This year has been a doozy.
It seems every time I turn on the news I’m inundated with some other really disturbing piece of information. I’m not just talking about the
National Tragedy Presidential Election, though that would be enough. No, I mean the whole freaking year.
Let’s recap, shall we?
In 2016 the following celebrities died:
- David Bowie
- Professor Snape aka: Alan Rickman
- Harper Lee
- Pat Conroy
- Merle Haggard
- Morley Safer
- Mohammed Ali
- Elie Wiesel
- R2-D2 aka: Kenny Baker
- Gene Wilder
- Arnold Palmer
- Janet Reno
- Leonard Cohen
- Mrs. Brady aka Florence Henderson
- John Glenn
And that’s an abbreviated list.
World events fare no better:
- The Syrian War
- Pulse nightclub shooting
- Cops shooting civilians
- Civilians shooting cops
- Natural Disasters out the wazoo
- The Zeka Virus
- Terrorism abroad and at home
And of course, lest I forget (I know I’m forgetting a lot) Donald Trump.
That last one put me over the edge. I stayed hunkered down in my favorite brown chair reading trashy novels for weeks. I abandoned Facebook, Twitter, and NPR. I stopped reading my email.
Finally, my doctor doubled my antidepressant and feeling marginally better, I decided to get a Christmas tree.
The day after Thanksgiving we put that puppy up and decorated the hell out of it.
Now, Kirkland’s (the home decor store) was supposed to come to my house and decorate the whole thing for me, for free. Yes, seriously. I was super excited, but it didn’t happen. Because, well, 2016, I guess. So instead we spent an ENTIRE DAY hanging lights (which kept going out straight outta the box) and one million ornaments on our Costco tree. Y’all, decorating a Christmas tree with two four-year-olds and a six-year-old is A JOB. But by the end, it looked okay, and only slightly over decorated on the bottom branches.
We watered that sucker relentlessly. I was pouring my hopes and dreams for a much needed happy holiday season into that tree stand every day.
About a week ago, my husband took a turn at watering and he missed. There was water running through our living room and we were chasing it with rags and paper towels like our lives depended upon it. Mike is a good sport though, and once we’d cleaned the mess (and dried off the gifts) he took another stab at watering.
Same damn thing happened.
It turns out that he didn’t miss at all. Oh no. Actually, our tree stand had a big crack in it and I’d been watering the hardwood floors for two weeks. Let me tell you, water, especially gallons of it, and hardwood floors DO NOT MIX. I’m going to have to put a piece of furniture there when Christmas is over. Or maybe turn it into the time-out spot. Someone is always sitting in time out, I’ll just cover the damage that way.
I went out and bought a new tree stand and we very carefully transferred the fully decorated tree to its new home. We only broke one heirloom ornament in the process. Disaster averted.
But then, by yesterday, our tree looked like this:
Sad. Droopy. Half-lit. Like 2016.
I almost took to my brown chair again, but the chair is right next to the tree so there was no escaping it. Besides, the kids were crying as they watched ornaments slip from those pathetic crispy branches, and we can’t have kids crying at Christmas.
So I spent the entirety of yesterday driving around town to find a new tree. You’d think that would be easy, but no… I guess everyone needed a little early Christmas and just about everyone was sold out of trees. And lights, too. Seriously? How can you be out of lights two weeks before Christmas? What about those crazy people who don’t decorate a tree until Christmas eve?
But I fought the good fight. 2016 may have taken our friends, our heros, our plumbing system, our democracy, but it wasn’t going to take my tree, damnit.
The new tree is up. It’s watered. It’s lit and decorated.
As fresh as it is it will probably last until February. Which is good, because I’m going back to the brown chair. If you need me, that’s where I’ll be until this ridiculous year is over.