Dirty Little Secret

Well it’s the week after Thanksgiving and I am finally ready to acknowledge that Christmas is coming at me like a runaway train.

Ignoring Christmas and turning my nose up at carols until late November always seems like a sanity-saving idea until it bites me in the ass because all the Christmas things slap me in the face at once.

So. Many. Christmas. Things.

Christmas is beautiful and fun and magical and all that jazz. You know why? ‘Cause moms are the executive producers of Christmas. Christmas is a stressful production for us. Can I get an amen?

And since I’m all about putting myself out there in order to make other people feel awesome about themselves in comparison, I’m gonna go ahead and tell you a deep, dark secret.

Are you ready for it?

I DESPISE PUTTING UP THE CHRISTMAS TREE.

There. I said it.

(Guys, please still be my friends. It’s not like I’m trying to sell you magic essential oils on Facebook or anything. Come on).

I haven’t told very many people this secret. Because you know what happens when I do? People act like I belong on America’s Most Wanted. It is apparently a crime against humanity not to like Christmas decorating. If there was a such thing as Christmas jail, I would be in solitary making fruit cake out of bologna, ramen noodles and Twinkies like a freaking boss.

Once I told Cooper that if I lived alone I probably wouldn’t even have a Christmas tree. I got scared for a second because I thought he was going to tell Siri to dial up our friend Scott who’s a divorce lawyer. Instead, thankfully, he just rolled his eyes and called me a Grinch. Close call though.

See, we used to have an artificial tree that came out of a box in the garage, plugged into the wall and voila! Lit up and ready for ornaments. Low maintenance. Just my style.

But when we moved from CA to FL and came dangerously close to having to dip into the 401K to pay the moving company—which charges by the pound—to move the obscene amount of crap we own, the artificial tree didn’t make the cut.

RIP pre-lit tree. Fly high.

So now we have to get a real tree every year. A naked, dark, real tree.

First of all, getting a real tree that is 10 feet tall out of a truck and into a house is a true test of a marriage. Especially when the strength differential is as high as ours and there’s only one pair of size XXL gloves available. Oh and also because the weaker carrier hates to touch the trunk of a Christmas tree.

Because do you know what that real tree you’re bringing into the house has all over it? Do ya’? TREE SAP. So while you’re straining to hold up your end of the for-better-or-worse bargain, you’re also getting seemingly non-removable tree sap all over your hands. They oughtta be using Christmas tree sap to secure such things as dentures and wigs and hard wood floors ‘cause that shit is hella sticky.

You know what else a real tree has? NEEDLES. The endless sprinkle of pine needles all over my family room really stokes the flames of my obvious but undiagnosed OCD. This causes me to put many miles of rage vacuuming on my Dyson and gives me a blister on my trigger finger.

Furthermore, do you know what you have to DO for a real tree? KEEP IT ALIVE. I have a black thumb, people. I can’t even keep plastic plants from getting dusty. I’m the executive producer of Christmas for God’s sake. How can I be expected to remember to water the Christmas tree every day on my hands and knees while being poked by the devil’s needles?!! My mental space comes at a premium around the holidays and I ain’t wasting it on watering a tree already on death row.

Keeping the tree alive is where my Christmas procrastination is a win, though. At least mine doesn’t have to live as long as yours.

But y’all. The lights. I can’t with the lights.

Every single year without fail, I am dog cussing the shit out of my previous year self for not putting the lights back in a neat and organized fashion on their fancy homemade spools cut out of Coors Light 12 packs from 2002. And every single year, as God as my witness, I pledge to take my time putting the lights away nice and untangled to save myself from that annual trauma. I’ll let you guess whether or not that I’ve ever kept that promise to myself…

Speaking of the lights, putting them on the tree is a special kind of torture for me.

Raise your hand if you remember the winter of 2014 when I contracted a bizarre syndrome rendering half of my face completely paralyzed. Good times. Okay, well that actually originated in my inner ear and now I get motion sickness from so much as unloading the dishwasher too fast. So going round and round the tree putting lights on the tree is tantamount to riding the Tea Cups for me. Sheer misery.

Two years ago, I spent over an hour untangling lights from the beer box spools and made my self Tilt-A-Whirl nauseous placing them perfectly only to realize upon completion that the male end of the plug was at the top of the tree. This level of despondence cannot be described in words. I cried hot tears of defeat.

Also not fun: placing ribbon garland. Refer to previous paragraph for explanation.

Now, putting the ornaments on the tree isn’t that bad. Except for the fact that we can’t NOT break ornaments. If you’ve ever met Anna Kate, I’m sure this is about as surprising as the ending of a Hallmark Christmas movie.

I will say that I do really enjoy looking at all the handmade ornaments the girls have gifted us over the years. I get very sentimental about those and I tearfully reminisce about the Christmases of yore (I don’t like putting up the tree, but I’m not dead inside. Geez).

But scented preschool gingerbread ornaments be damned, you best believe I tear that shit down the day after Christmas faster than you can say “deck the halls”. That may or may not explain the annual light storage failure.

On December 26th, Christmas is dead to me.

Bye, Tree-licia.