Picture by Sabina

Family gatherings for Christmas dinner were a long standing tradition at the Taylor home. This year was extra special, because it marked the reconciliation of Jennifer, and her formerly estranged husband Craig Taylor. After a nearly three year separation, their love had rekindled, and no one was happier for them than their son, Justin.

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

Jack Frost nipping at your nose.

Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,

And folks dressed up like Eskimos…”
The smooth, bourbon voice of Nat King Cole set the tone for the evening.

Jennifer’s townhouse was decorated in red velvet and glistening gold lame’. Flickering tealight candles on the dining room table danced off of crystal goblets, which were carefully placed next to the good china and highly polished silverware. Special care had been taken to make sure that everyone would be seated properly. Justin looked at the vacant place settings to his right, and to his left. Neither Tony, nor Brian were there, but then again neither were Justin’s other extended family members, including gramps, and grandmother Taylor. Jennifer’s sister and her family were noticeably missing as well.

“How’s married life, Justin?” Molly asked her brother.

“It’s great.” Justin smiled.

“Two husbands, I think that’s so cool.” Molly grinned. “I can totally see where you’re coming from. Do you all like sleep in one bed, or do you alternate your husbands every night?”

“Molly, that’s inappropriate conversation for the dinner table.” Craig interrupted.

“Why? There’s no one here but us, and I’m almost seventeen,” Molly reminded him.

Much to Craig’s dismay, Justin gave his sister a condensed version of his new family life.

“For now, we all still have our separate places. We generally choose whose place we’re going to spend the night at, and we all sleep in the same bed, although the bed at my place is kind of small. Brian and Tony both have California king-size beds.”

“Jesus Christ….Jenn, how much longer before dinner?” Craig called to his wife.

“Just a few minutes more!” Jennifer called back from the kitchen.

“So where are Brian and Tony tonight?” Molly asked.

“They’re at the loft. Brian wasn’t feeling well, and Tony thought he should stay home with him.” Justin gave the answer he and his husbands had agreed on. Having one of his testicles removed was not something Brian wanted broadcast to the in-laws.

“Brian is a grown man, why would Tony need to baby-sit him? It seems rather rude that your mother and I extended our home to your lovers for the holiday, and neither one bothered to show up,” Craig said.

“Husbands, dad, Tony and Brian are Justin’s husbands,” Molly corrected him.

“Marriage is between one man, and one woman,” Craig said.

“And his mistress,” Molly mumbled under her breath.

“Dinner is served!” Jennifer emerged through the kitchen door carrying a perfectly golden browned, goose on a silver platter.

Justin moved the stuffing and sweet potato casserole aside to make way for the star of the meal. “It looks delicious, mom,” he said.

“Was that a free range bird, or did it live its entire life in captivity?” Molly wanted to know.

Jennifer sat the silver platter down onto the dining table. “Molly, let’s not get started on the bird please. We’re going to have a nice dinner together, the way we used to. Taylor tradition warrants that the honor of carving the Christmas goose goes to the head of the household. Craig…honey, will you do the honors?”

Craig Taylor stood up, and positioned himself near the bird. “It looks like we’re going to have plenty of leftovers this year,” he commented, as he picked up the fork, and carving knife.

“I’m sorry Brian and Tony couldn’t come.” Jennifer looked over at Justin.

“Where is everyone else?” Justin asked.

“They’re all at gramps, and grandmother Taylor’s house. Dad didn’t think it was appropriate for the rest of the family to be around his gay son, and his two fag boyfriends….”

“Molly!” Jennifer frowned at her daughter.

“What? It’s true!” Molly defiantly returned her mother’s stare.

“Is that true, dad?” Justin looked at his father.

“Justin, your father and I decided that…considering the season and both of our families’ strict catholic background… Perhaps it would be best to ease them into your relationship with Brian, and Tony,” Jennifer said as gently as she could.

“They’re ashamed of you, Justin, but it’s ok for their priest to molest little boys.” Molly wasn’t biting her tongue.

Craig stopped carving the goose, and pointed the knife at Molly. “It’s Christmas. We won’t have that kind of blasphemy at this table, young lady,” he warned.

The rebellious teenager rolled her eyes.

“Did you see that, Jenn? Did you see how your daughter rolled her eyes at me? No respect for her father! This whole family is falling apart,” Craig said.

“And whose fault is that, dad? You’re the one who flaunted your whore around town, then tried to blame the breakup of your marriage on your gay son. You and your fine family values. Funny, I don’t recall seeing anything in the “top ten” about being gay, but thou shall not commit adultery is way up there, in big bold letters!” Molly wasn’t backing down.

“Jenn, are you going to allow her to talk to me this way?” Craig was livid.

“Molly, go to your room!” Jennifer ordered.

“That’s fine with me. I didn’t want any of your slaughtered bird anyway. Maybe you should consider taking your own advice, mom. Maybe YOU should go to YOUR room, and this time WITHOUT HIM!” Molly pointed at her father.


“Goodnight, Justin. Say hello to Brian and Tony for me. You don’t know how lucky you are to be out of this hellhole,” Molly said, before heading up the stairs.

“Jingle bells, jingle bells,

jingle all the way.

Oh what fun it is to ride

in a one horse open sleigh…..”
The uplifting Christmas carol played futilely in the background.

