Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How to lose the Christmas spirit (before you've even really gotten it yet)

Step one: Annoy your husband by demanding he haul the extra large, extra heavy tree box up from the basement. Annoy him further when you ask in your nicest wifely voice if he will also bring up the two large bins of ornaments/decorations. Ignore his grunts and grumbles and be glad he is so strong.

Step two: Turn on the Christmas music that you burned onto your oldest son's i-pod (as your i-pod has recently died a slow and painful death). Smile sweetly when he complains about this. Think of his painfully difficult birth that was done without the use of an epidural, and decide he owes you this, at the very least.

Step three: Untangle multiple balls of mangled lights that you could have sworn were rolled neatly last January. Begin hanging the untangled lights on the tree.

Step four: Finish hanging the lights, go to plug them in, and realize (to your horror) that half of them are burned out. Begin searching for the bulbs that are burned out and suddenly realize you cannot see things up close. Wonder exactly when that happened, and blame it on your recent 35th birthday. Make a mental note to start shopping for cute bifocals. [Wonder briefly if that is an oxymoron.]

Step five: Give up searching for burned-out bulbs and remove all lights from the tree. Test another tangled ball of lights to make sure it works before hanging it on the tree. When lights appear, hang the second tangled ball of lights. Go to plug them in (and realize AGAIN to your horror) that half of them are burned out. Wonder exactly why the universe hates you. Decide you hate the universe, too.

Step six: Try hard not to lose heart, in spite of the universe hating you. Grab your purse, and head to Target for replacement lights. Sing loudly in the car on the way there. Be proud of yourself and your unusually positive attitude in a situation like this.

Step seven: Get home and call madly for the children to come back and help with the tree. Realize they have lost interest. Pull new lights out of the plastic Target bag and realize (TO YOUR SHOCK, HORROR, and SHEER FRUSTRATION) that you have purchased lights with white wiring, which will not look too good on your green tree. Momentarily consider hanging yourself with them.

Step eight: Decide against suicide, grab your purse, and head BACK to Target. Say lots of four-letter words out loud in the car instead of singing. Return white-wired lights and pick up new boxes of green-wired lights. Stand in line and try not to throw things at people in front of you.

Step nine: Come home yet again. Ignore the children who could now care less about the tree decorating. Silently curse that annoying Christmas music in the background. Hang the damn lights on the damn tree.

Step ten: Start hanging ornaments and have the children suddenly take an interest in the tree decorating.

Step eleven: Find your ice-cold heart of stone slowly melting. Finish decorating the tree. Stand back, sigh, and be mildly grateful for the season.

Step twelve: Angrily throw old lights into the trash. Vow to buy new lights next year before beginning this process. Turn off the lights on the tree. Go to bed.

54 comments:

Christina B. said...

This post is so great but I had a really hard time focusing on it because that is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL picture of a Christmas tree!! Wow. I'm just going to hang a picture of your tree on my fridge and pretend I live in your house and I'll be all set. :)

I think you have perfectly described why my parents always put off decorating the Christmas tree as long as possible. Especially #9! I'm not sure why it always seems to turn into a stressful experience.

Jenibelle said...

So what do people do that have pre-lit trees when 1/2 the lights die? Just a rhetorical question.

Only 2 boxes of decorations and ornaments? Either you're slacking or I overdo it. I'm thinking the latter.

Your tree is gorgeous!!!! Any uglies on it for Celia's enjoyment?

Ashlee said...

Wow...you just described my tree decorating experience from last year. I feel your pain. I finally convinced the hubby to let me buy a pre-lit tree last year at the end of the season clearance so we wouldn't have to go through it again. Guess what though? This year he just tells me that we'll just have two trees now. "His" tree has yet to be put up.

Jen said...

I think you have a gorgeous christmas tree. You wouldn't have know you went through all that. Enjoy the results.

I see wrapped gifts already under your tree. I'm thinking they're really gifts and not a prop. You rock! I'm still shopping!

Joy & Casey said...

Christie...
Pre-lit trees. When they die I guess you get a new one that is also pre lit??? I am too lazy to do all of that! I haven't changed much, huh???
~Joy

calibosmom said...

It is beautiful even though IT'S FAKE! The Amish would be so disappointed. Let me know if you find cute bifocals-I need some too.

Rochelleht said...

That was purely poetic.

My friend was telling me yesterday about this amazing miracle gun that you shoot into the light strands and it makes them come to life. Sounds like the best invention ever.

