Well, ’tis the season and all of that shiz. Fa la la la la. Basically, what I’m saying is that we have started the Christmas decorating extravaganza that occurs at our home right after Thanksgiving, and are mid-chaos. And I am in holiday hell.
First, let me say, that I am somewhat ambivalent towards Christmas. I think this has something to do with my upbringing. In contrast, the hubs is Mr. Falalapants, and loves this holiday like no other. Also, I believe, because of his youth.
Let’s review . . . my family is quite small. Just my parents and my brother and me. So, Christmas in my family was not a huge family affair. I mean, we got a tree, and we decorated it, and we did the Christmas morning presents from Santa thing. But there just wasn’t that whole family feeling you have in other families that are large and raucous and joyful. That is the hubs’ family.
The hubs’ is the youngest of five kids. By the time he was 6, he was an uncle. (His oldest nephew is one year older than me. It’s always so funny when he calls me Auntie Misty. Ha ha). But anyway, basically, there are a ton of people in his family. Christmas for him was always a time for everyone to get together and celebrate family and have a great time. The hubs’ has very warm and fond memories of his childhood Christmas’. My memories consist of my mother crying in her room on Christmas day because my brother and I wanted to play our new video games and not hang out with her. Very merry, right?
Anyway, all of that is to explain how the hubs and I have different points of view of this holiday. Over the years, I have tried to warm to the holiday. First, for him, and then later, for the kids. So, I do all the fun holiday tradition stuff . . . getting a Christmas tree, decorating the house, taking the kids to see Santa, sending Christmas cards, even having his entire loud and vivacious family over for dinner on Christmas eve (that’s an entirely separate saga for another time). But it is an effort for me to try to get into the holiday spirit, whilst for him, it oozes from his pores. Basically, because he is so damn holly jolly, I try to follow his lead on a lot of Christmas related activities, rather than come across as a Scrooge.
This brings us to the Tree. Every year we go to a Christmas tree farm to cut down a fresh tree. There is this really nice place a few miles away from us with huge fields full of beautiful tall trees. It also has a big barn in the middle of the farm that sells wreathes, ornaments and other odds and ends. Plus, we always get some hot cocoa there after the tree cutting. It is a lovely family tradition and something we have done for quite a few years.
The hubs and I used to argue about when to go get the tree. I used to think closer to Christmas was better because then the tree would be fresh and more vibrant when Christmas rolled around and for the inevitable few weeks after that the tree would remain up. He thinks we should go get the tree the day after Thanksgiving. Period. Some years I have stood firm and demanded we get it closer to Christmas. Some years I have conceded to his demands. This was one of the latter years.
This year, there was no way I was going to argue with him. I still, of course, thought it was too early, for a variety of reasons: 1. The day after Thanksgiving was a full month before Christmas this year and the tree would be completely brittle and dying by the official day, and 2. Not to mention when we took it down, I would get stabbed by all the little sharp brown dead needles when un-decorating the tree. 3. The day after Thanksgiving was merely 2 days after his mother’s funeral, and I didn’t think it was all Tis the Season time at that point. However, this was also the reason that I was going to let him have it this year. He needed something fun and family oriented and Christmasy to take his mind off of the grief. All of us, really. So, after Thanksgiving it was. Off we went to the farm.
We got what could very possibly be called the perfect tree. It is tall, it is full and it is beautiful.
Mini lumberjack in training.
That is my little one helping to cut down a tree. That is not our tree and I think he might have been doing it wrong. But he was having fun, so whatevs.
So, we get our tree, bring it home, put it in the tree holder and get it in the house. It is lovely sitting in the corner of our living room. And there it sits . . . for a full week. Completely untouched. Naked. Neglected. Sad.
The problem was that I am the one who decorates it. Just me. I put on the lights. I put on the bows. I put up the angel (I hate that bitch, she is so damn difficult!), I put on all the ornaments (with a bit of help from my wee little elves). So, the tree sat waiting for me to decorate it. And I just could not find the energy or desire to do so. Until this weekend, where I forcibly made myself get into the holiday spirit at least long enough to get off my ass to decorate that goddamn tree. With much prompting from my boys all week of course, and also because I was forcibly trying to get myself back into life and walk away from the grieving depressive state I had been in for about 2 weeks.
So, Saturday morning rolls around and it is time to decorate the tree. The hubs had brought up a bunch of the Christmas boxes from the basement, including the ornament box and the boxes with the lights. So, I plug in the lights I am going to use to make sure they work. They do. I start to wrap those things around this beast of a tree. I spend about 2 hours on and off, wrapping the lights around, until I get to about halfway up the tree and realize that one of the strands is pretty old and looks crappy with the wires coming apart. I also realize that I am not going to have enough lights. So, halfway through tree lighting, I have to run out to the store to get more lights. Of course. So, I come home, start dinner, put some more lights on the tree, and realize that I can’t reach the top of the tree (not even close) with my little step stool, and needed our bigger ladder. So I ask the hubs where it is . . . it’s at our other house (another saga, don’t ask) and he doesn’t have the key because he gave it to the guy doing work on it this week. Great. How exactly am I supposed to get up top to put the lights on? So, I made him drive over to our BIL’s house to borrow his ladder. While waiting, I feed the kids dinner, play with the kiddies, then put the little one to bed. When the hubs brings the ladder back, I proceed to put the rest of the lights up . . . except I am still not tall enough to reach the top. Damn this tall tree!
So, I enlist the hubs’ help. He climbs up and puts the very last strand on the tip top of the tree. Plus, he then needs to put the angel on top. As he is doing this, the lights go out. Complete darkness for the entire tree. What the what!! So frustrated right now! We check the power. Fine. We check the outlet. Fine. We check the connections. Fine. Damnit, I know what it is. The first strand, wrapped all the way around the bottom of the tree, which is an older strand, has obviously gone out, since all the others are plugged into it. I check it and yep, that one is the problem. Which means, I have to take that one completely off, and then put 2 more down on the bottom in it’s place because it was a 250 strand and I only have 2 100 strands left. Sigh.
Now, I’m pissed. And tired. And frustrated. Damn this tree. I do finally get the burned out one off and get the new ones on. But I’ve now decided that I am done for the night. It is late and I’ll do the rest tomorrow. So, the hubs decides to use a bungy cord to tether the tree to the wall so it doesn’t fall over during the night (this has totally happened before). Great idea. Except that before I go to bed, I notice the tree is leaning at a very sharp angle towards the wall where the bungy cord has slowly pulled it askew. Fuck me.
Oh, and did I mention that I am allergic to pine? Either that or I’m allergic to peace, joy and good will towards men, which is more probable at this point. Anyway, this happens to me every year:
(I know it’s hard to tell, but I have little red bumps all over any place on my body that touched that tree. And scratches, because obviously that fucking tree hated me and was trying to cut a bitch).
Whatever . . . the next day, I straightened the damn thing, got the bows on it, got the decorations on it, and am finally done with this tree from hell.
She was a real bitch and almost ended me, but I won. She’s upright, lighted, decorated and topped with a
bitch angel. I am done.
Merry Fucking Christmas! Now I need a fucking drink.