O Christmas Tree
At this very moment my spouse is laboring at the annual chore of decorating the Christmas tree. I did my part Saturday: I vacuumed up the last few needles from last year’s tree, put this year’s in the stand (more or less straight) and put on the lights on. Whew! Talk about exhausting. I had to spend the entire day yesterday recuperating in front of the TV (watching the Panthers blow what should have been an easy game).
When you’ve been married for several decades, raised a couple of children to proto-adulthood and accumulated enough decorations to fill seven big Rubbermaid tubs the prospect of decorating another Christmas tree can be almost overwhelming. I can tell she’s not really up for it this year because she usually can’t wait to get her favorite decorations, the Hallmark Rocking Horses (1981 – 1997), on the tree. Why, yesterday she only got 20 ornaments up before she quit.
Part of our holiday torpor stems from the ravages of Empty-nest Syndrome. We’ve still got one in college and if he ever decides to come home for the Holidays maybe some of our ENS might go away. To be honest though, the Christmas tree has been entirely my wife’s chore since the kids got their first Nintendo game system way back when. After that time the kids never showed much interest in helping put up the tree (they will criticize it if it’s not up to their expectations.) So, having a child at home may add to the holiday spirit but not much to tree-decorating.
People may ask: what’s the matter with you that you can help decorate the tree? Well, let me tell you. There appears to be an aesthetic standard that can only be realized when a woman does the decorating – strange but true. I’ve asked dozens of guys about this and to a man, each reports that his decorating duties end at putting up the lights. We’re genetically incapable of discerning when a spot calls for a red or a silver ornament (when put to the test we will invariable guess wrong.) We are disqualified because of our gender.
Tonight when I go home I will congratulate my wife on another year’s triumph, fix her a drink (maybe two) and bask in the glow of Holiday magic. Now, if I can only figure out a genetic anomaly that would prevent me from having to Christmas shop.