Michael said...

Watch out Dr. Seuss, there's a new Grinch story in town, except this time the heart starts big, shrinks, and then grows back to normal size again.

Robyn said...

You are so funny. I would've given up! It's beautiful. I honestly thought of calling you while driving through Missouri. If only I'd known about that cheesecake! I have no idea what part of Missouri you're in, though...we stopped at 3 am in Columbia, Missouri...wherever that is. And you're right...we decided that drivers in Missouri have absolutely nowhere to go...they were SO SLOW!

Li said...

Too funny! At least your tree ended up being GORGEOUS! Your experience makes me kind of glad that we aren't bothering to decorate before we leave. :)

Andy said...

You know Sis, there are starving people in Africa who would LOVE to have your half-broken lights.

Rosie said...

The tree is beautiful. Kudos on the wrapped gifts, your holiday cheer is residing at a level to which I aspire.

Paige said...

Now that's a Christmas nightmare. Those heavy fake trees actually come with lights on them most of the time. Might be time to invest.

Annemarie said...

Oh been there friend, been there!! I'm also curious about the two totes of Christmas stuff...I'm up to seven. Then again, I have a problem.
Mind if I link this?? I know so many others who can relate!!

Queen B said...

Your tree looks great!

I am married to the ultimate scrooge, so I completely understand Christmas stress. I must agree with the above commenter, though: Pre-lit Tree. It is a must. Your life will improve. I promise.

Lindsey said...

I haven't even started yet, and frankly I am un-inspired to. Unfortunately, your post has just made me want to put it off longer. You know, if you put it up, you just have to put it all away. I don't know if I am up to it this year. Blech.

Lindsey said...

I haven't even started yet, and frankly I am un-inspired to. Unfortunately, your post has just made me want to put it off longer. You know, if you put it up, you just have to put it all away. I don't know if I am up to it this year. Blech.

Magnolia Sun said...

You have a beautiful tree. I really don't understand the lights thing either, they work fine when I take them off the tree and they are just sitting in a box and they also seem to burn out after I put them on the tree.

Rae said...

I don't know how you do it but each post is funnier than the last! Didn't you know statistics show that the divorce rate is higher in households that decorate Christmas trees? It's true....at least in our household!

diane said...

My tree has lights on it but is otherwise naked. I'm so not into it.

Chatter said...

The tree is absolutely beautiful!!

brooke said...

Two years ago I got a speeding ticket driving to Target under very similar circumstances. It's the only thing that could have made your story any worse. The tree and room are beautiful.

Anna said...

We gave up on stringing lights on Christmas trees 5 years ago. Because we couldn't acomplish it without a high degree of frustration, name calling, and stress. The season is so mild and peaceful now. Love your story, I felt your pain.

Laurie said...

Totally love your title and story. I'm feeling like the biggest grinch. My boys convinced my husband to put up the tree before I even put away the pumpkins. The chaos is infuriating. All the work for what? I think I enjoyed the holidays more when I wasn't the Mom.

Nancy said...

Hi! I found your blog from Pop Rocks for Breakfast.

First gorgeous tree! Second, I was laughing so hard I started crying. Hilarious post! I called my husband over to read it, too. We both enjoyed--thanks!

Bridget said...

Way to pull yourself together in the end. Was there no cookie dough involved here to celebrate? Even a cold diet Pepsi??

Kimberly said...

Forget the diet Coke, you need a COKE! BTW, how in the world do you already have so many wrapped presents under the tree? I think I missed a step...HA! I had to laugh thinking about Josh carrying the big box upstairs. I had to make, convince, sweet talk, and bribe Devon to drive over to the storage unit to retrieve ours. By the time we got there it was almost dark and we had to ruffle through boxes without any light. Yes, many four letter words were said and kids were screaming in the car begging to let me out of the car to help. I guess experiences like this are what make Christmas so great! BTW, your tree is gorgeous!

Celia Fae said...

I think you stole that tree picture from images. It looks too good.

Maybe consider converting to Judaism next year. I hear menorahs are a piece of cake.

Letti said...

I feel your pain. I love they you wrote this post it is so true!

CJ, the Purple Diva said...

I AM LAUGHING SO FREAKIN' HARD that I am CRYING! YOU ARE HYSTERICAL! I am posting linking you today for my funny post! Thanks sis! you're the best! ♥

CJ, the Purple Diva said...

okay, I linked ya! Check it out!

devri said...

ok first time here from purple diva, and you crack me up woman..