Justin desperately searched for something to say that would ease the tension in the room. “Oh boy, am I hungry! I’ll have some breast meat please.” He lifted his plate.

“I’m not hungry anymore.” Craig slammed the carving knife, and fork onto the table.

“Justin says he’s hungry. Please carve the goose, Craig,” Jennifer said calmly.

Justin had seen that expression on his mother’s face, and heard that restrained tone in her voice before. Sensing danger, he retracted his plate. “No thanks, dad. I’m fine, mom, really I am! I’m not hungry either,” he lied.

“YES YOU ARE! I spent two days preparing this dinner, and someone is going to eat it. Now, start carving Craig!” Jennifer was seeing red.

“I’ll have some breast meat please.” Justin cautiously lifted his plate again.

“I can see now this isn’t going to work,” Craig began. “When I agreed to come back to this marriage…..”

“YOU AGREED?” Jennifer interrupted her husband. “You son-of-a-bitch, you should be kissing my ass for taking you back…!


“Shut up Justin!” Jennifer snapped. “They say there’s no fool like an old fool. Did you really think a twenty year old stripper would want you?”

“Stripper, dad, you left mom for a stripper?”

“Stay out of this Justin!” Craig attempted to defend his previous actions. “At least she gave me the illusion that she cared about me, unlike you, and your sorority brunches, Molly’s dance classes, and Justin’s PFLAG meetings. You never had time for me!”

“You, you, you, it’s always about you, isn’t it, Craig?” Jennifer sneered. “Someone had to care about our children. You certainly didn’t.”

“Someone had to work!” Craig reminded her.

“Are you saying that raising our children isn’t work?” Jennifer took exception.

“I’m saying that we have a gay son, and a delinquent daughter. Don’t go patting yourself on the back for being mother of the year,” Craig hissed.

Jennifer rose from her seat, and with lightning speed, flung a handful of sweet potato casserole across the table. The sticky, melted marshmallows that decorated the top of the dish clung to Craig’s shirt. “GET OUT!” she yelled.

“Crazy bitch, I should have never come back to you in the first place. I don’t have to put up with this. I can go find some new pussy.” Craig wiped the mess from his shirt.

“You could have found some new pussy here, if you had some more dick.” Jennifer went for the low blow.

Things had taken an unexpected spiral downward that Justin had not foreseen. The young newlywed reminded himself that he was no longer a child, but a married man himself, with not only one, but two happy husbands. Perhaps it was time for the parents to benefit from the wisdom of the child. “Mom, dad.....” he began.


“Hark the harold, angels sing

glory to the new born king.

Peace on earth, and mercy mild.

God, and sinners reconcile………………..”
The Christmas carols played in the background.

“OUCH! Those are my balls you’re manhandling there!” Brian looked at Tony.

“I’ve never heard you complain about that before.” Tony grinned.

“That’s because they were never swollen, and stitched up before. Same day surgery my ass. Those doctors must be crazy. Shit, Tony, take it easy!” Brian hovered his butt over the soft, donut cushion the hospital had given him.

“Ok, now ease down onto the chair.” Tony positioned Brian’s sore scrotum into the center of the cut-out, seat cushion.

“Ahhh, that’s better,” Brian sighed.

“So what happened after that? I can’t believe your mom actually threw potatoes at your dad.” Tony pushed Brian’s chair up to the table, then took a seat across from him.

“My dad said he was going to go find himself some new pussy, and my mom told him he could find some new pussy there if he had some more dick.” Justin continued to recall the earlier evening events from the kitchen area of Brian’s loft.

“Oh no, she didn’t go there!” Brian laughed.

Tony wasn’t quite so amused. “This isn’t funny, Brian. We’re talking about Justin’s parents. Go on, princess. What happened after that?”

“I told them they were behaving worse than teenagers. I reminded them that I have my own life and my own family now, and soon Molly would be an adult, and gone to make her way in this world. All they’ll have left is each other, and if they wanted to give their marriage another try, then they were going to have to put the past behind them. People are flawed. We make mistakes, but where there’s still love, there’s still a chance,” Justin said.

“Those were very wise words, princess,” Tony smiled. “What did your parents have to say after that?”

“They both probably told him to shut up,” Brian said.

“Exactly,” Justin concurred.

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

Jack Frost nipping at your nose.

Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,

And folks dressed up like Eskimos…”
The smooth, bourbon voice of Nat King Cole set the tone for the evening.

“Dinner is served!” Justin emerged from the kitchen area, carrying the perfectly golden browned goose on the silver platter that was supposed to have been served earlier that evening.

Tony moved the stuffing, and sweet potato casserole that was conspicuously missing its center aside to make way for the star of the meal. “It looks delicious, princess,” he said.

“Let’s dig in. I’m starved,” Brian said.

Brian’s loft was decorated with a simple artificial tree, lit with multicolored lights. Two flickering candles on the table danced off of Crate & Barrel glasses that were placed next to ceramic plates, and everyday flatware. Justin set the platter down onto the table, and looked over at Brian, to his right, then at Tony who was seated at his left. Taylor tradition warranted that the honor of carving the Christmas goose goes to the head of the household.

Justin picked up the fork, and carving knife. “Who wants breast meat?” he asked

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