Wednesday, December 10, 2008

National Lampoon's Clemmer Family Christmas

Last Sunday we headed out in the snow covered morning to cut down our Christmas tree. The chaos of that alone was very reminiscent of Chevy Chases's 'Christmas Vacation'. The foibles of that included cranky children screaming at each other, a trip-and-fall to the snowy ground (and no, it wasn't me that fell!), much debate over which tree was the 'perfect' one, and finally, after Todd proudly sawing it down - he realized he forgot his cash. Thankfully, we had gone with some other friends, who covered us til we could pay them back later that evening.

We got it home without much problem...the kids rather liked laying flat on the van floor under the piney boughs for the short ride home, and began the the process of setting it up. There were a few things we needed at the store, including some more lights, as we were switching from colored to whites for the first time this year. (Kate is apparently growing up - she was always the one who protested the whites, and since I figured they only get to be kids once, and I would have plenty of years after they're gone from the house to do whatever I want with the tree, I pretty much let them have free reign with how they want to decorate it). After a too-long trip to our second home (a.k.a. - WalMart) we returned all excited to get busy with our tree-trimming. It was after the first strand of lights was on that we realized we forgot to get the additional lights!! Todd, trying very hard to maintain a cheery Christmas disposition, offered immediately to run out and get them.

In the half-hour or so that he was gone, I realized how very short we were on time, I didn't have the ingredients I needed to make the dish I was taking to a potluck that evening, and the dog peed under the half-lit tree. That was just enough to push me over the edge, and by the time Todd returned I was hiding out in my bedroom. He asked the kids what they had done to upset me and Seth calmly replied "It wasn't us, it was Maggie...".

We had enough time to get the rest of the lights hung, and about half the ornaments on before we had to head out for church. Monday was still the greenhouse show, and I was scheduled to work the whole time, so I knew we wouldn't get to finish it then, but by Tuesday night, we finally got the rest of the ornaments up.

It looked lovely, though we didn't have much time to enjoy it...because first thing Wednesday morning Maggie decided it might be fun to tug on one of the branches, and though it seemed like I was watching it happen in slow motion (because there was nothing I could do to stop it) - in mere seconds the whole tree, ornaments and all, came smashing down.

I was more than a little upset. Furious would probably be a more fitting description. I set the wobbly tree back up and cleaned up the huge puddle of sap-water that had soaked into the carpet (which by the way, is now stinking up my house. I tried sopping it up, re-soaking the area with Resolve, and - while there's no visible stain - apparently the sticky sap is still rotting or something deep down in and making a not-overwhelming-but-just-enough-to-be-really-gross smell). Then, after many attempts to get the tree to stay erected, I ended up just dragging it back outside (lights and all) to wait for Todd to deal with it. When he got home, he did manage to get it back upright, but not without having to hack off a few branches. What was once our beautifully shaped tree is now sort of awkward looking with gaps in strange places. Oh well. By this time, I really don't even care. I was so exasperated with the whole thing that the decorations just sat in front of the tree on the coffee table for 3 days before we could get up the gumption to re-light and decorate it.

However, it's finally done, and by late Saturday night, I finally got to relax, watch a movie and enjoy the warm glow of the tree.

I'm seriously considering changing our last name to 'Griswold'. And I have to take it all down again in how many days???? Ah, yes...the joys of the holidays...


Christelle Joy said...


Jimmy DeWan said...

I love the tree.

Anonymous said...

jessie, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. June

Jessi said...

So glad I could entertain you June! At least our craziness wasn't without purpose then! :) Enjoy your Christmas!!

Laura said...

great story!