Welcome to the Weekly Guest Spotlight
Tonight's guest is Rachel Thompson, author of the bestselling A Walk in the Snark and the Mancode. Click Rachel's picture to visit her blog.
People approach Christmas decorating in three ways.
The bare minimum – a few lights, hang the stockings, perhaps an artificial tree. Easy, done. As long as the fridge is stocked with eggnog and the cupboard has brandy, life is good.
I call that MY KIND OF PEOPLE (of course, I don’t live in that house. More in a moment.)
There’s normal – gets the tree, spends a nice evening decorating along with decking the outside lights, bakes cookies for the neighbors and the kid’s teachers, sends out the Christmas cards the day after Thanksgiving…ya know, everyday people.
I’ve met them. I know they exist. They don’t live in my home, either.
Finally, we have over the top. You’ve seen those homes – blow up Santas, lights that can be seen from space, poinsettia-lined driveways. You enjoy the pretty lights as you drive by and thank the lord you don’t have their electric bill.
I live in Category Number Four: Santa Vomit.
See in my home, Santa has vomited his red and green jolly shit over every square inch of every single surface to the point that we hand out maps if you come visit so you can find your way back out.
I didn’t know, when I exchanged vows that fateful October nineteen years ago, that the man I’d known for only five months and therefore had yet to spend a Christmas holiday with, was in actuality Buddy the Elf.
Surely it was a Jedi mind trick.
Though I suppose his idea of one our first dates in NYC: “First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle,” should have been a warning sign.
It’s not just that the ten-to-twelve foot tree (I withhold the penis jokes here ‘cause I did marry the guy and that area is not elf-sized. I know. Mazel Tov) has to be just so. Always a Noble Fir by the way. No other tree exists in our universe. It must be perfect. We visit at least three lots in our small town to be sure we’ve (and by that I mean he) has picked out the most perfect Noble in all the village.
I gird my loins with vodka first. And bring a flask, just in case.
I grew up Jewish. We had a few gifts on the fireplace and candles. Prayer, presents, done. When husband had our first tree delivered and I saw all the mishigas with the ‘watering mechanism’ and the drilling and the needles and…oy. I ran for the brandy and hid in the corner until he found his little jew girl and talked her down with promises of wine and chocolate. And a new Louis Vuitton handbag.
Not much has changed, really.
There are stacks and stacks of fabric-lined (yes, I did just write that) boxes lining every corner of the living room, filled with delicate, hand-blown glass ornaments collected over the years. (My Santa has a special storage unit JUST for the holiday stuff.) As he decorates the tree (placement is key), he has either traditional Christmas music on or one of the three Santa Clause, Deck the Halls, or Christmas Vacation movies on a continuous loop.
There’s also a small tree for the kids. Cause ya know, nobody touches the big tree ornaments. #gasp
One friend came by to pick up her daughter from a playdate and after she lifted her jaw from the floor (that is covered in sleighbells ringing), she said felt inadequate in her own decorating abilities. I said no honey, you’re just normal.
The table full of at least twenty-five Santas he’s collected over the years, staring at me with their beady little eyes, late at night while I’m up, writing, alone.
You might think I’m being harsh. Shut up. You don’t have fifty beady little eyes staring at you as you write this. Then talk to me.
So why is my husband such a Christmas psycho? I could go on and on but I’m just easing you in. I haven’t even discussed our four advent calendars, elf presents, the two Elf on the Shelf(s), the daily crafts and cookie baking (not by me. I repeat, I’m Jewish), and the daily trips to the m…m…mall.
His mom. His mother passed away years before we ever met. She adored Christmas. She went all out, cooked amazing meals, fed all the stray kids who had nowhere to go, and was, from what everybody says, the most generous person they all had ever known. This is his homage to her.
So while I tease him a bit and call it Santa vomit and feel like stabbing myself in the eye if another Santa Clause movie comes on, I indulge the man his collection of Radko ornaments, little villages, trains, and other stuff. He’s making memories for our kids just like his mom did for him.
Now go have a nog and wrap something, would ya?
Thank you Rachel…for reminding me why I keep my decorating to a minimum. But I have to admit…in my head my house is an explosion of Christmas. Just like yours.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Until the next time…I’m going to have a nog or whatever and hit the sheets!