The children lost interest in the Christmas tree five minutes after we dragged it into the house, just as I had predicted.
But I made the mistake of suggesting that maybe this was the year we could give up the holiday charade and openly celebrate the family that we really are: a mismatched collection of people living in a house made entirely of half-eaten food and dirty laundry.
"Do we really need a Christmas tree?" I asked, because I, alone of all my family members, have the courage to ask the tough questions. "Does anybody really care?"
No one did until that exact moment. It was a tactical error so obvious you would think I had never even read Lord of the Flies. Now, in place of apathy and fast food, the children were filled with conviction: Mom must not be allowed to destroy Christmas, even if nobody cares.
And so, a tree is procured and deposited in a corner of the living room where a table and a lamp should be. The pine needles are ground into the carpeting in the last few spaces not already occupied by the pine needles of Christmases past. A basement closet is ransacked and boxes of ornaments strewn across two floors, where they will sit unopened until the one person in the house who knew this was a bad idea is forced to open them and drape 15 years worth of paper scraps across the tree, which will dry up into a mass of needle-sharp sticks over a period of weeks until the same person is forced to strip it bare, drag it out the curb and vacuum for the next 72 hours.
Before and After: Holiday decorating in the Kamikaze household is largely an exercise in futility. Also, Cotes du Rhone.
from the holiday archives: Happy Ho!idays from our Dysfunctiona! Family to Yours!
License to Spill: We indulge our fetish for secret agents and compose Christmas greetings on a cocktail napkin
For what it's worth, this tree no one cares about looks better than past trees no one cared about. In my house, no tree would appear in our house unless I dragged boxes from the shed. Although, I will say that the son was very sweet about helping decorate since it is his "last Christmas of being home when the tree gets put up." Sniff, sniff.
Posted by: Executive Suburbanite | December 18, 2012 at 09:35 AM
Sentimentality in teenagers is a sign that they are growing up. Just kidding. He's getting ready to ask you for money. Or possibly a new car. Don't fall for it.
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | December 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Oh jeez, I dragged out the tree and ornaments; decorated the damn tree and sent Man-Child a picture featuring the newest ornament that proclaims his college. To which he replied, "I thought you were going to wait until I got home to do the tree?" I wanted to kill him. He has never shown an interest in helping decorate - NEVER! But I figure he can be instrumental in dismantling the tree this year.
Posted by: Gigi | December 18, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Wow. Is it possible they really do care? The evidence is pretty thin...
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | December 18, 2012 at 05:26 PM
I managed to keep a tree out of my house for two consecutive Christmases when my children were slow to object.
It was great.
Posted by: Twisted Susan | December 18, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Mine also pulled the "this is my last real Christmas at home" so instead of going to the Keys the tree is up and twinkling in a corner. And everyone knows, once you decorate a tree and make a few gingerbread cookies it's over. Relatives appear in the driveway as though Skype had never been invented. Pass the Cotes du Rhone. I've got an empty iced tea glass right here.
Posted by: nthnglsts | December 18, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Wait. If it's Boy Executive's last Christmas at home and Nthnglsts Boy's last Christmas at home ... omg. I feel a weepy review of handmade Christmas ornaments in my future.
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | December 19, 2012 at 06:11 AM
Also, Twisted Susan is my new BFF. Check out her blog, she's got chocolate:
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | December 19, 2012 at 06:17 AM
Something must kick in at the DNA level during senior year. I ventured the possibility of a "fake" tree (well artificial), and I might as well have said we are selling the house next month. No way anything but a pine needle dropping, water sucking (yes something else to take care of), prickly evergreen was coming in to our house. Purchased four days ago--it stands happily without a single ornament--since I have not dragged them out yet. I am determined something will grace its branches before the 25th. Meanwhile I keep watering--this seems to be a particularly thirsty, needy tree.
Posted by: SEK | December 20, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Is there any other kind? Who is responsible for this madness?
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | December 20, 2012 at 07:16 PM