Christmas With The Darcys


Let’s face it. The big guy (AKA Santa Claus) will be coming into our houses for the sake of our children in another couple of days. So I figured it was the right time to post a holiday feature or two.

I had originally asked The Darcys to contribute their favourite memories of Christmas past and their hopes for the future for a feature on one of the other sites that I write for. That piece didn’t quite pan out the way I had hoped but I didn’t want to see the below answer from The Darcys’ Wes Marskell go unused.


Photo by Erika Altosaar

We thought up WesMas as a reaction to Christmas.

The thing is, I really don’t care much for the holidays. I find them very demanding as there is a lot of pressure to be in nine places at once with exactly the right gift in tow. As I get older, I go to a lot of Christmas parties and hide myself by drinking Pinot Noir in a corner and watching sports. I try to avoid eye contact and hope members of my extended family don’t ask me when I’m finally going to get a real job. “Soon”, I say.

WesMas was going to be different, and it was going to be in June. It wasn’t about watching your uncle get hammered and your cousin’s dog hump a planter. It was about seeing all of the people you actually want to see during the regular holidays but can’t because we’re all so busy.

So we made a list of invites: The Australian guy from the coffee shop. My old boss who I think had a crush on me when I was 18. A student nurse. My grade 12 English teacher. Our manager. Jason’s mom. Whoever. Anyone who we liked and thought would participate to the fullest.

There were about 30 of us by the time dinner was served. Everyone dressed up in Christmas sweaters and Santa hats in 25 degree weather.  We bought a tree and decorated it, put up wreaths, threw fake snow on the front lawn, lit a menorah, and asked everyone to bring a classic holiday dish. There was stuffing, trifle and latkes. My friend Leah ambitiously brined and cooked her first ever turkey to perfection. The Australian guy brought the leftover muffins from the coffee shop and Dave somehow made lamb stew. There were meat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, fish-free, food-free and taste-free options for anyone. We ate and we drank and with a little imagination it wasn’t hard to believe it was December.

It didn’t feel like my birthday, it feel like a break from reality. I realized how seriously we all take our lives when Jason drunkenly fell down the stairs dressed as Santa Claus carrying a Budweiser and sack of toys he had bought at Dollarama. In that moment, we all managed to let the noise of our everyday lives fade away.

For Christmas, I want WesMas to be a tradition.

Merry WesMas.

See you in June.

Wes Marskell / The Darcys