The Christmas tree is finally down, but I’m pretty sure if I spin this right I can get a doctor’s note to let me leave it up year ‘round—or at least much longer—next year.
In the past, Husband and Offspring have made taking the holly jolly down and stripping the house of joy for another 10 months a team effort, but Offspring is off doing army things
and couldn’t help this year. Which left the task to Husband, who—between scheduling issues, fibromyalgia, and a weakness for my big tear-filled cartoon eyes—didn’t exactly hop to it. But this weekend it was finally time when I shuffled past the tree and found myself sneering at fallen ornaments and needles rather than smiling and blissfully ignoring same.
ME: Honey? It’s time.
HIM: (contained, as if he hasn’t been waiting for this moment) Yup. I was just thinking about how we’d do it.
HIM: I can take everything off—
HIM: (hurriedly) And get it out of the house, but I will need you to actually pack them up the way you like.
ME: (tears up)
ME: I just… I can’t think of anything sadder than putting away Christmas ornaments alone.
HIM: I can be out there with you.
ME: And help?
HIM: (sighs) And maybe help.
ME: (sniffs) I don’t know…
HIM: Okay, well you go ahead and stay back here. Maybe play Spyro* for a while. I’m just gonna go… do some things.
ME: Nothing that will make me sad!
HIM: Noooo… nothing like that. Just… don’t come out for a while, okay?
And he disappeared for a while, popping back in to check on me a few times and bring me lunch when I got hungry. The only sounds I heard from the front of the house were Alexander Hamilton yelling at him (probably for messing with the tree) and him yelling back (probably because Ham got the idea it was now acceptable to mess with the tree).
Then he was done and went to have a lie-down, because our poison tree has not gotten any kinder and pokey things are the absolute worst for his pain. I, meanwhile, had developed a migraine** and joined him. But then I decided that a snack would help me process my meds faster (and buffer against some of the side-effects) so I braved the scene of the crime.
ME: So I went out just now to have a snack, but we do still need to talk about dinner.
ME: Also, I went out all prepared, because you warned me it was not great.
ME: And… I was surprised. I was like, “Oh! This isn’t sad at all!”
HIM: I didn’t say it was terrible—
ME: No, but—they’re all organized, and neatly stacked like they’re waiting for something.
HIM: They are. They’re waiting for the next Christmas tree.
ME: Yeah… I guess I just wasn’t expecting…
HIM: I don’t know what you think I do—
ME: I have this vision of you just ripping things off and tossing them aside—
HIM: That is not how I would treat your ornaments—
ME: Or just—you know—shaking the tree until everything falls off.
HIM: Yeah, that’s not how I do it.
I’m still not thrilled that he insists, every year, on dismantling and dismembering my beautiful Christmas tree. But, I suppose if your hard work—your blood, sweat, and creative tears—must be destroyed annually, look for a murderer who treats your work with love and reverence.
And who kisses you when he’s done doing it.
* Spyro Reignited was one of my Christmas presents, because nostalgia and video games and dragons are my three favorite things. Cannot recommend enough, especially if you remember the originals fondly. I marveled for the longest time at how it looks exactly how I remember, until I realized it looks so much better than the original—it just looks the way I remember the original, if that makes sense?
** Which I still had the next day, and is the basis for my theory that my body might be physically addicted to Christmas. Hence the doctor’s note, which DON’T THINK I WON’T TRY.