Ted & Drew
are a happy, healthy gay couple living in Los Angeles
. Drew is in real estate, while Ted runs a gay-focused website which he hopes will show gay teens and the world that gay people are just as "normal" as anyone else. They are something of an Oscar
odd couple, with Ted being exuberant and Drew being more refined.
, Ted is bringing Drew home to meet his Southern Baptist
family. Although he's been out of the closet for ten years, Ted has never brought a boyfriend home. His family has never fully accepted him, and he's hoping to finally gain their full love and support. Ted puts his faith in a little Christmas magic. In an effort to help Drew understand his background, Ted takes Drew to all of his favorite childhood spots. One sentimental locale is his old elementary school where he introduces Drew to his former teachers. He also shows Drew his father's farm, this is especially difficult for Ted as he is not on speaking terms with his Dad.
One of the hardest parts for Ted this Christmas is dealing with his brother, Bobby
, who doesn't want to meet Drew at all. He barely participates in the tradition of cutting down the tree and then refuses to trim the tree with Ted and the rest of the family.
TED AND DREW'S HOLIDAY FAVORITES
What is your favorite holiday memory? Drew
: I dressed up as Santa Claus
when I was five or six. I didn't tell my Mom
or sister what I was doing, but I surprised them all. Next thing you know, Mom and Dad walked in on Debbie
and me. Debbie was cradled in my arms as I read to her "Twas The Night Before Christmas
I remember putting Vaseline all over my face so the cotton beard would stay on. My flannel red pajamas weren't the exact color of Santa's red suit, but Mom and Dad were so happy with me. That was the year I learned that Christmas is about giving to others the joy of being a family.
Ted: Opening Christmas presents at Grandma and Grandpa's house are my favorite memories of Christmas. But my most favorite individual family memory would have to be of my brother Bobby and me. I remember sitting in our second-story bedroom window looking for Santa Claus. The thing is, Bobby told me that the red blinking light in the distance was Rudolph's nose. I made him promise me that we would sit in that window until Santa got to our house. I think I actually fell asleep in that window.
Years later I realized that the red blinking light was there 365 days a year. It was the light on top of the water tower. I've never forgotten that. It's the one thought that reminds me that no matter what happens in our family's lives, my brother loves me.
Do you have a favorite holiday tradition?
Drew: My favorite holiday tradition was making Spritz Butter Cookies from a Mirro Cookie Press with my Mom and sister. Mom would spend hours making the dough from scratch. It had to have the right consistency and temperature for it to come out of the Cookie Press properly.
Mom usually operated the Cookie Press and could make the cookies pop out rather quickly. Then Debbie and I would decorate the Christmas Tree-shaped Cookies with Multi-Color Sprinkles to represent the Lights and a Candy Silver Ball on the Top to represent the Star. The Wreath-shaped Cookies would be decorated with Maraschino Cherry Slivers to make the Garland and Multi-color Sprinkles for the lights.
Mom and Dad would always host the Christmas Eve celebration, which usually consisted of at least six courses, not including the multitude of Desserts and Treats. Each year our Celebration grew as word got around of the great food and time had by all!
Ted: Icing cookies at Grandma's house wins hands down. I loved it so much. Even as I got older, I remember how much time my Grandmother would spend preparing the cookies, making icing, getting toppings out and putting them all over the table for me to do the decorating. It was like we had a little Santa's Workshop.
I realize now it wasn't making the cookies that made it so special, but it was the yearly decision Grandma made to spend time with us. Through the years, Grandma would send me cookies in the mail because I lived far away from home. Each year, I would take the last cookie in the box and hide it in the back of the freezer just in case. Grandma died a few years ago, I ate that final cookie one year when I was missing her really badly.
What was the best gift you have given/received for Christmas?
Drew: A stereo in the sixth grade. I played it constantly.
Ted: Mom gave me a camera lense for my camera when I was in eighth grade or so. I remember thinking how expensive it was for a single, divorced mother. I remember how she looked at me with hope in her eyes that I really appreciated it. It was a profound moment because I realized how important my happiness was to my mother.
Why is Christmas your favorite time of year?
Drew: Because it's a time when families gather together and people remember how lucky they are. And it's the one time of year that our world gives us permission to be loving and charitable in an open way.
Ted: Hands down it's like a high school play. Christmas is the one time of the year that people actually believe they are ON STAGE and their EFFORTS COUNT. They believe that their contribution makes some sort of difference. They work at being nice, if only for 24 hours.
I think Jesus smiles the most on this day -- not because people are worshipping the baby Jesus, but because it's the one day we really try hard to be the best human beings possible.