Years ago, we had to drive around and look at the Christmas lights and envy homes and their décor from afar when we wanted to.
Now, thanks to those little twits, Zuckerberg and Dorsey, I get to feel bad about the fact that I only put up one non-themed Christmas tree.
I am really good at just a few things. I’m the best at procrastinating. Case in point … for at least two weeks after Thanksgiving, there are always 30 boxes of assorted sizes filled with Christmas decorations piled in my kitchen and living room. The fact that the boxes make it downstairs the day after Thanksgiving is a big deal. This year was no different.
Thanks to social media, I started feeling the pressure mid-November. That’s when friends began posting pics of their beautifully decorated tree(s), tablescapes, front door, mailboxes, etc. I could have started early. But I’d really like to decorate one year without cursing the whole time. I’d like to know what that feels like.
I love the holidays, mostly. It seems there’s never an optimal time to put up the decorations for anyone in my family. It doesn’t matter what day it is or the time of day it is. It doesn’t matter if they are doing nothing.
When I utter the words, “I need help getting the Christmas tree downstairs,” the response is always, “Now? Why now?” It’s not like I’m asking this question in July. It’s in the neighborhood of Nov. 30 through Dec. 8. The closer to Dec. 8, the shriller my tone tends to be. And with the increased shrill comes decreased patience.
I have a good reason this year as to why I didn’t place the final ornament on our tree until Dec. 19. I got sidetracked at Thanksgiving.
Without going into too much detail, the older boys have two cats. They brought both cats home for Thanksgiving. As an aside, they do not need two cats. They didn’t need one cat, but I digress.
Melvin, the youngest cat, is a male and very skittish. On the day they were leaving to head back to Chattanooga, Melvin did what Melvin does best ... he hid. He hid so well that they had to leave without him, something none of us were thrilled with .. me — because every male cat I’ve owned has always peed wherever they wanted (in my shoes, behind beds, in closets, etc.) — and Jay, because Jay doesn’t like cats. He tolerates our cat because of me.
So back to skittish Melvin. Melvin was nowhere to be found. We narrowed down that he was in the bonus room. So, we put food out, closed the door to the bonus room and waited. When we couldn’t find him the first night, I panicked. I couldn’t sleep.
Did he have a heart attack? Did the sounds of six adults screaming out his name and stomping around cause his little cat heart to stop? The next morning as I was heading upstairs to try one more time to find him when Jay stopped me, saying, “Melvin’s definitely in the bonus room. He took a dump on the couch.”
So, Melvin ruined the couch in my bonus room. Not only did I have a living room full of Christmas décor I didn’t feel like opening, but now, I had a tiger-sized pile of cat feces to clean off the one sofa that stays clean and unscratched. Chance picked up Melvin to take him back to Chattanooga the next day.
It took another three weeks to empty the last box of Christmas décor, just in time to enjoy with family visiting from the West Coast. My niece called to make sure we knew that she, her husband, and three kids would also be here for Christmas. We always have a houseful, and I love it. Everyone is welcome at our house for the holidays … everyone except Melvin.
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Telling Tales is written by Wilson County’s Becky Andrews and Angel Kane.