Friday, December 10, 2010

Fortyness - Happiness in the Holiday Hullabaloo

Have you ever had one of those holiday experiences that makes you want to scrap the whole celebration? An experience in which multiple factors - any one of then capable of causing chaos in the house, coming together in a cosmic clash that threatens the entire past, present, and future of your holiday memories? An experience that only when you look back at it YEARS later that was truly a comedy of errors?

I sure have.

I don't remember the exact year, but in the recent past one of those experiences happened in our house. It was a year that we decided to cut a tree at a tree farm on our way home from spending Thanksgiving with my family in California. About two hours into the 6 hour drive we passed a tree farm that had so lovingly grown our perfect Christmas tree. After much searching and much debate among me, Mr. Mom of Many Hats, and my three baby hats, we decided on the tannenbaum that we would gather round on that special morning. We cut the tree, netted it up, put it atop the car, and we were on our way.

So the strife begins.....

After about 20 miles or so across the windy desert, we started to see the shadow of the tree wavering back an forth across the car. After much discussion, we stopped and re-secured the tree, and stopped and re-secured the tree, and stopped and re-secured the tree.... By the time we turned onto our street our perfect tree had added 3 hours onto an already boring and cranky drive. If a bit longer of a drive was the only price to pay, then it was worth it for our tree. .

We were relieved when finally pulled up to the house and hubby came to a stop, and then opened the garage. Baby hats and I were readying to disembark our big green SUV when Mr. MoMH continued forward into the garage - tree still atop the car. The trunk of the tree now impaled the front of my house. Face in his hands, my husband said a few words, a tear dropped from my eye, and then he slowly backed out. He assessed the damage to the house and the tree, and then walked inside to gather himself. I again shed another tear, but was determined to not let it get to me.

When we finally got the tree down, we put it out on the patio in a bucket of water for a nice long drink. We saw the crack and the bow in the trunk but still admired the beauty of the tree - as did our sweet black lab, Fina. She so admired it that she partook on the water that our lovely tree was drinking. Within a couple of hours, Fina's sweet face was ballooned up like a beach ball. I spent the next 24 hours giving her antihistamine and checking on her to make sure she was still breathing. Worn out from the lack of sleep, I didn't know how much more I could take...but what else could go wrong with getting the tree up?

Once the I knew the dog would survive, I put my efforts back into the tree. Hubby put it in the stand in the corner, I strung the lights, then we all hung ornaments on the tree - including the special ornaments that I had been collecting for years. Although a bit crooked - it looked beautiful. The following morning, I came down stairs to light the tree and found it on the floor, lights and ornaments strewn around the house, and many of the ornaments I collected reduced to tiny shards of colored glass. I put my head in my hands, said a few words, shed a few tears, and then righted the tree. I came down to this same scene two more mornings. By the third morning, I knew that the third time was my limit. I left the room hysterically upset, stressed beyond my coping skills I swore off of that darn tree.

In my fortyness I can look back and smile at this comedy of errors. I smile at every thing that went wrong, and at every re-action and over reaction.

In my fortyness I also smile at all the things that went right. I smile at the wonderful time we had at the tree farm. I smile at spending the hours in the car with my baby hats. I smile at how hard Mr. MoMH worked to get us that tree. I smile at how funny my Fina looked and that she was OK. I smile that when I gave up, my hubby and my girls stepped in and fixed that special tree. I even smile every time I still see the hole in the front of the house because it reminds me of how blessed I am to have the family I have. It reminds me to find happiness in the holiday hullabaloo.


  1. Love this post! I chuckled immediately when I saw the bow tucked up near the broken plaster. I remember the story well. Time does something to the difficult and frustating situations in our lives. You are truly blessed....and I am so happy you know and feel it! Your tree is always special and beautiful!

  2. It's good that you can look back and see the good things from that Christmas. I hope that one day I can do the same. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I just absolutely love it! Or, at least, I used to! I have had a few very bad Christmases lately and I am not sure if I will ever fully learn to love it again, but reading your post makes me believe it's possible. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a fun read! THIS is life so much of the time. Jumbled up with the good the bad, the frustrating the peaceful, the beauty and the ashes. Frenchi hold on, like AZ mom you will one day look back at the positive. In my fiftyness, I have learned the saying "this too shall pass is correct. This too shall pass. Thanks for lifting me today with your life AZ Mom. it was fun.


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