Confessions of a Holiday Fake

February 12th, 2013 posted by Jean Reidy

It all started with the tree. I never liked Charlie Brown’s tree. I only liked Snoopy’s. Blame it on years of inhaling evergreen-scented artificial snow fumes, but I find no Christmas inspiration in driving to a forest, which used to be my grocery store parking lot and haggling with a tattooed guy named Zeke, over a languishing live tree. That’s how I got to be standing in Sears deciding between the Colorado Blue Sprucelle, the Austrian Fine Pine and the Forever Foil Fir, their botanical and mechanical distinctions, described to me by Len, who sold me my car battery last Spring. “The Blue Spruce folds up like so,” he says. I’m sold. I never did fold up my Spruce though. You see we store it in the garage wrapped in a sheet. It doubles as a Halloween ghost. And it’s been hit by the car so many times, it’s starting to look like one of Zeke’s trees. Each year my husband and sons wrestle it from the garage, around to the backyard and in through the double doors. If videotaped at just the right angle, it looks like they’ve hauled it in from the woods. // As long as the cords don’t show. See, I store it with the lights left on. I won’t untangle Christmas lights. I’ve seen my husband do it. He ends up zapped and bloodied. The lights always win. Don’t get me wrong. I love the holidays… especially the meals. We eat by candlelight. Then the kids don’t notice that the hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls that I call “Children Nestled Snug” for Christmas Eve, are also “Wrapped Mummies” on Halloween. If the food coloring takes, they’ll be “Patriotic Pigs” for July Fourth. I’ve learned from a master — a friend who can shape Rice Krispies treats for any holiday. Her rendition of Martin Luther King is particularly fetching. I may be a fake, but I’m not a liar. One year I wrote an honest and newsy Christmas letter. Friends responded with referrals for good family psychiatric care. So now I just send a picture — the result of 240 exposures shot to find one where no child is picking or scratching. I’ve read all the tips for honing holiday tradition. I say, why spring for Nutcracker tickets when TV Guide is teeming with treasures — White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, Jerry Springer’s Christmas Spectacular. There we’ll huddle, hot cocoas in hands, watching Puff Daddy’s Pleasin’ Holidays, making memories. One year my mom came for Christmas. I put on quite a show. I put candles in the window, sang carols at the spinet and cooked using eggs. I videotaped the whole thing. Now if Martha Stewart’s operatives infiltrate my pseudo-celebrations, I can prove that I make Spritz cookies and collect pinecones. I do have friends who are the real deal. You know who you are. You hang live garland in your bathrooms. You collect recipes for wassail. And you’ve memorized all twelve verses to “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” I’ll make you a deal. I’ll never mention Zeke’s tongue pierce. I’ll never dollop Cool Whip on your Buche de Noel. And I’ll never again tell your children that the twelfth day of Christmas brings twelve flying monkeys. If you would please, PLEASE tell my husband that I’m hoping for Diamondoids under the tree. You’d think that this foolery would leave me a woman of leisure. Hardly. I’m busy this holiday season. Unbelievably busy. I’m scrubbing last year’s artificial snow off the couch, disfiguring Pillsbury pie crust to look like homemade, scouring cookbooks for Cheez Whiz recipes and editing bodily noises out of our family Christmas video. Which leaves no time for a Spam Yule Log. OOPS… Gotta go… my Blue Spruce is melting.

Jean Reidy (1 Posts)


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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!


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