Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tell me are your Christmases like Martha Stewart or Clark Griswold Challenge

I am issuing a Christmas Story Blog Challenge, tell me what your Christmases are like and if you don't celebrate Christmas tell me about your funniest holiday. Are they Martha Stewart-like i.e perfectly decorated tree, table settings and wassail bowl, or are they more Clark Griswold-like  ie. the cat shorting out the Christmas tree lights, farting relatives and never ending mishaps? Tell me your funny Christmas anecdote.

My Griswold-like Christmases started early in my life with one year my dad nailing two trees together to make the Charlie Brown Tree we had look fuller, another was when they had the top of the tree tied with string which was attached to a hook to the ceiling above the tree because it kept falling over. But I have to say I always have the best memories of when I was a kid and decorating the tree and great Christmases. One would have hoped that over the years that Christmases would have become less Griswoldish, but the trend continues, albeit not every year.  Here are a few of my memorable adult Christmas tales.

When Motorcycle Man and I got married we were excited about our first "married" Christmas.  This was when we could start our own traditions and we looked forward to it.  Keep in mind we lived up north and it was really cold at Christmas, so Christmas trees when you got them were pretty frozen.  A few days before Christmas we went off to trudge through the bush to find a tree, but the snow was too deep and we decided to go to a commercial tree lot instead. Off we go to the tree lot and we are browsing through the trees looking for the perfect tree.  This is kind of hard when  they have the trees tied up with cording around them, you really can't see the tree fluff factor or if you are picking a Charlie Brown tree.  After much browsing and complaints of it being cold, standing out there (it was -25) we finally picked a tree.  Off we go to home with the tree tied to the top of my Chevy Sprint, that was a sight to behold the tree was almost longer than the car.

We had to saw off at least 2 feet because it was too tall and then  popped that baby in the stand.  We had to let the tree thaw out because it was frozen. Motorcycle man was checking it for rodents because you just never know if there is a rogue critter hanging out in a warm Christmas tree.  A few hours and a few rum and egg nogs later we started stringing lights.  Motorcycle Man and I have extremely different approaches to light stringing.  He is a minimalist, whereas I am a blinger - the more lights the better.  He is organized in his approach and I am lets get these babies on the tree. He also does not like blinker bulbs, much to my chagrin, I just wanted to put it in for a little bit. I also tend to go back and thread lights through bald spots were there isn't quite enough and in the end it is like taking apart a light strand puzzle (knots). We happily got our lovely tree decorated and had a few too many egg nogs, but the tree was perfection. 

Fast forward a couple of days to Christmas day, we were having family over for dinner and cooked the perfect turkey, had all the yummy food and then of course everyone was in the turkey coma after dinner.  Soon it was time for everyone to leave.  After we had cleaned up and were snuggling on the couch looking at the tree I saw some flickering reflections.  I commented on how pretty the reflections were and then they started to increase (no it was not my mind hallucinating or too much egg nog).  I got up and decided this needed some further investigation, on closer inspection to my horror our tree was crawling with SPIDERS - YUP the only thing to do at this point was to scream, flap my arms and do a little dance of "OH MY GOD KIRK THERE ARE SPIDERS ALL OVER THE TREE!!!!"  He thought I was kidding, but I wasn't.  The tree was seriously infested and even a can of Raid was not going to do the job and we probably would have suffocated from the noxious fume cloud from the volume of Raid we would have had to have used to kill them all.  I guess the spiders hatched out because the house was warm and dry.  I am shivering just thinking about this. 

Our beautiful tree that we had taken hours to decorate was de-decorated within 20 minutes flat.  Ornaments and lights were heaped all over the floor and the tree was unceremoniously chucked out the front door into the -40 night  and 10 feet of snow - TAKE THAT SPIDERS!!!  That was our first married Christmas. 

There have been a few Martha-esque Christmases in there, but for the most part the Griswold-esque Christmases seem to outnumber the Martha's

In 1996 there was a blizzard and we were living on the floathome in Victoria and spent most of the holidays shovelling snow off our house so we wouldn't sink. Friends had come for dinner on boxing day and ended up being stranded at our house for 3 days because the city shut down due to the volume of snow.  Thank goodness I had cooked turkey and had plenty of stuff in my freezer.  I truly believe there are more Griswold-like families than there are Martha-like families.

So come on and tell me about your holidays, are you are Martha or a Griswold?


bob skoot said...


the next time you have a party, on the eve of a snowstorm, let me know. I would love to be "trapped" for 3 days eating your fine cooking.

I love Turkey, stuffing and the other stuff, but NOT Spiders

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

Dar said...

Bob - You make me giggle! I have to say a one bedroom floathome is more than a little small for 4 adults, but luckily we had a hideabed in the living room and we weren't dependent on power for heat or cooking. As for the spiders we now have an artifical tree and it gets a good shake before its put up.

SonjaM said...

Can't spiders make a nice ornament? They come with the strings already attached...

Sorry, I won't be able to contribute to your challenge, we haven't had a tree in ages since we don't really do Christmas.

Trobairitz said...

Ha Sonja - strings attached, funny.

I don't think I have any funny tales either Dar. I don't remember any funny stories from years gone by but from memory I'd lean towards the Griswold-esque type of celebrations as kids.

Brad and I don't celebrate any holidays anymore and haven't for over 8 years. In fact at work they call me the anti-everything because I don't celebrate anything.

How boring am I?

bob skoot said...


I didn't want to be the first party pooper, but we don't celebrate Christmas either. No gifts exchanged but we do have a family dinner, probably over 25 years now.

I also get depressed when I hear Christmas music

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

I couldn't think of either one, Martha Stewartish or Griswold-esque. Or at least I don't remember any. Maybe that alone says something, not remembering anything...