Christmas Present
by Dear DDD

Christmas Tree

Dear DDD,

I was driving past Home Depot today and thought I would surprise the kids with a beautiful Christmas tree. The kids are older, busier and could not be bothered to spend time with me. No one wants to go to the Christmas tree lot to pick out a tree with me. Things have really changed. When the kids were little, they would beg me to take them to pick out a tree – now I’m standing in the Home Depot parking lot paying some grizzly guy to put the tree on a stand. I pay for the tree and this guy is just staring at me. Ok… what?! Are you going to help me tie this thing to my roof or what?! Another tip for one of Santa’s ugliest elves. I want those days back when I looked forward to picking out my tree – now I dread the thought of having to do all of this Christmas stuff.

So, I get the tree home and I’m sitting in my car afraid to get out because I have no idea how I’m going to deal with this 8 foot tree that’s hanging off of my roof. AHHHH! My neighbor’s gardener may just help me if I give him a tip. He and I lug the tree into my family room and stand the tree up in its designated spot. Why is my head tilting, tilting to look at the tree? That damn Home Depot Elf put the tree in the stand crooked. The Gardner looked at me and said “MUY BONITO.” Excellent.

Then the kids got home from school and I was waiting for their response to our beautiful crooked tree standing in our family room. Dinner came and went and not a word.
“How do you like the tree, guys?”
“Nice Mom, but you know it’s crooked.”
OK I’M DONE!!! And I went to bed.

Dear DDD,

The tree is standing very crooked but I refuse to give anyone else a tip to help me fix it. Three days have passed and my kids have not shown any interest in decorating it. OK, well then NEITHER DO I.

Dear DDD,

I can’t stand looking at my crooked tree anymore! I will decorate the damn tree by myself this year. Let’s just throw the traditions out the window. So, I poured myself a cocktail, put Christmas music on Pandora, and started at it. What happened to the little girl who couldn’t wait to start all of the Christmas traditions? Is she dead? She must be because I’m just not feeling the Christmas spirit. It’s amazing how kids get their traits from their family. No one wanted to help because they were all too busy watching Sunday football. Am I living in 1977? The only one who was excited about decorating the tree was our 9-month-old Golden Retriever. As I put the ornaments on the tree, he pulled them off. I saved those sentimental ornaments for years and now they are gone. Why is this happening to me??? Not only is my tree crooked, it is half lit and decorated. Since I was a little girl, all I ever wanted was to have a Christmas like you see in the movies. Everyone is happy, getting along, singing Christmas carols and loving life.

Does this even exist?

I just want to feel like I did in 1977 – I just want to be able to say this is the best Christmas ever!

Dear DDD,

I decided today that I am not going to lose my joy of the Christmas I have always loved. I will overcome the stress and hurdles and I will put up the lights outside my home.

Well, that was a disaster.

As I am on the ladder struggling to put up strands of lights, my attorney is calling me. As I go to reach into my pocket, I lose my balance, dropping my phone, and go falling to try to save it. My phone is cracked, my back is killing me but I will not let this interfere with my JOY. I pushed myself to finish as if I was trying to get to the finish line of a marathon. Darkness is here and so is the moment to turn on the switch…

The lights are amazing! I did it! I stood, drinking in my accomplishment, when an old man walking his dog came up behind me and said, “That’s an over abundance of lights, it lights up the whole neighborhood.” I took a deep breath, turned around and was ready to choke him. I must have had the scariest look on my face because he left so fast, dragging (and choking) his ratty little dog behind him.

I have truly lost my Christmas Spirit.

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