Amid the long list of hubby’s oh-so-admirable qualities, one would not find a love for all things Christmas. Or holidays in general. This dearth of Christmas spirit has become a standing joke in our family (he doesn’t see the humor), whenever he starts his annual and as yet in vain attempt to cancel Christmas.
It usually starts on Thanksgiving when conversation turns to plans for the upcoming holiday. While we’re all talking he’ll insert his usual, “We’re gonna cancel Christmas this year.” We all keep talking. But he’s determined. And his voice gets a little louder. “We’re just skipping it. You guys don’t need anything.”
This is usually when I roll my eyes and my kids all start laughing and launching into memories of similar cancel-Christmas assertions he’s made Every. Single. Year. You have to admire his perseverence.
Sometimes I can join in the humor. Other times it’s just downright annoying :) I’ve coped over the years by forcing him to join me for at least one mega shopping trip for presents. Believe it or not, that does help, because he gets an opinion on what we buy (kinda sorta) so he has some input. And he gets to give ideas when I’m out of them. (Sometimes I listen.) But on and off throughout the season I’ll still get treated to the grumbling and the waste talk and the one I most enjoy, the you-know-how-rich-we’d-be-if-you-stopped-spending-money-on-the-kids talk. That’s my favorite, in the same way you have a favorite ice pick to stab through your eye :)
Lest you think he’s a total Grinch, he goes out and sells grain in all the kids’ names and sticks a check in their stocking. So he’s okay with that end of things, I guess, because he sees cash as a very practical gift, unlike the actual wrapping things up and watching people unwrap them way. Which for me is the magical part of Christmas.
I suspect some sort of childhood trauma has led to this bah humbug Christmas spirit. Apparently the year his brother got the Johnny Quest speedracer and he got the remote control red race car scarred him permanently. And he isn’t all that great about receiving presents either. What’s wrong with this guy? Who doesn’t like presents? But then he’s also the guy who never had a Christmas stocking until I made him one when he was nineteen, so maybe that’s the root of the problem.
Once the presents are wrapped his cancel-holidays thoughts turn to the food. He snatches up the list I’m making and demands, “What’s this?”
“A grocery list.”
“Who’s going to eat all this?”
(I know, I know, you’re jealous of our communication skills already right? If you like that, you’d love the part minutes later when I clap my hands over my ears and sing, lalalala–I’m not listening because you don’t get a vote on what I’m making for Christmas—lalalala. It’s downright spiritual.)
He’s fine once the day arrives and he’s surrounded by family and fun and commotion. He’s the first one taking all the pictures and videos. He’s the one schlepping out to the driveway to fix whatever is wrong with every kid’s car before they leave for home again. And that doesn’t get a peep of complaint from him.
I’ll never figure this guy out. He’s a great giver…the man’s taste in jewelry is above reproach :) But not so much of a receiver. If I could just figure out a holiday that doesn’t involve a huge menu and a truck load of presents to buy and one that involves lots of auto repair I think I can make his favorite holiday. And if it involves something sparkly for me, it might become mine, too <g>