Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Place Your Holiday Orders Carefully

I am obviously being punished by the Ghost of Thanksgiving’s Past. That’s probably a thing, right? I’m envisioning a spectral pilgrim in tattered clothes and chains, but still rocking the super-cool buckle hat.

Anyway, whatever he looks like, he’s a jerk, and I have incurred his wrath.

And dammit, I knew better.

Every year my wife wants to start decorating for Christmas in October, and every year I hold firm that we must give each holiday its fair and proper time. Halloween gets from August to October 31st, then Thanksgiving gets from November 1st until whatever date Thanksgiving is that year, and then promptly on Black Friday, we can tear down all the turkeys and orange and brown fall décor and go full-throttle jingle bells.

I have held firm for years and years, but this year I gave in. She wore me down. She kept coming at me, day in and day out since before the jack-o’-lanterns even got carved – “I’ve got no time this year. I have to decorate for Christmas early. We’re traveling for Thanksgiving, and I’ll only have seven minutes from when we get home until I have to be back at school. I won’t have any time once I’m back in the classroom, and I can’t trust any of you bozos to do it right.”

True story, there.

I’m not sure if I eventually agreed with her timeline dilemma, if I decided I needed to be more flexible, or if I just didn’t want to hear about it anymore, but I gave in.

And this weekend, I paid the price.

Decorating our house for Christmas starts with me going into the garage and getting approximately sixty-five hundred storage tubs down from the overhead racks. I had Son Number Three with me, and we had about half of them down on the garage floor when I felt the icy hand of the pilgrim ghost grab my lower back muscles and twist.

I wasn’t aware the pilgrims had electricity, but somehow that buckle-hatted SOB shot a 240-volt shock of “oh crap” through my lumbar. What a jerk.

I was one of the biggest defenders of his sacred, eating contest of a holiday, and I had betrayed him. He did not take it lightly. My back is really not great right now.

I mean, I get it. He relied on me, and in his eyes, I let him down. But give me a break, Mayflower man! Take it easy. Try to see my point of view here. I’m starting to think you were one of the pilgrims that was never married…

Meanwhile my wife forged ahead with decorating for Christmas in mid-November, even as I lay on the heating pad begging her to not rile the Thanksgiving ghost any more than we already had. She just scoffed and called me crazy.

And get this – she even tried to blame my back injury on me just getting old and out of shape. Can you believe that nonsense?

She’s right about one thing. I have gotten soft. I let her talk me into early Christmas decorating, and look where that got me.

All I want for Christmas this year is more Advil. Stupid vengeful pilgrim ghost!

See you soon,



Copyright © 2023 Marc Schmatjen


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