I think we can all agree that surviving the Holidays can be a litmus test for any marriage. It can put a Yuletide strain on even the most harmonious of unions.
First a couple marries one another and then they begin the process of marrying everything else in their lives, including their respective Christmas traditions. There’s a lot to sort out: Turkey? Ham? Your Mom’s or mine? Not to mention church schedules and whether to open gifts Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
If those trivial issues don’t complicate the season, I can personally attest to the fact that conflicting ideas about how much money to spend can definitely make for a memorably epic Christmas collision.
Luckily for me, Jimmy and I have been married 33 years, so we’ve managed to iron out every Holiday wrinkle imaginable.
Until we got the idea this morning to put together a Christmas playlist.
It went like this:
Jimmy – “I’m going to change some light bulbs around the house, do we have a Christmas CD we can play?”
Me- ” Ummmm, probably not, I think people have Christmas Playlists on their smartphones these days.”
Jimmy- “Okay, take some notes – I’m going to give you a list of songs.”
Okay, thought I – in the true spirit of the season, I suppose I can do that. (He is, after all, about to climb a ladder and literally light my world, the least I can do is put his tunes on a playlist.) He rattled off his faves.
-Bruce Springsteen (Santa Claus is Coming to Town)
-James Taylor (Baby It’s Cold Outside)
-The Eagles (Please Come Home For Christmas).
3 songs does not a playlist make. The little elves down there in the iTunes Store are snickering. I reminded him of two lesser known songs that have sentimental meaning to our family. Gloria Estefan (Christmas Through Your Eyes) and Harry Connick, Jr (When My Heart Finds Christmas). He readily agreed and I added them.
We were up to 5 whole songs when, out of the blue, he remembered he liked John Lennon’s iconic nod to the humble Christmas carol. After an exhaustive search, I discovered the song is named “War Is Over.” Maybe that should’ve been obvious to me, but it was not.
Found it. Downloaded it. Merriment ensued.
Jimmy was calling it good. But I thought those 6 songs were going to get monotonous pretty fast. I took the liberty of adding Karen Carpenter’s, “Merry Christmas Darling.” He didn’t seem to mind. I could still hear him whistling away on his ladder.
But, in the course of my search for a Very John and Yoko Christmas, I stumbled across many other worthy songs I felt complimented and completed any decent catalog of Christmas music. Being a wife who has her finger on the pulse of her husband’s musical tastes, I pulled the iTunes trigger a few more times.
The whistling stopped. I had gone too far. It seems I had taken a few too many liberties and besmirched his Rock and Roll Christmas with a bunch of “Christmas Crap” he doesn’t like.
“What the hell is that? I don’t want all those extra songs I didn’t ask for...”
Apparently he didn’t want to have to “wade through” my selections to hear his.
It didn’t take me long to weary of justifying every $1.99 download. I promptly deleted all my carols from HIS playlist and made a second playlist. I labeled each accordingly: “Less Is More – Jimmy’s Christmas Playlist,” and “Les Has More – The Essential Christmas Playlist.”
So much for marital collaboration and oneness. He clearly still has a few of his own ideas about Christmas.
I’ve prudently decided this wouldn’t be a great time to discuss how much money I’ve spent on the holidays so far. “Less is More” is rarely ever my style…