Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Taming The Christmas Beast

Here’s something you may not believe… Christmases from the past were not always my “most favorite time of the year.”

Apparently there is this bazaar expectation from my wife that I actually participate in the Christmas preparation process. And apparently, my disclaimer of “but you always do such a good job of it” doesn’t quite seem to cut it.

Here’s how it unfolds: About four weeks before Christmas my wife will start dropping these cryptic hints such as “did you figure out what to get your parents yet?” or “don’t forget, you have your brother as your big gift this year!” Honestly, sometimes I wish she’d just come right out and say what she means. Who does she think I am after all, Dr. Phil?

Then for the next few weeks the temperature starts to drop. Signs of the Christmas monster begin to emerge. A huff here. A snort there. Little puffs of steam seen dissipating in the air. Footsteps getting louder as the days get closer.

Finally, on Christmas Eve the beast is loose. That warm cozy holiday charm feeling I’m looking for has now evaporated. So, being the perceptive guy I am, I notice that my wife is not exactly… what’s the word? oh yeah, speaking to me. And so I pry.

Me: “Uh, honey? Is there, uh, something bothering you?”

Her: “*!@##!!#!ANY*@#!!**#”

Me: “Huh? You say I haven’t been ANY help these last few weeks? What about my suggestion that we buy my folks that Old Country Buffet gift certificate? That’s not not helping.” (helpful hint: If you ever sense you’re about to lose an argument, throw in a double negative. It may confuse the opponent and buy you some additional thinking time.)

BAM!!!

Me: “What the…? Was that my Christmas gift you just whipped at my head?”

Of course that was the old days. I’ve since come to realize that perhaps it is possible to participate in the Christmas process a little earlier. Ok, so maybe the first 12 years I was a little slow in figuring it out. But at least for the last five years I’ve had the pleasure of opening every one of my gifts - unbroken!

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