I have a confession...I didn't decorate for Christmas this year. No lights, no tree, nothing. I'm a horrible mom aren't I?
NO! I'm not! My kids haven't even asked me why I didn't decorate. I assume their lack of inquisition is due to the way my Christmas decorating efforts have turned out the last two years. Allow me to explain.
This was my first year as a single mother on Christmas. I had lovingly set up the fancy, artificial tree stolen from Baby Daddy's attic (HE HAD TWO!), in my tiny two bedroom apartment and did my best to ignore the mass amount of plastic tree needles being shed to the floor with every fluff of a limb despite knowing I would later have to unclog those needles from my vacuum. I even hummed Christmas Carols and screamed "HOLY CHRISTMAS BALLS!" instead of my normal curse word when one of the metal tree limbs nearly took out my eye. I spent close to 4 hours decorating that tree. (I have ADD, don't judge.) When all was said and done, I stepped back, marveled at its department-store-like beauty and sighed a breath of relief. The Christmas decorating was done. I threw my three boys, who had passed out with exhaustion after the tenth time of me re-positioning the ornament they had just hung (I also have OCD, don't judge.), over my shoulder (yes all at once! I am she-woman.) and tucked them into bed. I then allowed myself to retire for the evening. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep with a smile on my face that night.
I awoke the next morning and stumbled to the kitchen for my daily caffeine drip. Once I was able to hold my eyelids open without using my fingers for assistance, I turned toward my beautiful Christmas tree and the tiny sleeping kittens beneath it. Sergeant and Pepper. They looked like tiny, furry angels beneath that glowing....
WTH?!?!? BENEATH THAT GLOWING MASS OF TERROR!!!
The top piece of the tree was dangling by a cord of lights, the beautiful, golden star topper hanging on by a tiny stretched out wire. The gorgeous ribbon of garland was tattered and askew. Glass balls were shattered on the ground and expensive, dangling ornaments had become shredded cat toys. I was frozen in place. Stunned.
Once my paralyzation of shock wore off, I did what any normal person would do. I let out a blood curdling scream, hurled the kittens across the room (simmer down, don't call the ASPCA on me, the kittens really bolted in fear and hid for about 3 days) and ripped the tree down in a Hulk-like manner while letting every bottled cuss word from the night before, fly. The boys emerged from their rooms, puzzled, naturally. I screamed "CATS!" and there were no further questions asked.
That Christmas, we merrily drank hot chocolate around the glowing....garland.
My first Christmas in my new house as a single mother. I managed to get the Christmas tree up without fuzzy terrors shredding it to pieces. I decided, with that success under my belt, I would move on to the outside.
I balanced on my rickety, hand-me-down ladder and spent no less than three balmy hours hanging Christmas lights and glowing garland. I even remembered to plug the strands of light in and test them first. I [only] cussed a few times, however, with very good reason. The staple gun I had obtained did not have the right kind of staples in it and kept getting clogged so I had to use my parents electric staple gun which took about 3 to 4 times of trigger pulling for a staple to actually...well...staple. On top of that, my power cord had channeled a boa constrictor and I nearly plummeted to my death at least 4 times.
Despite my obstacles, I perfectly toggled each staple in place, careful not to pierce the light's wire, and stepped down from my ladder. I excitedly rushed to the garage outlet, eager to plug in my lights. Smiling, I emerged from the garage....into the darkness...
All but a tiny section of my lights were out. Apparently, dropping the wadded strands from the top of a ladder 18 times, damages them.
As I stood in paralyzed shock, for yet another year, one end of my garland fell loose from it's staple and dangled menacingly in front of me. A few seconds later, the other half of garland followed behind. I broke into a cold sweat...I shook in anger...I paused and actually thought about my forth coming reaction as several neighbors were out hanging their (disgustingly working) lights. Then, finally, I said "F*** it" and repeated the Hulk scene from last Christmas. Only this time, I grabbed the dangling end of garland and took off running towards the street. Lights down. No ladder needed.
Our house was the only unlit one on the street. I rebelled even further and refused to turn on the porch lights until after New Years.
I'm down a cat. Not sure where he went but I bet it's to a family who's mom doesn't cuss while decorating for Christmas. Cat's are smarter than people give them credit for.
I painted festive scenes on brown contractor's paper to decorate my cubicle for work. I actually did it to passive aggressively rebel against real Christmas decorations. If my boys are lucky, I might replace our Christmas Pumpkins (the trash man just comes SO early) with my fancy finger paint Christmas Tree.
Probably not, though.
Don't worry, the boys are still enjoying pretty lights and trees adorned with choking hazards...I mean ornaments. Their dad has become quite the Martin Stewart (get it? Martha...Martin....? No? OK.) and decked out his house with loads of festive merriment. I suppose I taught him well in those 8 years I played June Cleaver. Too bad she died with our marriage. (Ouch.) HOWEVER, I did let the boys know that since their father and I have rekindled our love, (SURPRISE! To those of you I have not already gushed this news to.) HIS Christmas decorations count for MINE too, therefore, I am decorating exempt. Plus, Jesus didn't have Christmas lights. AND, Santa is still coming despite the darkness of my home...maybe....
*beep* Christmas morning alarm set.
Maybe next year June will emerge from her tomb...as a Christmas zombie....with a pension for beer.