Monday, December 2, 2013

It's Christmas Time

This past weekend was full of not one but two Thanksgivings, a Christmas tree farm, a couple of movies, a sick kid, a sick grown up, accidentally ending up in Target on Black Friday to buy cereal and "kill time," gaining at least five pounds, snow storms, shopping small, yelling, a few crying kids, a crying adult (me of course, waaaa), craft making, cookie baking, naps, late nights, decorating, football games, bickering kids, bickering grown ups, plans that worked out better than expected, plans that totally fell apart, lots of pie, lots of laughter, lots of forgiveness and lots of love. Phew. Just a typical Thanksgiving weekend I guess.

And now holy shit, it's Christmas time.

No One Hallucinated
We survived my mother's house.  No hallucinations, no ambulances.  
I spent most of the day holding my breath, waiting for something to go wrong or for one of my kids to break one of the 532,015 Santas my mother has displayed.  If there is an inch of space anywhere, my mother will find  it and put something there, preferably something with fabric that can absorb as much cigarette smoke as possible making the scent stick around for as long as possible, maybe forever.

As I had hoped, my children rose to the occasion.  They were kinder, calmer, sweeter than usual.  I swear to you, it's like they just know without me explaining everything.  They know it's complicated.  They sort of even know it's sad.  They are sensitive to her and to me.   I couldn't have been more thankful for their compassion. 

"I know where Grammy keeps her smokes and her teeth, " JT told me when we were on our way out the door.  He seemed sort of mesmerized by the whole situation.

When we got in the minivan to leave I finally exhaled, relieved that we made it through without anyone crying.  I asked Tim to stop to get me a Diet Coke.  He didn't.  And I cried. 

"How could you not stop for a Diet Coke, you don't love me, nobody does!," I cried into my sweater that reeked of stale cigarette smoke.  Whoa. Yeah, I was crying about waaaaay more than a Diet Coke.

Pokey Made It Home
Fifteen years ago when I moved to Michigan, my boss gave me her artificial Christmas tree.  We have used it every year since then.  It worked.  But this year, we decided to change things up and go to cut down our own tree.  

Off to the Christmas tree farm we went.  And um, they are really f#&@ing expensive.  My kids found beautiful trees for $140 and $120.  Beautiful trees that really weren't amazingly tall and wide.  "What about this one?," I pointed to a Charlie Brown-ish tree being ignored in the corner.  "It's only $40!"

We compromised and found a decent tree with a pretty big chunk out of the side for around $70. 

Feeling proud of ourselves for finding a decent tree, not hurting anyone with the saw and starting a new tradition we made our way to the parking lot.  

Oh yeah, my man, look at him all big and strong.  Big Daddy went out in the woods and got us a Christmas tree. 

The parking lot was full of families that knew what they were doing.  Throwing their new trees up on the roof, swiftly tying them securely and merrily singing Christmas carols as they drove off down the lane.  

We struggled to get ours on the roof. 
Uh-oh, Big Daddy doesn't know how to tie the tree to the minivan. Whomp. Whomp.

The kids were busy wrestling.  

Lucy is so above that wrestling bullshit.

Tim and I tied the ropes incorrectly and they snapped.  Then Tim snapped at all of us a little.  I might have said something a little less than merry back to him.  The family singing Jingle Bells in the car next to us looked horrified.  My kids didn't even notice because they were having a blast beating the crap out of each other.

"Do you think Pokey will make it home?,"  asked JT looking up from the dog pile in the minivan.  

"Who's Pokey?," I asked.

"Our tree, I named him Pokey because of his pokey needles," he explained.

I am happy to report that Pokey made it home.  Because holy shit, it's christmas time.
Awwww, look at Pokey all dressed up
and ready for Christmas time.
Are you ready?  Because ready or not it's here, it's Christmas time.  It's time to get excited.


  1. My car ride home after leaving my mothers at the holidays usually involves me crying also, so I can soooo relate. It never is over the Diet Coke but over just surviving it and all that it brings back up. For me, wishing things were different and had been different (which is impossible). So complicated. Man can I relate!!!!!
    Great post !!

  2. Is it wrong that I laughed at the tree shenanigans? :)
    Pokey looks awesome!