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Holiday Traditions (Or How To Test Your Family’s Patience With You)

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Getty Images/Jeff J. Mitchell

Getty Images/Jeff J. Mitchell

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Each year we prepare our house for Christmas.  And each year I dutifully swear (first to myself and then to anyone within earshot) that this year is going to be different!  The outdoor lights will go up without any troubles.  Decorating the house?  No problem!  Selecting, bringing home and installing the tree?  I’ll do it with a song in my heart.

Of course.  Things never quite end up going the way I want them to.

A year ago I got lucky and starting promoting a service that comes and sets up your outdoor lights for you.  Not only do they put them up but they maintain them and then take em’ down after the holiday is over.  So with the arrival of The Kings one of my major concerns went away.

Decorating the house is a different matter.  My long-suffering wife and loving son always want to put up more items than I want to.  So we negotiate and then I give up.  This of course, means that in late January I’m still finding little Christmas knick-knacks all over the place.

As for the tree?  This year we went out on a Sunday afternoon and started out hunt for the perfect tree.  Right about the time it started to rain.  Hard.  After much searching we got the tree and strapped it to the top of the car like some sort of overgrown shrub and headed for home.  After teaching #1 son a few new words we (oh yes, it took all 3 of us to get this thing into the stand) finally got the thing vertical and ready for decoration.

And here’s where my eureka moment occurred.  For the first time ever in my life I sat back and watch my wife and son put the lights on and then place all the ornaments just so on the tree.  It was marvelous.  It went smoothly.  My blood pressure went down and I’m certain my family enjoyed this event much more than they ever have before.

And you know what?  The tree is beautiful.  “The best one ever” as we say in our house.  It gave me pause as I sat there with my family looking at it in the dark.

For all my grousing I am truly blessed.  I have a wife and son and cat who love me.  Perhaps the cat not so much until I feed him.  At any rate, we’re ready for Christmas so bring it on!

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Doug

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