God, I ate too much. Non-essential bodily functions are shutting down. The tiniest dribble of drool is forming at the edge of my mouth. I fumble for the tumbler of whiskey that’s on the side table,  the fried chicken grease still on my fingers making it difficult to grasp. The only course of action is to drink myself into a stasis and let my body regenerate. It’s 3pm.

Every year my family travels to Charleston, South Carolina to spend the holidays with my sister. Being the only time of the year I make it to the South, upon arriving I immediately have to get Bojangles. To call Bojangles a fast food fried chicken joint is both correct and sacrilege. It’s like Popeye’s but better. Bojangles is like if KFC ever decided to stop shoving their entire menu in a bowl and dousing it with gravy, and instead focused on actually making fried chicken that didn’t taste like sh*t. Bojangles is also not available above the Mason-Dixon line. Which is why I must have it. I wants it. I needs it. It is my precious. That being said, as I don’t generally eat fast food, Bojangles wreaks all kinds of havoc to my metabolism (and digestive tract). Hence the aforementioned whiskey remedy.

I awake the next day, walk into the living room, and am offered some coffee along with cookies to nosh on before breakfast. You heard it here folks, we eat cookies before our meals. In fact I look over at my dad who’s already taken up the offer. Except that he’s foregone the cookies and decided instead to go for the dough. He’s straight up got a slab of cookie dough on a plate but he’s a classy dude so he’s eating it with a fork. It’s also around noon, and this will be the first of two meals we will be eating today. In these two meals we generally eat the caloric equivalent of a half-gallon of Crisco. Michael Phelps once looked at the spread for one of our meals and said “DAAAAAAAAAYUMM” What he was doing at the apartment I’ll never know, but when we offered him a plate he said he was good, pulled a Subway footlong from behind his ear, ate it in one bite, then jumped into the nearest puddle and disappeared. He too is a classy dude.

As the majority of the family has traveled to Charleston for the holidays, our big outing for the day is a trip to the mall to buy presents. I have not been to a mall in years. As a result, I have not been in a Belk’s in years. These facts are irrelevant since malls are the land that time forgot. I’m legitimately surprised that Belk’s no longer sells JNCO jeans. At least they still have a pile of gifts I can grab for $10 a pop. I hope my sister likes her 5-in-one flashlight screwdriver. My dad is getting a monogrammed handkerchief/cufflinks combo (they didn’t have his monogram, I’ll have to figure out a reason behind the letters I got). Mom’s getting a decorative shawl. Thanks to Belk’s, I’m a great son for yet another year.

We return to my sister’s apartment, (my) sh*tty gifts in tow, and prepare for Christmas Eve. Being the most devout of Christians, we follow tradition by clipping candles on what is essentially a giant candle, throwing paper boxes for kindling below it, and drinking eggnog so that we’re both too full and drunk to do anything when the tree inevitably ignites. All while Bing Crosby sings about cocaine or something. The fact that it doesn’t is how we know that we are truly #blessed. Having successfully carried out this ritual, we retire to our respective inflatable mattresses for a tempestuous sleep, as tomorrow will be a big day of sitting around. And that’s the true meaning of Christmas.