Friday, December 10, 2004

I've Never Decked Any Halls

Our house is a Christmas Wonderland, rivaling the old Harlem-Genesee store in Buffalo. It is all due to Hubby's efforts. His Christmas Mania is not limited to Santas (although that is a primary manifestation). We actually have two full rooms in our house, the living room and dining room, that have nothing in them but Christmas paraphernalia. Now it is a happy coincidence that those rooms aren't furnished anyway, since we haven't gotten around to buying furniture for them yet. This is why when we have people over the snacks are confined to the "great room" and the "kitchen." The only way to eat in the living room or dining room would be in conjunction with the kids' inflatable castle. Which has been deflated for the holidays. It was either that, or start stringing up lights on it. Now I am no Bah Humbugger when it comes to Christmas. (Egads. I just made Scrooge sound gay. Well there's speculation for a future Christmas party.) I like Christmas just as much as the next person. However when the Next Person happens to be Hubby, it DOES tend to make me look like my attitude is more of a HO HO HO HUM. Which is totally not true! I love the baking cookies part! And the eating of Christmas foods! And the Christamas carols! And the cards! Okay, I doth protest too much. I really just like to eat. But I'm fine doing it in the glow of blinking lights! All right I'll admit the parts I don't like. All these details. Tons of stuff. Things to remember. Lists I can't find. Receipts I have to save. Deadlines I need to make. Maintaining the Christmas Spirit even when someone signals left and swerves right. Basically with me it is an Organizational Nightmare. And I used to have coping skills for it. For example. When I was single I had this Christmas tree that was about two or three feet tall. I would place it on a tray table (no special equipment needed!) and I was all set. Then when Christmas was over I would throw a Hefty Bag over it, secure it with a twist tie, and stick it in the closet until next year. Without removing any of the ornaments! I treated it like a plastic palm with a jewelry problem. I also had this manger scene that was a one-piece ceramic thing that fit into the palm of your hand. I would bring that in to work, plop it on my file cabinet, and I was all set there too! No more decorating needed! This minimalist approach to Christmas did not in any way lessen the impact of the season for me. If you really want to look at Christmas decor you can always go into a department store or swivel your head as you drive around the neighborhood. And there is no shortage of Christmas music playing from every possible amplifier. But this left me with plenty of free time to do something more useful, such as go to a few daily Masses. All of which have cool readings at this time of year. But now I have to have a Family Approach toward Christmas activities, even if this involves viewing parades and installing life-size glowing things on the lawn complete with surge protectors and ground fault interruptus issues. Fortunately Hubby does all the heavy lifting for Christmas (figuratively and literally) and I focus on things like the Christmas card and newsletter, and maybe getting the cookies made. Also I swear I'll find the holiday music CDs before December 24th. I forget what I did with that 2-foot tree. Any takers?

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