I know it’s generally considered taboo, but we went ahead and got the Christmas tree out of the attic BEFORE Thanksgiving this year.
I initiated this task a little prematurely, largely because My hubby happened to be home that morning, and was, seemingly, in a compliant mood. Complimentary Marriage Tip: Always strike while the iron is hot!
Every year, I dread asking him to get the tree and the ornaments out of the attic because of all the surliness, complaining, and overall “put-outedness” he displays.
My man acts as though, I single-handedly, invented the entire concept of Christmas, as an excuse to spend extra money and create extra work for him. The fact that I happen to embrace this holiday with a joyful attitude, does not make it my personal brain-child.
Furthermore, I find this insinuation somewhat perplexing, as I have run across old Blanchard family photographs, depicting the Blanchards enjoying a myriad of Yule Tide activities, long before I came on the scene with my mandatory merry-making ways…
Not to mention, with the exception of some minimal heavy-lifting, MOST of the work ensuring that our children’s every Magical Christmas Memory is met or exceeded each year, falls on me, not him.
And it all starts with the the Christmas Tree…
A few years ago, we decided it was time to invest in one of those Pricey Pre-lit Christmas Trees. We figured we were due for an upgrade, and had come far enough in life that we deserved not to have to hassle with the annual tedium of light stringing. I was fully on board, because it would undoubtedly involve less Husband-stress, which is always a holiday goal. So, yesterday, m hubby hoisted the 2 year old tree out of the attic, connected the three sections, plugged it in and, Ta-da!! about 17 of the 1200 lights shown brightly!!
Now, this not a widely publicized fact, but, apparently, investing hundreds of dollars in a pre-lit Christmas tree and having the lights blow out a year or two later, is the most common cause of divorce in this country. (Im not sure why they erroneously insist on blaming sex and children…)
I actually remember, when we bought the tree, admiring how intricately each and every light was painstakingly woven in and around every branch and evergreen finger. I gave fleeting consideration to the thought, that we would have a big problem if the lights ever blew out. I reassured myself that they must obviously use very high quality light bulbs to ensure the life of the tree and prevent against this disaster…
I’m sure, at the very moment I was thinking this, someone, somewhere, in an Indonesian Christmas Tree Factory must’ve been laughing hysterically.
Initially, I didn’t panic when the tree didn’t light up, because The Hubs can fix almost anything. Recently, my dishwasher broke, and a few short hours after telling me, “It looks like you’re going to need a new dishwasher,” he had it humming along like brand new.
So, quite optimistically, I said, “Fix it!”
He tinkered around for a few minutes, checking the connections, etc and said, “I don’t think this can be fixed...”
Undaunted, I said, “okay…fix it, PRETTY PLEASE!”
“How would you suggest I do that?”
“Jiggle something,” I helpfully suggested.
And this is where we parted ways that day, both physically and metaphorically. “These lights are blown,” he said, stubbornly, and then suggested that it really wasn’t a Big Deal, and left for work.
Clearly, He just doesn’t give a crap about Christmas. He views the world very black and white and prioritizes things he sternly and strictly refers to as, “The Basics Of Life,” such as food and shelter etc…
Essential as those pursuits may be, I am obviously the only one in this relationship that understands the inordinate value of a Beautiful Christmas Tree…
So, I was left with a few options:
1. Buy a new tree (no way!)
2. Pretend Christmas lights don’t matter to all of Mankind (they do!)
3. Buy new lights and drape them over the burnt-out lights, pretending that the dead lights are invisible to the naked eye (they aren’t!)
4. Cut each and every light and wire out of the tree and then re-string with new lights
(I can and I will!)
But, I went a little Edward Scissor-Hands, and 7 hours later, while I may not have personally invented this holiday, I may just have been The First Woman Ever to PRUNE an Artificial Tree -saving both marriage AND Christmas for generations to come!