next two months.

Keith sat on the couch, admiring the scene: an 8-foot Douglas fir, dressed with tinsel and ornamentation and placed directly in the middle of the living room (Keith thought it would be nice for directing the holiday traffic that his home would soon host), an unlit starter log in the fireplace, and his children making no effort to savor the morning’s treasures. There was no snow on the ground outside, but, regardless, it was real cold. It was a Rockwell-ian scene, indeed. Keith, enamored with his family, felt a sense of pride as his son unveiled his first, second, and third gifts. They were a Super Nintendo, a kite, and a mini-piano, respectively.

Marcia re-entered, and Sonya, waiting patiently while her brother tore through his gifts, then set to hers. No disappointed faces in the Howell household this morning as Sonya unwrapped a portable CD player, Christina Aguilera’s first album, and the newest issue of Cosmopolitan.

Keith and Marcia looked at and admired one another as Joseph played the entire Charlie Brown theme song on his mini-piano. Sonya asked Joseph what a “sex” was. Joseph interrupted his playing to shrug and then started again (

After half an hour of ripping piano work, the children, tuckered out from the morning’s festivities, fell asleep on the floor. Sonya’s ears were covered by her headphones and Joseph was cradling his kite. Keith and Marcia let them sleep, as they would need the energy for the family event that would later ensue. The adults found themselves thinking the same and ascended the stairs to their bedroom. Marcia snuggled into bed wearing her kerchief, and Keith did the same, wearing nothing but his cap, and both settled in for like, an hour or so nap.


Coming Soon: Christmas Part 2: Pun Title