The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Very Special Christmas-Hanukah-Kwanza Special

Christmas is a confusing time at my house.

Dan Dad always buys me lots of Christmas presents and takes me to the mall to see Santa so I can sit on his lap and tell him what I want for Christmas. This year, I didn't tell him what I really want because Dan Dad was standing right there, but then I don't usually get what I ask him for anyway.

Carl Dad says that Christmas is a commercial bastardization of the Christian celebration of Jesus's birth with elements of ancient pagan winter festival rituals mixed in, and anyway we shouldn't be celebrating Christmas because we're Jewish.

Dan Dad says that he doesn't make the family celebrate Kwanza just because he's African-American, and that Christmas is a highly-valued American tradition for the children, and then he looks pointedly at me. Then he asks, loudly, how to explain the gifts from Santa if we didn't celebrate.

Carl Dad says that Dan Dad shouldn't be filling my head with lies about Christmas either, because it could have serious long-term effects on my psyche.

Then Dan Dad gets a shocked look on his face and tells Carl Dad not to ruin Christmas.

I'm pretty sure that neither of them are right. I'm pretty sure that this year, "Santa" is giving me a new Encyclopedia and a set of Mozart CD's instead of the video game I asked him for. I know that I'm not going to get the gift I really want because Carl Dad is still blaming me and Dan Dad is still babying me, and that means they still haven't forgiven me for losing the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee a few months ago.

Sometimes I wonder if they ever will.