I will definatly be back..

I love your tree, mine looks like a charlie brown tree compared to that..

Amanda D said...

It does look beautiful though... Luckily for me, my husband does the lights. I sit back and watch while I listen to Christmas music.

momy4him said...

your tree is so beautiful! now you get to walk down the stairs in the morning and set your eyes on something beautiful!

Patti said...

What a beautiful tree!! This post had me laughing so hard! Your triplet the purle diva sent me here! I'm so glad she did! LOL

Brooks said...

Came by via Mrs. Diva's request!
Love the tree story! I invested in a pre-lit from garden ridge last year and it has saved me life!
Tell Robyn that all Missourians do not drive slow....just those in Columbia after a Mizzou loss....
I happen to be a very fast driver!
Target and I have such a love/hate relationship......

Terra said...

That was so me a couple years ago - there is nothing worse. After that I bought new lights for the tree two years in a row to avoid the same meltdowns - Now I just take care in checking them before I hang them, wrapping them so they don't tangle etc. THe Holidays, as lovely as they are, are very hard work.

Sherry said...

I have been in your shoes, I think you handled yourself very well considering the circumstances. I am here thanks to the Purple Diva and will be back!! Thanks for the laugh.(not at you, with you!)

Linsey said...

We're not decorating this year, and now I know why.

You're hysterical, and by that I mean funny, not the other meaning!

♥Shally said...

And that is why I have a pre-lit tree... :) Lighting the tree always caused me WAY to much stress.

Did you get a Diet Coke the second time around at Target?

AND-- how did you get your picture of the tree to glow like that? Someday I will know how to use my camera... *sigh*

Kathy B! said...

I have to interrupt my lurking every once in awhile and actually post a comment...

What a fabulous tree! And what a wonderful (funny) story. Christmas is so nutty, but it's kinda like giving birth. When it's all said and done you don't remeber the pain -- just the good parts. Well, I remember but that's what other people have told me :)

Lauren in GA said...

Christie,
Believe me when I say you NEVER disappoint.
The blogging world is so grateful that you didn't hang yourself with the white corded lights. I just kept laughing at each and every turn of events. I loved how you wondered if, "cute bifocals" is an oxymoron. The tree looks beautiful, my dear.

Cindy said...

What a pain! Usually I just put the lights on the tree before plugging them in. This year, randomly, I just tested them. Thank goodness! 4 of the 5 strings of lights were either partially out or not lit at all! What a pain!
In then end, despite the four-letter-words in the process, your tree really is beautiful.

Lynsie said...

That was the funniest thing I have read in a while. I like step 8. Although I would have made my dear husband go back to the store either by himself or with me, all the while arguing with him to get white lights this year, I'm so over the colored ones.

Pretty tree by the way.

Oh and where do you live that you don't need any blinds or curtains?

Just curious.

melissa ( : said...

Your husband sounds a bit like mine... wonder if that is a common reaction from the husbands. I always thought mine was just a Christmas Scrooge.

andrea said...

i can't believe i am your 46th comment. although with writing like this, it's no surprise. this reminds me of one of those emails that gets circulated around the holidays. you know the kind where you laugh til you pee?

yes. you are brilliant.

Bonnie said...

I have to tell you that drinking any form of liquid while reading your blog is a hazard... I almost spit my coffee out while reading this post. Nice to know we all have stress around the holidays and it's not always picture perfect but your tree looks beautiful!

Kritta22 said...

I'm with Bonnie...you should warn people!

Kritta22 said...

Oh coming over from Purple Diva's house.

Becky said...

It was all worth it in the end, I can see. You gotta love the moments during decorating when NOTHING goes right. ...my garland over my front door fell down at least 5 times! The 3M hooks totally let me down this year. Christie, the tree turned out BEAUTIFUL. Look at that thing! Love.

Julie From Inamtes said...

I have one word for you.
PRELITTREE. =)

Your tree is lovely. Cute post!!

Mel @ A Box of Chocolates said...

Thanks for making me laugh out loud. I totally can relate with you!! But, the end result is beautiful so I'm glad you stuck with it. Merry Christmas.

Dalene said...

I am laughing out loud. Thanks for the calorie-burning post.

Melain said...

Christie, it's been a while since I've been able to read your blog. I forgot how much I loved it! Thanks for the laugh. You absolutely NAILED my tree decorating experience! Do you mind if I like to it from my site? It's simply PERFECT.