Christmas Shenanigans

I wrote a Christmas letter the other week. These days I buy gifts like flashlights and flowers. Little Z and me (and occasionally Mr. N) are binge-watching Andy Griffith on these cold, dark evenings.

I am officially old.

I’ve known it for years, back when I ordered the grand total of twenty-four (!) skeins of yarn. I suppose if I weren’t a millennial, I wouldn’t have ordered it online, but that’s beside the point.

These days, I’m ordering things like terra cotta clay and glazes and big Bible books for a little person’s Christmas gift.

I realized again how absolutely frustrating it is to shop in person. I purchased drapes last week in the perfect shade of grey, only to get them home and realize that under our lights, they are the imperfect shade of silver. I returned them today and decided on black, or maybe dark charcoal instead. But they were sold out.

I went home determined to just buy them online and be done with it.

I’m regressing to a millennial again.

And when I strung up the lights I had just bought to replace the ones that burned out, they were a different white than the other strand already adorning the tree.

“I can tell the bottom half is brighter,” K, one of the guys who work in the shop informed me.

I’ve known K since we were toddlers. His sister and I graduated from high school together. Basically K is the little brother I never had. Which explains why I considered kicking him.

But I didn’t (Christmas spirit and all that).

Apart from being blatantly direct, K is also annoyingly observant.

“There’s only one you in the world,” I grumbled.

“But I can tell that the strands are different.”

I shrugged, but it bothered me too. So I restrung the lights so that the bright ones were interspersed with the others.

“The bright ones are on the top and bottom,” K suggested unhelpfully.

I felt like informing him that he was building a wall between the shop and the house so that he wouldn’t have to see my pitifully lit tree with the dried orange ornaments that he thought were weird and I thought were nice.

I felt like telling him that Mr. N likes my decorations, so poo on him for having opinions. I was going to live my life.

But I didn’t (again, Christmas spirit).

Instead, I retreated to the office where I lit a pine-scented candle and started some instrumental Christmas music.

I did a wonderful thing last week. I strung white lights around the ceiling in the office. I didn’t expect to like it this much. My only thought once I was finished was “why haven’t I done this before?!” The office is now a haven of warm lighting that encourages the Andy Griffith bingeing.

Did I mention that I’m old?

Ah, dementia. Yes, I had forgotten.

Really truly.

Something about being the adult this Christmas is making me feel a smidgen more grey than previous Christmases.

Back in my day (when I was in my prime), I was nervously reciting lines for our Christmas program, preparing special music for church, eating candy canes, and enjoying Christmas brunch with family.

Now I’m buying sweet potatoes and baking supplies for our Christmas gathering next week.

Sweet potatoes, guys.

How far I’ve fallen.

But Little Z doesn’t know any better. To him, Christmas is all twinkly (mismatched) lights, packages in green and gold under the tree, and Andy Griffith marathons in an office that is cozier than ever.

And somehow being the “grey one” is suddenly not so bad. I get to be the one to introduce him to the aura of Christmas, to the Child who came to be with us, not because we were worthy of Him but because He loved us and wanted to make us His special people.

What an exciting, awesome responsibility that is.


2 thoughts on “Christmas Shenanigans

  1. Christmas frustrations…call me the Grinch but I wasn’t even going to put a tree up this year, maybe not ANY Christmas decorations at all! That is until a certain little lady asked when they were going to go help Grandma put up Christmas decorations. I guess I didn’t realize it but I had begun to create a Christmas tradition. So come they did. I told them we’re not going to go crazy on decorations this year. The first thing they said was, “No tinsel”. I agreed.

    The littlest lady was in charge of the lighted houses and their arrangement. So what if there’s a very Christmasy-looking train engine in the village. So what if the star lies horizontally on top of the village Christmas tree. That’s the way it fit. The light-twisted garland hangs between the dining room and the living room but do you think we could find the red ribbon to twist around it?? Littlest lady to the rescue! She found some red bows and red poinsettias and decorated the garland. The red ribbon was nowhere to be found, at least until today when I brought the wrapping paper up from the basement.

    The tree does look pretty good…even without tinsel. But tell me, how can the tree be lighted with three strands of new lights and on day five ONE strand starts blinking!! I don’t want blinking lights! I didn’t set blinking lights! I don’t know how to change blinking lights! I think someone needs to come and visit Grandma again.

    1. Oh boy!!! 😂 Christmas does seem like it can get stressful in a hurry. I hate that, so I ended up keeping it pretty simple—we didn’t even go to the extended family Christmas…not because we were busy that night, but because we were busy that season. And I think that’s a pretty valid reason. 😊

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