I Threw a Holiday Tantrum, and I Thoroughly Enjoyed Myself
A few weeks ago, I kicked down our Christmas tree. I not only kicked it down, I then proceeded to kick it multiple times as it lay prostrate on the ground. It was kind of like that scene in Office Space, that scene in which Peter and his coworkers kick the crap out of their office printer. If someone had handed me a baseball bat, I definitely would have put it to use.
How, you may ask, had this Christmas tree so grossly offended me? Well, its trunk was too narrow for our Christmas tree stand. Did this particular tree intend to make my life more difficult? I couldn’t tell you. But the glibness of its slender trunk definitely felt personal.
You see, this particular tree was supposed to make my life easier. It had been specifically purchased to minimize complications. Over the last year — well, 12 years really, but particularly this past one — my life had become horrendously complicated, and I was on the lookout for a way, any way, to simplify things.
Although I appreciate holiday decorations, I’ve never enjoyed the legwork that goes into the actual decorating part. And this particular year, everything that I used to find moderately tedious has become impossibly overwhelming. I felt paralyzed by the prospect of packing the family into the car to brave a blustery December wind, then bickering over which tree to pick, then finally making a decision that left one child gloating and one child sulking, then tying the tree to the roof of our car (or more accurately, shivering and pretending to appear helpful while a gracious young person tied the tree onto the roof of our car), then remembering that I’d made a mental note last year (and year before that, and the year before that) that the tree lot only took cash, then running down the street to the nearest ATM and paying a ridiculous ATM fee so I could shell out a ridiculous $75 for a goddamn tree, then shelling out even more cash to tip the gracious young person who wrestled the goddamn tree onto our roof.
My children have previously expressed some very strong opinions when it comes to Christmas tree selection, but this year they were too cool to care and told me and Dad we could go without them…