Posts Tagged ‘Ornament Wars’

Christmas Separated

December 18, 2008

Yeah, this is going to feel a bit weird.  This will be the first Christmas that I’m on my own…ever.

Girl Child is doing a stellar job of trying to support both her mom and me.  She is, admittedly, a bit conflicted about how best to do so.  I have tried to minimize pressure on her by suggesting that, “Christmas is not just a day, it’s a shared moment… whenever you and I can share that moment, that will be our Christmas.”  Which will likely mean that she’ll spend Christmas Day with her mom.  And, honestly?  I am good with that.  I’ve made a life choice to maximize my potential for happiness in the long run.  Yet, as said in the opening line, this will be a bit weird. 

Still, I want to try and have Christmas.  I may not be in the holiday mood (I’m not, really), but at least wanted some of the trappings to help me get there.

But… 

No trappings.  Other than a new ornament bought on a whim and some Santa placemats, I had nothing holiday-ish.

I had to go back home to [scary music swells] The Spouse and get some of the Christmas decorations. 

On the advice of many friends, I didn’t give her much warning of my intentions.  Rather, I called about an hour before I wanted to be there.  I knew that Daughter Person would be out that evening (getting her CPR certification, the little life saver).  This would avoid having that bit of extra emotional impact on hand.  I also knew The Spouse would be highly unlikely to be otherwise occupied [biting my tongue here to avoid saying “…sitting around doing not much of anything…” – – damn!  Said it anyway…] so I figured I could avoid some drama.  Surprised The Spouse with my request, but she said to come on over. 

One of the first things she asked, in a rather accusatory tone, when I got there was, “Did you tell Girl Child we were doing this?”  

I replied (I think gently), “No, I knew that she was at CPR class and thought this the best time.”

She countered, a bit vitriolic, “So, you were going to leave it to me to tell her?” 

[blink…blink…blink…]

<heavy sigh>   

No clue, but thought it best to let it go and not engage in a useless fuss.  I’m thinking that my refusal to rise to argue set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Dragged all the Christmas boxes down to the living room and started through them one by one.  Most of the non-ornament stuff we could easily split… stuff that was her family’s or given to her by her family and vice versa.  Then there was the stuff we bought together over the years.  Except in very few cases, those were equitably split. 

Then, the ornaments – – –

Oy!  This would be difficult.  Again, some were family.  I laid claim to my Mom’s ornaments right away.  The Spouse didn’t fuss.  Likewise, there were a couple from her family… yep, take ‘em. 

The rest?  I used a technique that worked out well when my siblings and I were splitting up mom’s stuff (albeit we were not at odds with each other).  Whatever was wanted by both of us was put on the dining room table [GnuKid’s hackles rise still that she got the dining room table… grrr].  Kid’s ornaments… ornaments with stories attached (e.g., the manatee ornament)… ornaments from places lived (e.g., a White House commemorating a job I held near Washington DC)… all on the table.  Then, deferring to her to take the first turn, we then went back and forth picking out favorites…

I thought there’d still be issues and tears, but it went amazingly well.  Okay, I did cheat some… whenever an ornament came out of the box and she expressed interest, I claimed interest too even if I hated the thing.  Figured she’d use a turn to claim it and that’d leave me more ornaments I really wanted to choose from.   

When done?  I got a lot more than expected.  Had to leave a few I really liked behind, but got some I truly wanted… including a crèche scene with Christmas Kangaroo…

There was one that neither of us wanted.  A spun fabric ornament with some sappy Hallmark verse on one side and on the other side?   “Couple’s First Christmas” 

I took it…not as one of my picks… just to get it out of sight.

So… what to do with it?  And, before you say it, I’m sure it would fit up there, but may need lubrication.

Some ideas I had or were given to me?   

          Hang it on the back of the tree, upside down (sort of like the international signal for distress by flying the flag upside down)

          Have a party and ceremoniously burn it

          Put it on e-Bay in hopes that there’s some poor couple out there who married the same year we did and are looking for “just the right remembrance” of their special day (just as I’m looking for “just the right forgetfulness”).

 

Advertisement