T’was the night before Christmas and in every room, The family was up partying without a trace of gloom. They forgot their worries, cares, and frights, And let themselves be present with each other for tonight.
The brothers joked around like they were kids again, While their parents wondered, “When did they become men?” They all got drunk on eggnog and beers, Telling stories no one had thought of in years.
And when they finally all snuggled up tight in their beds, The same thought ran through each of their heads: I’m so lucky, more lucky than I know how to say, To have this family, to have had this day.
Years later, young entrepeneurs would ask Santa Claus, “How did you get your start?” He’d had a day job all through his twenties and made toys in his free time, always trying to find a balance between doing the creative work he loved and, you know, making sure he had health insurance.
But it never got him down. He didn’t care if he’d ever get into the history books. He made toys because he loved doing it, and because he believed it was good practice for his heart even if only a few people would ever want them. He was grateful for every smile brought on by something he made, and it was those little things that filled him with joy and renewed his faith every day. And that’s how he got to be where he was in the end.
Aladdin’s head was still swimming with thoughts from what happened on Friday. How were you supposed to make sense of life after inexplicable tragedy? He wanted to lose faith in everything, give up on the belief that anything mattered.
But he worked in a school, and on Monday when he went to work the kids were there, and they were looking to him to explain what happened. And that’s when he realized, Shit, I’m an adult.
And then, just as immediately, he started answering their questions.
Arthur was hanging out with the guys who would later become the Knights Of The Round Table, talking about some people they used to know who were famous now. Or at least Internet famous. The knights all played it off like they didn’t care, but when they got home they each looked the famous people up online and thought to themselves, What do they have that I don’t? And how does Google always know exactly what to advertise to me?
The Golem was not having a very good first day of Hanukkah. He put a tasteful menorah up at his job but some coworker hid it behind these creepy animatronic elves waving electric candles. He tried to sing a little “Maoz Tzur” on a street corner to get people in the spirit, but a nearby store just upped the volume on their “Jingle Bell Rock.” And every time he spun his dreidel, someone dropped an entire bag of Christmas gifts on it. He was a man of mud in a city of Gentiles, and he felt he would never belong.
But then that night he had dinner at his great aunt’s house and she said to him, “How come you never call? What, you’re too busy for me now?” He felt an overwhelming wave of guilt, then smiled and thought, Ah, I’m home now.
The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! But don’t ask him why, because he’ll tell you the reasons: His mother’s a drunk, his stepfather’s a jerk, And once one of ‘em starts something they both go berserk. Then there’s the consumerism, the endless buying, Every jingling commercial made him wish he were dying.
But there was one thing that made the Grinch’s season less glum: A little bit of eggnog, and a big ol’ bottle of rum.
Fairy Tales For Twenty-Somethings is written about in Si!, Argentinan newspaper Clarín’s supplement para los jóvenes. (Click the image to view it larger.)
Thank you, Si! And writer Victoria Corruti. This was in the print edition. So cool.
PS For those who don’t read Spanish: I’m quoted as saying that one possibly unexpected influence on the fairy tales is Charles Schultz’s Peanuts comic strip, because in such a short space he packs so much humor and emotion. Here’s to you, Charlie Brown.
The Seven Dwarves had to work ten hour shifts, and halfway through Monday they were already exhausted, but they didn’t let it get them down. They believed in the intrinsic value of a hard day’s work, that every citizen should take pride in contributing to society. And they spent most of their work day GChatting with each other anyway, so.
All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call Rudolph names, and the scars from the bullying stuck with him. He was insecure about his appearance even among friends and he avoided being in photos. Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say, “Just get in the picture. I’ll take a few and you can delete the ones you don’t like.”
Throughout the month of December, I’ll be sprinkling some more festive tales of twenty-somethings alongside our regular collection of fairy tales. Because I kinda wanna know what Frosty had in that corncob pipe.