Last year's Christmas was horrible, to say the least. Harry and I lost so much, even though I wasn't even sure I wanted it. And yet the world turned, people drank eggnog (for some reason - that stuff is ucky), carols were sung and food was devoured. My family still gathered in Branchland, WV, exchanged presents and called to wish us a "Merry Christmas."
So I vowed last January that the 2008 Christmas would be spectacular. With so many lights that my house could be seen by the little green men on Mars. But as soon as I was filled with the bedazzled holy spirit of Christmas and started making eyes at my husband I knew it was not to be. He whined, he moaned and I cussed, cursed and hit at him. Repeatedly.
Luckily that's all it took to make him lug out our mostly new Martha Stewart "Never Out" tree and begin assembling. He wrestled the bottom from the box, carefully placed it in the stand and plugged it in to behold all of it's pre-lit wonder.
One whole section was dark.
Four green and non-lit branches mocked us and our failing Christmas spirit.
I hopped up from the couch and began a string of curse words that barely ended as I shoved my face into the effeminate face of the Kmart sales guy who offered these helpful words "Oh - you bought it last year? And now it doesn't work? Have you contacted the manufacturer?" I held myself together and managed not to shout "No, dickforbrains, I routinely pull out my pre-lit Christmas trees and plug them in just to make sure they still freakin' work! I mean, EVERYONE does that, right?" And I only barely managed to make it out of the glaringly bright and soul-sucking store without jamming him in the eye with the mascara wands that were right at hand.
"Hey, wait!" Harry was under the tree and was looking very much like the tree version of a gynecologist as he brushed the undercarriage of the darkened limbs. "Ahah!" The branches glowed warmly and lit up my husband's upturned and smiling face. "A light had fallen out!"
So what Martha Stewart meant in her "Never out" claim was that if a bulb burns out the rest will remain lit but if one falls out - you're royally screwed.
But my jolly spirit wasn't done being tried, yet - oh no.
Even though Christmas was not moved, cancelled or anything of the like for my shattered self last year, my cousin's inability to attend Christmas Eve at my grandmother's house means that the whole ordeal has to be moved. And now Harry and I probably won't be able to attend due to other familial obligations.
I'm the Grinch, I tell ya. Before the heart-growing scene.
Holly the Grinch.