Mom For The Holidays: Total Sh*t Show

The following essay is a version of what appears in  Mom For The Holidays: Stories of Love, Laughter, and Tantrums at Christmas and Hanukkah available now on Amazon.


So far, decking the halls has been a freakin' shit show.

To start, all of my expectations have been dashed -you know the ideal Christmas decorating night.

It's Saturday or Sunday, your kids are dressed up in something festive and comfy (red sweaters and jeans), the Christmas tree has just been lit and the room is glowing, the house smells like pine, and Christmas music is playing in the background.  Everyone is gathering around the Christmas tree smiling, and delicately placing the ornaments on the tree.


We got our nine-foot Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving (in 70-degree sunshiny weather).

We get it home - and it doesn't fit in the tree stand.  We're trying to shave the trunk down with a hand saw (wood chips are flying) and our 2 kids are running around like maniacs with branches in their hands - using them as magic wands almost about to poke eachothers eyeballs out. We need a bigger tree stand.

Okay, no big deal, I'll go back to the place where I bought it - and get a new one.
They ran out.  The lady tells me to come back at 8AM, and they'll have the stands. Ummmmm Nooo.

Still staying in the Christmas spirit I hop down to Lowe's to buy a new stand - they have one. Phwew.

But unfortunately, I get the tree stand home so late and the kids are asleep.
I don't want to wake them - so the tree is sitting in it's too small stand leaning up against my wall.
I think I actually prayed that night, "Please God do not let the tree fall, set off the alarm, and wake the kids."

Next day, tree lights. We bought the big bulb colored ones this year.  I'm usually a classic white kinda girl - but I'm over them.  Boring.

We string them all up - it's 30 seconds of beautiful multi-colored glowiness - and then BLACK. The whole tree goes black.  So after some trial and error we believe the bottom strand is faulty.  I tell my husband to back to Lowe's to exchange lights.

He comes back with new lights, we do the same routine....30 seconds... Black.

Okay - is it possible that two strands are faulty?  Who knows?! Back to Lowe's he goes.
He comes back - same routine and the lights stay lit.  We put on the music, break out the ornaments and we start decorating.  And then about five minutes into it BLACK. Like the whole freakin' room blacks out.

Clearly, it's electrical over-load on my old ass house (100 + years old to be exact).  FINALLY, we figure out how to ease up on the electrical situation, and we're back in business. The third time - it stays lit (everything).

We start decorating.  Except my kids are playing with the ornaments and in some cases, royally fucking up the ornaments.  Some of those ornaments are like 30 plus years old, and they're wrecking them, destroying them, throwing them.  Santa's foot fell off, and his long white beard was pulled up over his eyes.  My husband is literally fuming.  I'm literally buzzed (thank you two glasses of wine 20 minutes).  And I laugh.  Then, I hand my husband a beer.

The tree eventually got decorated - although I think we should've just done it ourselves while the kids were sleeping.

The next day, we decide it's going to be "Take a Picture with Santa Day."  We haul the kids to the mall kicking and screaming(because they're coming down from their pancake high).  The whole time I'm threatening - if you're not good girls today you are NOT going to see Santa.  They were bad and I didn't keep my word on punishment (I mean I do have to get out my Christmas cards in a timely fashion).

Two-year old sits on Santa's lap no problem, and starts talkin' to the old guy like he's her long lost girlfriend.

"Da-ta-da-ta-da, yes I want roller skates for Christmas.  Anything else? No, just roller skates." Enter: Child number 2 (the one-year old).  She freaks out.  Full on shrieky, screaming cry and in mid-flash her winter boot goes flying.

The picture shows Santa smiling, two-year old smiling, one-year old screaming and a flying boot. Awesome.

This essay was written in December 2012, published in 2014

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