Married . WithOUT Children |

Married . WithOUT Children

Heidi Rice

“I don’t think we should do Christmas this year,” husband-head announced. “It’s all overrated and commercial, and besides, it’s too much work.”

I knew what he was doing. .

It’s not that he doesn’t like Christmas, he was just trying to get out of the whole tree trimming, lighting and holiday decorating drama of putting everything up and then taking it all down a couple of weeks later.

“Nice try, Grinch,” I told him. “Now . let’s get going – you know what has to be done first. .”

Every year at our house, the annual Christmas decorating process begins with trying to locate the big box which contains all the Christmas ornaments and assorted holiday paraphernalia. This is because every year I carefully wrap and put everything away into the box . and then promptly forget where the hell I put it. .

“Try the shed first,” I ordered husband-head. “We’ve found it in the shed before.”

“We’ve found all KINDS of things in the shed before,” he pointed out. “There are things in there that we don’t even know what they ARE . and I think some of them even used to be alive. .”

The box wasn’t in the shed so it was time to tackle the second likely place.

“Are you ready?” I looked at husband-head as I got ready to open the door of what we call “the scary closet.”

We call it that because this particular closet is so crammed full with stuff that as soon as you open the door, it all tumbles out onto your head. .

Husband-head braced himself to catch the falling debris.

After cleaning up the mess, we continued our search. We looked in the basement, under the bed, behind the refrigerator .

“BINGO!” husband-head yelled from the mud room.

The Christmas box was hidden underneath all the camping gear piled in a corner of the room.

Next was the fun part in which I unwrap the various Christmas trinkets that I haven’t seen in a year.

“LOOK! Remember these?” I asked with delight as I pulled out two gold angel stocking holders. “My mother gave us these the first year we were married!”

“Yes, she did,” husband-head agreed. “And she had your name engraved on one and left mine blank. .”

Nothing like the ol’ vote of confidence.

Still, it was better than the “Cuddly Puppies” calendar she gave him the first year we were dating. .

And while I oohed and aahed over the Christmas decorations, husband-head was busy fighting with strands and strands of lights.

First, he had to get them untangled. Then he had to plug them in and determine which of the millions of tiny little bulbs was the burnt out one that was screwing up the whole string. .

Several choice words later, he had enough working lights to put on the tree.

Now the tree is a whole other project in itself. I’m not sure what part of the tree stand holder we can’t figure out, but inevitably the tree topples over after we finish decorating it.

“Let’s just leave it like that,” husband-head said one year, looking down at the fallen tree and the ornaments strewn all over the floor.

However, we have smartened up over the years and now tie a rope around the tree and nail it to the wall . hostage-style.

“The CHRISTMAS BOX, the CHRISTMAS BOX!” husband-head sang out as we unpacked the ornaments.

I cranked up the Christmas music to drown him out.

“Police . open UP! Police . open UP!” husband-head sang his traditional rendition along with “Feliz Navidad” as he decorated. “I want to wish you a HAIRY FISHNUT! I want to wish you a HAIRY FISHNUT!”

Hours later, when we were done with all the decorating, husband-head stood back and admired our handiwork.

“I think we should leave the Christmas decorations up until Memorial Day,” he suggested.

I knew what he was doing. .

New Castle resident Heidi Rice’s column appears every Friday in the Post Independent. Visit her Web site at

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