I click on the link and it opens up to another amazing home filled with gorgeous Christmas decorations. Every room has a Christmas tree, each with a different theme. There are multiple fireplaces adorned to perfection for the holidays. In every room touches of fresh greenery are tucked here and there, and the Christmas creche is beautiful to behold, no chipped donkey’s ear in this manger scene.
I wonder . . . can it really all be so perfect?
In reality, I don’t wonder at all because I know it’s not! Decorating for Christmas is a lot of work and, in the world of blogging, it seems the bar is raised each year to outdo what you’ve done the year before.
Warning: The road to the “perfect” can be filled with many trials and tribulations.
Have you seen the movie Christmas Vacation? In spite of a bit of coarse language it is one of my favorite holiday movies because I relate to the characters on a personal level and I’ll bet that some of you can too.
I mean really, what parent of teens and pre-teens can’t see their own children’s behavior in the Griswold kids, rolling their eyes when their parents start singing Christmas carols in the car and whining about having to go along to pick out the Christmas tree.
Finally, who can’t relate to a husband like Clark who thinks it is his duty to fix everything rather than hire a professional? Okay, maybe YOU don’t, so let me share with you the reality of Christmas preparations at OUR home!
We began putting up our Christmas decor over the Thanksgiving weekend. Being in a new home this year with all the kids coming for Christmas I’m excited to make it extra special. In this house, we have an attic! A REAL attic! Can you tell I’m excited? When we first saw the attic Mr. OTN had visions of old trunks filled with treasures that we could open to wondering little eyes (even though we don’t have grandchildren it is still a dream). I had visions of CV’s Clark Griswold accidentally locked in the attic, dressed in old grandma clothes he’d pulled from a trunk to keep warm. I declared the attic one of my favorite rooms and I was anxious to get up into the attic and start sorting through Christmas boxes.
Now picture this, we are in the middle of all of the Christmas preparations and I’m enjoying pawing through old treasures and thinking of how I’ll use them in our new home. Mr. OTN (let’s call him Clark for this post) decides to venture to the far corner of the attic to check out why the flood light on the highest corner of the house has suddenly started blowing a fuse whenever we turn the switch on. The thought runs through my mind that this is a dangerous thing because there is no flooring in that part of the attic . . . but not to worry, Clark knows what he is doing. I’ve lugged another box down the ladder and I’m really feeling the JOY of Christmas when I’m startled by a sudden CLUNK and a CRASH from overhead, followed by a muffled “Grrrrr . . .!” I get one of those sinking feelings deep down in the pit of my stomach as I begin inching toward the sound.
“Are you okay?”
“Oh no”, I think to myself. “What should I do?” From the position he’s in I can see he’s straddling a floor brace. Maybe he’s passed out from the pain!
So what to do first?
I’m still frozen on the spot, debating back and forth when Clark assures me he’s okay, just feeling a little stupid.
Not stupid really since, as you can see, there are places in our attic where the insulation is three feet tall. In his wading through some of the deepest “snow”, trying to find a floor joist, his foot slipped and down he went, through the bedroom ceiling (NOTE as well the Griswoldish hat . . . very stylish though a little warm for South Carolina)!
What do we do when we do these Griswoldy types of things? What do you do, assuming you ever feel a bit like a Griswold family member? We could become angry with each other and have on occasion acted out that way. The older we get though the more we realize that every impediment to progress, whether it be something hard or a simple inconvenience, is not worth getting upset over.
So we laugh, we go to the store to buy a piece of sheet rock, tape, and joint compound, and we talk about whether or not I’m allowed to share this story with the world. We have shared so much of our story with others that this is really nothing. My husband feels no need for pretense. He can be goofy (YOU saw the hat) and he can make mistakes . . . just like Clark.
In bed last night:
Clark: Yes. It isn’t working yet . . . but it will.
Clark: When I can get it to work.
Me: Okay, well I’m too tired to go outside and turn them off.
Clark: Me too.
The covers come up over the heads until . . .
TWO HOURS LATER . . .
Clark: They really are bright aren’t they?
Me: Yes, and they are lovely!
May your days leading up to Christmas be filled with joy in the midst of the crazy!
Blessings from The Kranks
(and yes, that is our real name, and Christmas with the Kranks is often a very Griswold Christmas!)