Christmas Unwrapped

You can always tell who, in a Zoom meeting, is not wearing a bra. They are the ones you see just from the eyeballs up.

My sister-in-law Gloriosa goes to a lot of them meetings, being socially active and all.

At first, she tried to hang in there (ahem!) In August, she bragged to me: “I can take off any bra without taking off my shirt. No matter the style or make. I take it off as soon as I’m done with a meeting and fling it across the room.”

A couple days later, her mother-in-law, Ms. Sarcophaga, slunk through Gloriosa’s back door without knocking and got smacked with a flying bra.

Gloriosa took that as a sign from God and gave up on bras entirely. “Let the younger generations think I can’t focus my camera right. I don’t care,” she says to me.

It’s going to solve another problem too – her Christmas list.

I got to explain.

Like I told my kids, this Christmas we are going to have to give up on Cheer and settle for Relief That the Hurricane Season is Over. Because it ain’t going to be a great year for present-giving.

I am making my own – cookie mix in a jar with a bow around it.

That and cats. We got five kittens that decided to be born here a couple months back, and they are going to good homes for Christmas, along with a complimentary jar of cat litter.

And in return we get kitten-free peace on Christmas Eve. (Almost. We are keeping one.)

We just got to be careful we don’t give somebody cat litter by accident instead of cookie mix. I did that once, years back. It was used litter, unfortunately. I had been dumping it into one of them giant caramel corn gift canisters, and I mixed it up with a new canister I bought for a teachers’ gift. I been trying to forget about THAT ever since, and I bet Sister Gargantua has, too.

Gloriosa is also making gifts and at the same time she is recycling her bras.

Now, Gloriosa is what you call “endowed,” bosom-wise, and up to now she made the most of it. She has an enormous chest of drawers just for bras: low-cut, athletic, push-up, push-WAY-up, black lace, white lace, peek-a-boo, come-hither and other names you are embarrassed to say out loud.

They are all going to become Christmas-themed presents.

Her mother, Ms. Larda, don’t approve.

“This pandemic will end one day, and you’ll need them,” she says. “This ain’t the first time we tried to get rid of bras. You’re too young to remember bra-burning, Gloriosa, but it didn’t turn out good.” She won’t explain no more, so we got to wonder if she personally got singed.

But Gloriosa says she’s never known such freedom, and she ain’t going back.

She goes into a Christmas frenzy of transforming bras into snowmen with little pointy hats, snow ladies with strangely shaped bonnets, cone-shaped penguins – evidently there is no Christmas-y item you can’t create out of a bra if you put your mind to it.

When her daughter Momus asks for an outdoor snowman for their front yard, she takes it as a challenge. They unpack the skeleton they used on Halloween. They drape it in a sheet, and tie that in place with bra straps, and use other bra parts for earmuffs and elbows and knees and to make it fat. They cut up a cherry-red bra for mittens and cover a cardboard high hat with silk from some sexy black bras.   

They even slip in white Christmas tree lights for a magical inner glow. But evidently lights that work on the outside of a tree become a fire hazard inside a plastic skeleton covered in bras.

They had to call the fire department. And it wound up in the newspaper (because nothing else was going on in the world.) The story described a fire on Carrollton Avenue caused by Gloriosa G. Oldline.

The headline says, “Uptown Bra-burning Causes Uproar.”

History repeated. Ms. Larda was right.

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