My Beloved spent 3 years remodeling a major mall. Christmas began in mid October and she was responsible for coordinating the construction without affecting the retailers’ bottom line. This was accompanied by non stop Christmas elevator music and crowds of shoppers. By the time the job was over her only opinion of Christmas was a resound "Bah Humbug".
Our Christmases are always been spent at her Mother’s house. In the best Southern Matriarchal tradition, the family gathers at the appointed hour for food and festivities. Her mother has an unsurpassed knack for decorating and the house always looks like a stage set for Southern Living or a Christmas store window. Food's really good too.
Our girls live on the respective coasts and arrive home on Wednesday the 21st of December.
“Shall we go get a Christmas Tree?” I propose.
“Nope, not tonight, we are having dinner with our Dad, he’s about to leave town and then we’re going out with friends”.
Thursday morning they both drift downstairs at around noon both looking a little worse for the wear.
“Want to go pick out a tree?” They both scrabble for aspirin bottle and return to bed. Looks like they celebrated a bit too heartily the night before.
They reappear at dusk; we go out to dinner with them and some of their friends. We go home; they head out with said friends.
Friday morning we come downstairs to find one friend has spent the night and all three of them are scrabbling for the aspirin bottle.
“What about a Christmas Tree?” I ask.
“Can’t, we’re having lunch with A., then Uncle Bill is taking us to dinner, then we’re going out with K & V.”
That brings us to Saturday, Christmas Eve Day. One gets up early to meet some friends for breakfast. The shock of seeing the sunrise is so great that she must go back to bed to recover upon her return. Her sister opts to sleep till 1pm.
“I’m going to the movies” says one, “I’m spending the afternoon with A”says the other.
”What time is dinner?” – unlike Christmas trees, which would require their participation they have a stake in dinner which doesn’t.
“6” I say – “everything you asked for, turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.”
“Great, we’ll be home – can we bring A, K and V?”
Since I’m not feeling like being the Little Red Hen this year, there won’t be a tree at our house.
And you know what, that’s perfectly OK with me.