Sadly I’m fairly terrible at decorating for the holidays. I like the holidays and like the decorations, I just don’t like doing it.
My last daughter is extremely competitive and was driving through the city saying “Good house! Bad house! Best house!” by way of rating the outside Christmas lights. She narrows her eyes as we approach our house which has been decorated as simply as possible (with nothing yet), and gives me heck for having no lights up outside.
“Dad! No lights??”
“Um… you see….”
I don’t really know what to say other than I don’t think about it much. Girls are always surprised when guys honestly say we’re not thinking about much, so I feel like I’m preparing her for real life (cough cough).
This is a busy time in Venue Church with our New Year’s Eve one year anniversary party coming up (it begins after fireworks at Genesis and you should come:), and with a list of 24 people getting baptized so far since June we are hopping.
So that’s the long story. The short story is that I have the energy to overthrow a dictatorship in South America but can’t seem to find the wherewithal to string some lights up in the yard.
And I blame my mother.
I was basically born perfect into a society that corrupted me mostly through having to help mom decorate for the holidays while listening to Boney M Christmas. Oh the pain. I already feel inspired for the next article.
So back to being perfect. As long as there is no one reading who had eyes (or ears) on child Corey I feel confident that I was a patient soul, pure of heart and clean of limb, who ate his veggies, said his prayers and never under the severest of provocation attempted the murder of his little brother for calling him fat.
Born into a loving home I was well on my way to stardom of a sort when I was voluntold to help mom with the tree, and I knew the dream was over.
Carefully packed boxes of all shapes and sizes lined the living room and I could cut through the emotion called love with a knife as mom carefully began unpacking the ornaments wrapped in memories of years gone by.
Perhaps my lack of attentive feeling was my way of trying to bottle the emotions of the past and not risk vulnerability? Perhaps I had been hurt too many times at Christmas to open up again? Or perhaps I was sulky and bored? Only time will tell.
My mom is Irish and had no trouble refocusing me with some sharp and unnecessary words. I’ve always been the sensitive one who maybe cared about decorating the tree too much, so do I really need to be singled out?
Because I love efficiency dearly I would have preferred the humble approach of dumping all the boxes on the floor and dispatching the ornaments swiftly to their new homes with no rhyme or reason. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have no idea who gave us which ornament and let a little Christmas breakage (a necessary evil) send the message that things are not more important than the people who gave us the things in the first place, even if we just broke some of their things?
For shame mother. For shame.
It turned out ok because Ryan the chosen one saved the day.
“Here mom! I’m more than eager to help you (because I’m a show off). Let’s remove my irritating (and good looking) brother and have some special bonding time just you and me shall we? What’s that? You need an ornament perfectly hung? No mother dear I have all night, just make sure everything is perfect. One millimetre to the right? Oh no please take your time. Back one millimetre? I thought you might say so. Aren’t we having a lovely time now? Perhaps a cup of tea?”
And then God blessed me with four little women and one regular woman, most of whom enjoy Christmas decorating, and I’ve had to adapt.
By adapt I mean drag the trees up from the basement (yes, treeS), and fake being too busy (people don’t baptize themselves) to unpack love ornaments and get everything perfect for family and friends to come over.
It actually looks pretty good around here, if only the lazy outdoor decorator would stop writing this and get his rear end outside to untangle some lights..
Also my mother is still Irish and I’d rather you didn’t fact check some of this if it’s all the same?