Cassie helps find a perfect Christmas  gift for a first anniversary


cassie_sparkleChristmas is coming, the geese are getting fat. Please do put a penny in the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do. If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you.

I’ve been eating the Member Berries and thinking about all the old nursery rhymes and Christmas carols we learned in school. Remember the bad school holiday shows we had to put on in school, in an auditorium full of parents and siblings? Everyone all hopped-up on those dry-ass sugar cookies covered in red or green crystals?

I’ve always thought of myself as somewhat smart. Well, I remember one Christmas show in fifth grade that proved I was also, on occasion, an idiot. Like most kids, I didn’t love school all the time. I can’t tell you how many times I faked a fever or forced myself to vomit just so I could stay home and watch cartoons and cooking shows all day. An exception was the two weeks before Christmas break. I loved going to school then. It seemed like every day was festive, with lots of stuff going on that would get us out of doing actual school work.

One of the highlights at John Ireland Elementary School in Pleasant Grove was putting on a Christmas show for our parents. I was in the choir and was chosen to read a poem in the show, so there were quite a few times I got out of doing actual school work to go to rehearsals. It made me feel special in a way that probably shaped my future life choices.

The poem I read was “’Twas the night before Christmas in Texas.” It was a cute take on the story we all know. It opened with ’Twas the night before Christmas in Texas ya know, way out on the prairie without any snow. I can still probably recite the entire thing.

My teacher told me to wear a festive sweater and cowboy boots and she had a Santa hat for me to wear, so my costume for the recital was perfect. Now, for the choir part of the show, we were singing a few different carols and we were told to wear white shirts. Bitch, I had a costume change! So after my solo about how Christmas was different but still joyous in Texas, I had to quickly take off my boots and sweater and join the other choir kids onstage.

I blame the teacher for not clarifying what kind of white shirt she wanted us to wear. Apparently we were supposed to wear a button-up shirt, not a white wifebeater T. So I strutted out on stage with my skinny little arms and shoulders showing without the least bit of hesitation, not bothered by the fact that my poor teacher had just laughed at me. She said, “James, is this the only other shirt you have?” I said yes, and she giggled at me on sent me out. Everyone else were in a crisp white button-down and I looked like and extra from The Outsiders.

I remember seeing my mother in the audience, just shaking her head. It wasn’t until it was over and Ma said, “Good God, son” that I even knew I had done something wrong. I am sure I embarrassed her. I like that I stood out but after that, my mom took more of an interest in what I wore for important occasions. Like I said, most of the time smart… but we all have our blonde moments. Any who, now let’s spread some Christmas cheer and help some folks out.

Dear Cassie, With the holidays right around the corner, I need some advice. My boyfriend and I have been together for a little over a year. Halloween was our one-year anniversary and I am struggling to think of a gift for him that won’t break my budget. We are in love and plan on moving in together soon. I know I can get him something that he will like but I really want to impress him and his family with a thoughtful gift from the heart but I cannot think of anything that feels right. Any suggestions? Thank you, T-Rex.

Dear T-Rex, if that is your real name: I found it super easy to give thoughtful gifts at the beginning of a relationship. Everything is new exciting and romance and heart come easy. You should know him enough by now to know what he will love but let me give you a few pointers that might help. When my husband and I first got together, every gift had such meaning behind it.

Our first Christmas together I bought him a star. Yes, a star in the sky. I basically paid about 100 bucks for a piece of paper that said I had named a star in his honor. It was sweet but pretty stupid, too. I was star-scammed by love.

On our first date we saw the movie Dreamcatcher, so I made him a handmade dreamcatcher. It looked rough but the sentiment was there. You said y’all got together on Halloween, so think of a gift to incorporate that. What were your costumes that night? Get two boy dolls or action figures dressed in the costumes you wore that night as a cheesy cute reminder of when you first got together. In my head, you were dressed as a hot Hawkman and he a hot Egyptian god. That would look so cool together, or maybe I am just thinking of a porn I saw. Either way, don’t over-think it.

Don’t worry too much about a gift to impress his family. Impress his family by treating your boyfriend well. Let them see you love him and that should be enough. You are gay so get creative — I know you have it in you. You know you have an idea of what you wanna get him so follow your gut and get that. Good luck and happy holidays, Cassie.

Dear Cassie, Would you be my drag mother?

Please, Shuanna.

Dear Shuanna, Nope! I had my tubes tied years ago to keep from having drag children. In all seriousness, I am here for any of the up-and-coming wannabe drag queens for advice, but I found that being self-reliant is the best way to do most anything. You learn more from watching and doing for yourself. YouTube is a great resource, you can learn makeup, sewing even dance steps and incorporate them all into whatever character you want to be.

I am actually really proud of the girls that enter the Thursday night show in the Rose Room. Come enter a talent night or just come watch. Those girls have a great sisterhood and help each other a lot. You don’t need a drag mother but drag sisters are the best. Good luck finding your squad.

Remember to love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO, Cassie Nova.

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 09, 2016.