I have been listening to Christmas songs on the radio. Nothing they sing makes any sense. These are just songs about children who want huge animals, broken romances, mothers cheating on their husbands, and women asking a mythical man in a red suit for high priced gifts. I do not understand.
Then…THEN there are witches. Why are no creatures stirring? Have the witches been banned from their potions the night before Christmas? Have their animal familiars gone away into winter hibernation brought on by the over abundance of green and red lights? Are mice organizing? It is truly horrifying.
After spending three hundred years locked in a crypt therefore missing the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries I find myself still learning, and a bit confused over current Yule season traditions.
I received an invitation to what is called an ugly Christmas sweater party. I do not understand the significance of this. I asked my Vampire lover Gillian about this. She said for God’s sake Vlad it is just for fun. At times Gillian has little patience with me.
On the Google I found many references to ugly Christmas sweaters. It seems the sweaters depict favorite holiday motifs portrayed in bright red and green colors. In the spirit of Yule I have decided that I will make my own Christmas sweater.
During my childhood, unlike my current situation in this place called California, it was often bitterly cold, even for Vampires. It was during a dark cold winter storm lasting two weeks that my Baba taught me how to knit and how to do needlework. One could say that was an unconventional task for a ten year old Vampire boy but Baba said as the future King of Vampires I must know many skills. She stressed that as a Vampire I must know all of the survival skills, including being both protected from the elements and striving to always being fashionable.
In a yarn shop, where they sold only yarn, I found a pattern for a sweater suitable for the male body. Next I looked for the right needles. I learned on needles made of bone and wood. These needles were brightly colored like ugly Christmas sweaters.
The women in the shop asked me if they could help. They wanted to know if I was buying a gift. When I told them I would be knitting my own sweater they all but swooned. I am used to such reactions. Then I told them that my grandmother, my Baba, had taught me to knit with yarn. At that point the air was thick with love and admiration.
After about an hour I left with a bag of black, green, red, gold, brown, and white yarn, needles, and a pattern. I also left with a belly full of blood, but left the women with smiles on their faces. They do not remember my taking their blood, only that a handsome man came into the shop and charmed them.
At home I have begun to knit.
My friend Randolpho came over to check out what I was doing. He told me he thought the sweater would bring quite a reaction. I told him that I was mixing both new and old traditions. It warmed my cold Vampire heart to work on such a project.
Tonight was the Ugly Christmas Sweater party at my friend Cassie’s Pub. She had closed her establishment down and just invited friends and family. Cassie is not a Vampire. I do not scare her friends with the fact that I am.
My sweater was finished and fit quite well. I did not think it was ugly at all. Maybe it was a bit unusual due to the cats I knitted onto the back. I was willing to accept any stares or giggles that might bring.
There was quiet when I walked into the room.
Everyone looked at the front of my sweater in wonder, and maybe a bit of horror. I was confused by this. Was this not supposed to be a Christmas party full of holiday cheer and memories of traditions old and new?
On my sweater was the large image of a man with bloody feet. I used shining metallic red thread for the blood. I put green blinking lights on his eyes. It was indeed an ugly sweater, yet beautiful at the same time. I was happy with it.
When I walked in there was quiet, then a gasp.
“Die Hard,” someone said.
“Yes, indeed,” I replied. “A Christmas classic so I am told. My sweater is covered in beloved motifs of Christmas traditions.”
I did not only make the Die Hard man. On the left sleeve was Krampus with his long tongue wrapped around the arm. Tiny faces of children in agony due to the whip of Karmpus bordered the cuff. Krampus held out a large bag ready to pack in the children. It took me hours to get the shading of the folds correct on the bag. I spend much time unraveling and re-knitting it. The results made me happy indeed.
On the right sleeve were shining bright white skulls with gold and silver sparkles stuck upon bright red and white, what is now called candy cane poles. Snow flakes danced brightly in the sky above the skulls.
On the back of the sweater I knitted a picture of my two cats sitting next to a Christmas Tree.
Everyone at the party was impressed when I told them that I knitted the sweater all by myself. Again there was more swooning from the ladies. They all said I was so cute. I do not understand what they mean by cute but I shall accept it as a compliment by the sheer lust in their eyes.
It warmed me to think that 665 years ago, my Baba taught me how to knit. It seems like yesterday.
Yule is a time that even makes Vampires feel warm. The views of pine trees is now replaces with orange trees. I am becoming accustom to my new home where there is no snow, no castles, and not many Vampires.
My love Gillian and I watched Die Hard tonight while we sipped warm blood mixed with spices and a splash of red wine.
Too much merry and bright makes my skin crawl, but this year it has been just enough to make me feel there is hope for me in the modern world.
This has been the 55th installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To read Vlad’s diary from the start CLICK HERE.