Wednesday, December 24, 2008

O Christmas Tree

I've been trying to find time and wit to craft a just-so Christmas post, but time and wit are in short supply of late.

I think it started the weekend we went to chop down our tree -- almost three weeks ago now. We bundled up, loaded into the car, and drove out into the country to the farm where we got last year's tree. Last year, I suppose in some not-horribly-subtle Freudian attempt to over-compensate, we got a monster of a tree that barely snuck in under our 10+ foot ceiling in the family room, and was almost as wide. We began salivating as we drew near, and then we saw the sign: "Tree Farm Closed." We took the next right in order to turn around in an empty parking lot and our jaws collectively dropped: the Christmas tree farm? Was now a driving range.

Two farms later, we finally arrived home late that night with a suitable tree, to find a package from my dear SIL. It was an Angel ornament, for Maddy. It wasn't something I would ever buy myself, or would know existed because I would probably never even search it out. And the fact that someone did take time to locate it made me weep about as much as the overall memory itself. Bella hung it up.

There was the parking cop, who literally ran when she saw me parked illegally (returning a video to the library) so I started running, and she saw me and ran faster, and pulled out her pad to get my license number as I pulled out. A $41 bill arrived two days later. Merry Christmas, Philly! I just know there's some irony involving trying to return a video lest I pay a quarter over-due fee to a library in a city where they are currently being closed at a quick clip only to have to pay said city umbrella entity $41. But I leave the road map for you to decipher.

There was our cabinet maker, who was rear-ended bringing over our wood countertop. The top sailed out the back of his truck and through the plastic grill of the car behind him. Only a small nick in my counter, which I said I'd actually like to keep. Sort of takes the pressure off us when we go and fuck it up for the first time.

We had a small piece of marble installed in one area of the new kitchen for baking, and I guess it's appropriate that since I've been phoning in this area of the project, the install guys phoned it in as well. The piece was cut wrong, they jammed it in, warped my freezer cabinet right next to it, and our freezer hasn't worked since last Friday. Repair guy coming next Monday.

There was the double ear infection, the memorial service. Two kindergarten playdates and one parent interview.

And finally, our neighborhood holiday party, held here in our new kitchen, last Friday night. This is the party we inherited with the house, and which I thought for a brief moment last year and the one before might be my undoing. But I discovered last year it was the only thing that motivated me to get through December. I couldn't really bring myself to decorate for my family, but my neighbors? Hell ya. I stood, glowing, in my new kitchen (90% done) with a champagne cocktail in hand, and actually enjoyed myself a bit. And when we woke up Saturday morning, there was a sigh of relief that for me, the holiday was over.

I've had more -- well, I hate to call it "energy" given the fact that I could drop right now and sleep about 15 hours, but -- energy this year. I spent most of yesterday preparing baked goods for gifts and personal consumption and will go remove everything from the downstairs freezer and bake them at the conclusion of this post. I've managed not to be too horrifically Grinchy when Bella asks things like, "What if Santa forgets our house? What if he can't find it?" I think because I didn't send cards last year (or this for that matter) our card intake has dwindled considerably, and the ones with children stamped on the front somehow seem less poisonous.

A dear old friend suggested that I put all these snippets of my month into a profanity-laced "12 Days of Christmas" -- a brilliant idea!! -- but one I can't seem to wrap my brain around. I even had Day 5 -- can you believe I put on my 8-year-old antique engagement ring (which I wear on nice occasions on my right hand now and again but until recently wore daily), and somehow mashed a side flat so I couldn't take it off? The kind of thing that looks like I left it in a closed car door for a few hours, but honestly didn't discover it until I just woke up one morning? Mr. ABF, on the orders of the jeweler who made Maddy's bracelet, snipped it with wire cutters and pulled it off with pliers. I need to find a few moments to take it in to him where he promises to make it good as new. Er, old. (I actually have a nice fuzzy iPic of this but for some reason, blogger is not letting me resize my photos to anything other than GIFUCKINGNORMOUS. So use your imagination.)

The following graphic pretty much sums it up. And this was the second time, and there was no way we were moving on until we got a Holiday Card worthy photo.

May your Christmas not suck nearly as badly as you think it might!


G$ said...

I love the tree! In all it's fallen over glory :)

Merry Christmas, Tash. Thank you for being you

The Turtle and the Monkey said...

Thanks for this post. I needed it. Christmas is hard. I love the tree.

Merry Christmas!

janis said...

T'is the merry season of stress, fallen trees, parking tickets, tralalalalalalalallala!!

I think that's why I don't go dreamy-eyed over such occassions. Perhaps Life has taught me well.

Happy Holidays nevertheless. Thinking of you.

Michele said...

Your tree made me smile, something I havent done much today. Thanks.

I'm a Montgomery Co. (PA) librarian and the whole budget crunch sucks. While we arent in danger of closing (yet) I do worry constantly about my staff and what I will say if I have to lay off. It kills me.

Merry Christmas, Tash. As Merry as we can all have it.

ezra'smommy said...

Tash, thank you for making me smile for the first (and possibly only) time today.

Aunt Becky said...

I just. I just heart you, Tash.

Merry Christmas Tash, to you and the ABF family.

k@lakly said...

Oh Tash,
Thank you for being such a marvelous writer even when your feeling sucky. Laughing through my tears and Lord, did I need that today.
I so wish you lived closer or vice versa...we need to drink together:)
Merry Effing Christmas my friend.

c. said...

Merry Christmas, my friend. And, in that same vein, may the New Year not suck nearly as much as, well, at least the past couple of years have. XO.

Amy said...

The tree is awesome! If you don't mind I do believe I'd like the picture for next years Christmas cards. I'm working on the wording but it would go along with falling down and getting back up! Um, well, trying at least!

Merry Christmas Tash! Very, Merry Christmas to you!

Mrs. Spit said...

I remember a christmas with a kitten that was a lot like that.

Not currier and ives, but true none the less.

Hang in there. A friend and I are meeting on the 26th for breakie at a local bar, starting about 1pm. You are most welcome to join us.

Julia said...

Love the tree. Love that you have (some) energy. And loving even more the image of you with that cocktail.

Merry Christmas!

Newt said...

Oh no. That tree just says it all.

Merry Christmas, Tash. Thanks for all your words this year. They have been a great help to me.

charmedgirl said...

our tree fell within the first 30 mins, thanks to three wild hyenas. luckily they knoked it over before we decorated it, because i think marc would have thrown it straight out the door in anger (he's good like that)!! the kids got their scolding and it all worked out for the best...cause, you know, not for a damn NY minute did i expect that tree to stay up.

happy holidays!!!!!!!!!
and you better write that nasty 12 days of xmas!

CLC said...

Ah, Philly, I can so picture the meter maid doing that. It's the perfect example of this fucked up town.
And hope this year brings you good tihngs. Or at least more moments of peace. Maybe we can finally get off our arses and meet up sometime in '09!!

debbie said...

Oh Tash, thanks for the comic relief---even if it was at your expense. I am, however, laughing with you, not at you!

I hope the rest of your day goes better than its prelude.

Merry Christmas!

loribeth said...

Oh Tash, you're priceless. : ) I heart you too! Merry Christmas (or as close as you can make it!).

Another Dreamer said...

I love the tree. Very fitting. I feel like that.

Kymberli said...

I missed all of this? Dang. It's as good of a tardy read as it would have been a timely read.

Here's my tree tale - a certain someone's big, fuzzy, white dog ate parts of the popcorn garland, then kept that certain someone and her husband writhing in agony on the car ride home from all of the canine gas he developed.

May your new year not suck as badly as the last, Tash.