Converting the grinch

by Katie on December 17, 2012

Brandon and I have quite different approaches to the holiday season.

I am festive.

He is not.

I like to deck our halls with symbols of the season, insist upon a real, live tree in all its evergreen-scented glory, like to play Christmas tunes in the car, and overall bask in the joy of the holiday season.

Brandon? Would be just fine with no mention of Christmas until the Christmas Eve service, and is ready to wrap up the whole show by noon on Christmas Day, and get back to work. Which is also pretty much his life motto in general. Unless hunting is involved.

Our first Christmas, as a naive new bride, I had visions of of sugar plums and mistletoe and all the lovely things I would do with my new husband as we began our own Christmas celebrations. I came from a family that was a stickler for putting up the tree the day after Thanksgiving. We pay our proper respect to the pumpkin pie, then move on to tinsel and garland. So I had grand expectations of the two of us going to pick out the perfect tree, bringing it home, donning it with lights and the “Our First Christmas” ornament we had been gifted, then basking in the soft glow of the tree while we sipped cocoa.

I’m guessing you can imagine how far I got in fulfilling those expectations.

Shortly after I took my last bite of pecan pie on Thanksgiving Day, Brandon departed town for a hunting trip. I headed out the next morning and purchased a tree myself, but had the grand idea we could still decorate it together – I would just get our home smelling like Christmas before he returned. But then it took me several days to convince him to take an evening to help decorate the tree.

And when I finally had him roped into participating? He hated life. And that is not an exaggeration.

Trying to not have a good time

The next year, he just complained about how many ornaments we had and claimed we had an awful, cluttered tree…because he chose to put every one of his ornaments in the one place directly in front of his face which required no moving, bending or reaching.

After these two experiences, which can totally take the holiday cheer away from a girl who just wants to have a festive, spirited time, I relieved him of any Christmas cheer duties. I followed my dad’s lifelong advice and “picked my battle” and let it go.

So this year, I again went out and purchased a tree by myself. I did, however, need help placing it in the tree stand and retrieving the ornaments from our laundry room loft storage area, which was the only thing I requested. And you would think that five minutes of Brandon’s life were the most miserable he had ever experienced. The next evening, I went to decorate the tree, and he did at least sit in the same room with me, reading his Western Farm Press and occasionally conversing with me while I added ornaments.

I thanked him for this later, and he thanked me for not making him get up and do anything. And then, referring to Lola, he said, “I’ll decorate the tree with her, just not with you.”

Which didn’t surprise me at all (he’s totally going to be a sucker for this girl – it’s already very clear), but did rekindle all those visions I had that very first Christmas of festive family fun.

Then, just this past weekend, minutes before we finally got a quick photo snapped to create a Christmas card (after much pleading on my part since the week of Thanksgiving), I was asking why it was so awful for us to have one picture of the two of us in an entire calendar year which did not include any dead wildlife.

He told me not to worry. “Next year, Lola will be here, and I’ll want to take a picture with her.”

After these two combined events, I’m now starting to wonder if I should be pleased with his planned turn of attitude, or offended that it’s doing these things with just me that seems to be the problem.

In keeping with the holiday spirit, we’ll just go with the former.

 

 

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