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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Getting into the holiday spirit

Mike Morin

Is it 2012 yet?

I guess I shouldn’t rush the holiday season, should I? After all, I’m just now getting my Christmas shopping started while many of you were finished by July when the Hallmark stores begin rolling out the Santa figurines and barking dogs musical greeting cards.

I know. I should savor every parking space battle and every cranky sales clerk I encounter. It’s my own fault. I don’t lay blame. I’m just a guy, and most of us men don’t do Christmas very well. Luckily Barbara understands that and accepts most of the heavy lifting this time of year.

I’m just not good at Christmas preparations. A week ago, we spent Sunday untangling strings of unfamiliar lights for our matching front porch pines. I opened a bag of lights I didn’t recognize.

“Were these your lights in a previous life, Barbie?” I asked. “I’ve never seen these. I thought your ex got these along with the rolltop desk in the settlement.”

Nevertheless, I tried spiraling them around one of the pines until I realized instead they were hanging icicle-type roof light strands that aren’t meant for shrubbery.

Then I pulled out two more strings of lights that I thought I lost with the living room lamps in my divorce. Had Lady Baba and I played our cards right, we might have had another full room of furniture instead of six strings of Christmas lights. The lights I was awarded in the decree wrapped perfectly around the mini evergreens, and we were off to buy a fresh Christmas tree.

That same morning, I found a piece of last year’s tree under the sofa, complete with needles and decided I would buy one of those Christmas tree cadaver bags that you pull over the tree after the holidays so you can give it a decent transfer station burial. Trouble is, my spruce-on-steroids is too tall for the bags. We usually get a tree that’s between 8 and 9 feet high. The first bag was 85 inches high (7 feet, 1 inch). Later that day, I found a bag that was 90 inches (7 feet, 6 inches). The package says it holds a tree with a circumference of 144 inches. I gave my forehead a Christmas tree acupuncture treatment trying to reach around it with my tape measure.

Since we have a vaulted ceiling and buy very tall trees, I enjoy taking my life in my hands every year, balancing on chairs, bar stools and Fisher Price baby furniture trying to reach the top branches with lights and ornaments. The tree usually stays up in the stand when I remember to tie a string to the truck and hook it to the wall.

One year I forgot, and it collapsed 10 minutes after I topped it with the angel.

Speaking of ornaments, I’m still mourning my 1984 Detroit Tigers World Series commemorative glass bulb that I dropped and broke two seasons ago. Or did I lose that with the table lamps?

Hear Mike Morin weekdays from 5-10 a.m. on “New Hampshire in the Morning” on 95.7 WZID. Contact him at Heymikey@aol.com. His column runs the first, third and fifth Tuesdays of the month.