Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Makings of My Griswold Christmas

So I did it. I jumped on the holiday bandwagon and got some stuff accomplished.

Ok, actually that is a bold faced lie.

I have half-assed and ghetto-ly attempted to get into the spirit for the sake of my 5 year old and am failing miserably.

I got a tree, a mammoth of a tree as a matter of fact. However naturally in the matter of all things pertaining to my life, I reinjured my spine last Thursday so attempting to decorate said tree has been a slow-motion Griswold moment waiting to happen.

I enlisted my brother to help with the tree purchase, since like all men who live at home with their mother's he owns a very large truck to over-compensate and that would clearly work better than latching a large deciduous Fir to the top of a Ford Focus.

I also only get tree's from charitable associations. However, I was scalped this year by the one I seemed to find in my new town. Apparently the profits of this non-profit go to the Music Department of the school system, and likely jumping on the coattails of Glee, they felt that gouging the public for something you could easily get free in nature had I a chainsaw was a wise idea. I digress.

So tree in truck bed and wallet thinned greatly, we make our way back to my house, which I may add in my crippled state I had also decided to decorate with lights....held up with push-pins. I told you, half assed.

Naturally in all of my OCDness, the tree I just had to have was uber symmetrical. Practically perfect in every way (thank you Mary Poppins) and it was a lovely choice if I do say so myself. We were at the tree lot being stalked by an Emo boy of the musical persuasion to Sell! Sell! Sell! for maybe 10 minutes, tops.

Now mind you, my previous address I lived in a basement, a dungeon if you will with very low ceilings, so naturally I tended to look at smaller statured trees. Of course, my brother reminds me in my bigger, better home I now have 10 foot ceilings and a 6 foot tree would be dwarf-like and not fit the space, so naturally we aim for 8 1/2 9 feet. A full bodied tree.

Good in theory.

I had a vision in mind, getting the tree home, putting it in the back corner of my living room, between my office and my living room. Being able to sit comfortably on either couch and watch holiday specials curled up in the lighted ambiance of the glow of the lights, all awash in the smell of Balsam and holiday cheer.


First the tree doesn't fit through the door without coming through it battering ram style, showering needles willy nilly all over the damn place to which I will likely be finding until next July. Next step is bringing over to my coveted imagined spot. Yes. Tree of wonder is much, much larger in real life and in my living room than it clearly was outdoors surrounded by other trees and blocks entire office to nonfunctionality.


All furniture is now moved out of my living room. Bookshelves moved from one room to another, couches shifted from their coveted spots of comfort and critical TV watching splendor to new walls to accommodate the Paul Bunyan of trees I had to get.

Amidst the fervor of all this as time ticks on, I of course realize being the stellar parent that I am, I should perhaps feed my child. So I beg my brother to allow me to run to the store at the top of the street for beverages and I would be back to heat up pizza. All would not be lost.

In theory.

In true Griswold fashion, I grab my keys and wallet and head out the door and then slip on ice that has mystically and suddenly formed on my 2 steps to my walkway and I wrench my knee, strain my back again I am sure and am in the driveway screaming in pain. My brother, gallant as he is, opens the door and asks "What the heck did you do?" To which I explain, and to which he laughs at me. Nice. I then hobble over to my landlord who lives next door and beg for some sort of salt solution for the steps so I do not die upon ascension when I return from the store.

Finally, we get the tree into a corner and my brother leaves. His attempts at heavy lifting have clearly been over and above anything he had signed up for and despite making his nephew thrilled to have him there, he is thus abandoning his poor crippled(ok severely injured and irritated) sister alone to fight with the tree.

So broken in spirit and in body, my child giddy with anticipation about the stupid tree is so eager to help and wants to immediately throw every decoration on it. RIGHT NOW!


After tantrum ends while explaining I have to put the lights on first and that being 5 he is not allowed to handle electricity and thanking ABC Family for playing back-to-back Christmas specials on TV all night, I get started on the lights in true Bob Rivers fashion.

I put the lights on and took them off 4 times before I was able to get them on the goddamn tree. First I started at the top, naturally thinking that working my way from the most difficult part and working down to easy would be the smart way. SO there I was, straddling couch and side table, holding on to the ceiling beams for dear life and having visions of myself falling into the tree and out the window as I ever so gracefully wound the lights around the tree.

Now mind you, I had 5 sets rigged together, should have been more than enough to reach the bottom. Yeah not so much. Grumbling I took them off and started from the bottom this time, thinking that maybe I would reach the top THAT way. Again, getting halfway.

At this point I was having visions not of Sugarplums, but of taking the tree outside and lighting it on fire...

Finally after 2 more attempts and nearing 10pm, lights were on sufficiently enough for me to stop giving a rats ass. (Granted we started this process at around 6pm) So then, all a flutter with lighted glory, my child who should have been in bed 2 hours prior wanted to decorate the tree RIGHT NOW!

Patience is now gone, the Elf on a Shelf is gawking at me creepily and I have had enough. Nope. Sorry buddy. Off to bed, we will do it tomorrow. If we do it at all. At this point I am ready to cancel Christmas altogether because Dylan throws himself on the floor screams kicks and cries, and of course I have to remind him of the creepy Elf watching waiting to tell Santa of his horrid behavior.

My living room looks like an ornament store threw up in it and I have still no motivation to have anything more to do with this evil tree.

Anyone have a match?


  1. Oh dear. what a debacle. I went and got my tree last weekend - real, but much smaller. Maybe 6 feet. I shoved that puppy in the backseat of my Sunfire and called it a day.

    It sounds like you have enough holiday cheer to last 'til the 25th!

    Thank you for the kind words on my blog. I've been ridiculously busy with work and have had no time to post. Maybe after the first of the year. I'm contemplating a new blog... the first one caused some problems (e.g. employers knew it was me.) so much for anonymity, right?

  2. You poor thing. What a fiasco.Firstly, Go get that back checked out by a Chiropractor! I am a chiropractic assistant so I get my adjustments for free I don't know what I would do with out my Dr.s. And secondly kudos to you for getting a tree for your son to enjoy the Christmas cheer. Some of my most beautiful memories are when my dad would take me and the fam to go pick out the biggest and bestest free possible then come home and decorate it. You are a great mommy : )

  3. Oh, God! I can so totally relate!

    We're just TRYING to do the RIGHT thing...and WHAT do we get? Grrrrrrrrr!!!

    I feel your pain...right down to realizing you haven't fed the kids.

    Oh, joy.

    Great post, btw!

  4. *sigh* I fear this will be me next year...trying to make everything perfect for a kid who probably won't remember their first christmas...but hey, we're all noble at some point in our lives!!! Kudos to you and I do hope that you get to feeling better...


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