Sunday, December 11, 2011

It’s beginning to look a lot like bedlam

“What do you think you’re doing?” my wife Kara asked.  I froze. Once that question has been asked, it’s a safe bet that it’s already too late to provide a satisfactory answer.

“Eating a candy cane?” I asked.

“Right, you’re eating a candy cane ten minutes after we hung them on the tree.  Candy canes are ornaments,” she said.

“Delicious ornaments,” I agreed.

This is our first year with a Christmas tree that came from the ground rather than Home Depot, so we’re still getting our traditions in order.  Kara grew up in a candy-caneless household, so she can be forgiven for not knowing standard consumption practices.  

“Each person is allowed to eat two candy canes per day,” I explained.

“Two a day?  The tree would be barren in a week.  Let’s just buy some extras, and you can eat them out of the box,” she suggested.

She’s so funny sometimes.  Eating a candy cane out of the box when free-range candy canes are hanging in their natural habitat in the next room would be like strolling through a ripe orange grove while drinking a glass of Tang.

Kara and I never bothered with making too much of a fuss over Christmas decorations in the past because we were never home for Christmas, always turning our menagerie into a roadshow.  We want our son Evan and his forthcoming sibling to grow up having Christmas at home, though, so this year, the grandparents are trekking to us, and our old plastic tree is keeping the squirrels company in the attic.

“This one’s all scraggly,” Kara said as we wandered around the tree farm last weekend.

“This one’s too short,” I said.

“Dis one!” Evan said, pointing to a sprout that would have been better qualified to serve as a garnish at Christmas dinner.

Eventually, we found a winner, though I’m not 100% sure that the tree viewed it that way.

When we decided to get a real tree, we didn’t quite understand the responsibility we were taking on.  Getting a real tree is like having a new pet in the house.  You have to constantly give it water and clean up after it.  You wouldn’t think that a dead tree would require that much care, what with it already being dead, but nobody seems to have told the tree, which is drinking like a former child star.

I’m not sure the trees in our front yard appreciate the Christmas treatment, either.  As I wrapped lights around our weeping cherry tree, occasionally snapping off twigs and apologizing, I got the sense that the tree viewed this experience the same way a pug might view being dressed up in doll clothing.

“Oh, we’re doing this again?  Fantastic.  Yes, please, make me beautiful.  Oh, I look so much better now.  Clearly, you have a better aesthetic sense than nature does,” the tree would say.

But all the hubbub does seem to be working its magic on Evan, who gets more jazzed about Christmas every day, which is really the point.  Last year, he understood that wrapping paper was fun to wave around, and that was about the extent of it.  This year, you can already see the Christmas spirit taking hold.

“Luvoo, Wemphis,” Evan said after he helped hang some candy canes on the tree, expressing his love for our dog, Memphis.  He walked over and wrapped his arms around her.   When he noticed that Memphis was just standing there, not returning his hug, Evan looked up at us and explained, “Wemphis no have arms.”

Which will significantly reduce her chances of getting in trouble for plucking candy canes off the tree.

You can dress Mike Todd in doll clothing at

1 comment:

  1. Great post! A little A.D.D. but still entertaining, especially the line "...but nobody seems to have told the tree, which is drinking like a former child star." Merry Christmas buddy! Real trees kick ass until the day you have to take it out of the house (but if your smart, you got one of those tree bags and hid it under the tree skirt).