Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Another Holiday “Massacre”

In our house, I am known as a bit of a buzzkill when it comes to holidays, pretty much all of them.  It is not that I have anything against them.  It is just that from my teenage years through nearly all of my adulthood, holidays have usually brought one form of tragedy or another.  Even my birthday is not off limits as back in 1976, while lighting my birthday cancles, a spark from my aunt striking the match, flew into a stack of newspapers which then caught on fire.  While I understand everyone deals with sad events in their lives, my 7th grade year in school would set the tone as I would lose three relatives between Christmas and New Year’s Day.  My cancer diagnosis came over Thanksgiving weekend and my heart surgery occurred just before Easter.  When I reflect on the many more examples, it is quite overwhelming for me.

But I have two small children who love the holidays.  There is no way that I would make them suffer from the countless celebrations because of my issues.  I enjoy the Christmas mornings with their enthusiasm opening gifts.  Last year, Madison finally got into “decorating” the house for Halloween with detail to being scary.  We hide Easter baskets in our house for the girls to look for every year, just as I did as a little boy.  My personal feelings for the holidays have not changed, but at least I can enjoy them.

That is, I can enjoy them when they are occuring.  Not when they are promoted eight months before they occur.  I will decorate the outside of the house for Wendy, while she concentrates on the interior.  Comparisons have been made to our home looking like the Griswald’s in Christmas Vacation.  Last year however, a new threshold has been crossed. and even if my views of holidays had not been tainted, I would be 100% against the following behavior, yet it is happening, and now any wrong doing associated with it, leads Wendy to accuse me of some sort of conspiracy.

Last year, on the day after Thanksgiving, or when I officially relent and allow Christmas lights to be turned on, Wendy picked me up after work.  Being at work on a holiday is hard enough when I would rather be enjoying the time with the family.  But with Halloween being over be nearly a month, I was not expected to be horrified as I saw the car in the parking lot.  In the past, Wendy has actually put Christmas decorations in the car including miniature Christmas trees that stick to the window and light up.  I try to be a good sport.  But not today.

On the grill of the car is some sort of red thing.  Not sure what it is as I am not close enough to it.  But as I see the rest of the car, on each side of the front doors, at the roof of the car, are a pair of brown sticks.  No, they are antlers.  Oh my God, that red thing is Rudolph’s nose!  NO!  NO!  NO!  NO!  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!  Absolutely not!  I get into the car and slouch down below window level feeling completely immascualated.    Wendy’s outlook is very simple, we are a family.  This is a family car.  We have two small children who think the Rudolph-car is very cool (well at least one of them accepted it).  An no matter my protest about when I have to drive the car by myself without the kids in the car… very creepy, a 40 something man driving around with a car looking like a Christmas cartoon.  But as the saying goes, “A happy wife is a happy house.”  Every year, it is Wendy’s goal to visit as many Christmas displays as she can.  Unfortunately, one trip took us on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Evidently, Rudolph was not made to travel 65 miles per hour.  And so it happened, snap-crack, snap-crack.  Both antlers had snapped off.

Not to be deterrred, and thinking that Wendy could not make me feel any more uneasy, she is ready for the next big holiday. after Valentine’s Day of course, Easter.  Yep, you guessed it.  A nice pink button on the grill and where the antlers once were, are now a pair of white fuzzy bunny ears.  I will never think it cannot get worse or creepy, and now Madison is starting to agree with me.  One particular sunny day, the weather was quite warm, so I had been driving with the windows down slightly.  The ears were slightly more sturdy than the antlers, however, they were less wind resistent, and just like that, even at only 35 miles per hour, the one ear slipped off the window.  Realizing that it had happened, I made an immediate U-turn to retrieve it.  But as I pulled up to where the ear had landed, Wendy let out a gasp when it appearted the ear was in worse condition than Evander Holyfield after a Mike Tyson fight.  It had already been run over so many times, that the bracket holding the ear had been crushed and the white fuzzy cloth was now black with tire tracks.

I kept quiet knowing that Wendy would be really upset by this, even with my own personal relief.  But I had not expected her reaction or response.  “You are happy this happened.  You never like them.  The least you could do is apologize.”  Almost as puzzling as the need to decorate the car, I was even more confused as to how the loos fitting ears flying off the car were my fault.  Wendy explained to me that I needed to be remorseful that I disliked them so much, that karma actually pulled them off and destroyed.  And there it is, the beginning of the great holiday conspiracy.

Our house is decorated for Halloween.  And no, the car is not spray painted orange to look like the Great Pumpkin.  But Wendy has put more decorations out than in the past, and to Madison’s satisfaction, a good amount of scary things too.  Trick or Treat night with my DJ speakers blasting Halloween’s greatest hits (Werewolves of London, Ghostbusters, Spooky, etc.), I am ready to go.  Having unusually warm weather for October (last year we had over six inches of snow), I decided to mow the lawn and mulch the leaves.  As I cut the lawn along the outer perimiter of the yard in front of the house, I see a black “thread” start wiggling.  I have run over the lights that Wendy has strung out in the grass instead of placing them in the mulch beyone the grass line.  Her response to my confession of the light massacre did not disappoint me in that it made no sense that I have lived here for ten years and should have realized that there would be a light cord in the grass.

The conspiracy continues… I cannot wait to see what this year’s Christmas season brings me, or what I “might do to it.”

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