December Meltdowns

Twas several days before Christmas and all through the land, women lay weeping while  husbands were sleeping instead of giving a helping hand.  

The hours spent toiling and baking galore, nothing it seems was too big a chore.  She glances at her husband whose snoring grew louder, as he rolled right over to instantly crowd her.  She leapt out of bed and yelled “I’m finished, I’m done.  This Christmas it seems is not a lot of fun.”  Morning came early, so early it seemed.

The gifts, the cards, the decorating you see, the responsibility for that is all on me.  And I gazed at the pile of gifts to wrap as Tom sat in his chair taking a long winter’s nap.  I fumed, I steamed, I was furious you see, but I calmed down a little as I looked at my tree.  I took a deep breath, and sat down instead, and picked up the newspaper and here’s what it said:

Page 2 of the Saturday/Sunday Wall Street Journal, December 12-13

“SLOPPY WRAPPING CAN MAKE FOR BETTER GIFTS”  Jessica Rixom, assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Nevada, Reno led a study on the impact of neat vs sloppy gift wrapping.  The researchers conducted three experiments and all three with diverse groups of people found that the sloppily wrapped packages delivered more satisfaction to the recipient.  Why?  Because they lowered expectations.  The same gift, one wrapped neatly and one wrapped sloppily.  The neatly wrapped packages led to higher expectations about the gift and disappointment.  I was ecstatic!  No more excuses from Tom about not knowing how to wrap, therefore he couldn’t possibly wrap.  Now with him wrapping the gifts  for our family, they  would elicit low expectations and everyone would be much happier with the gift.  Manna from heaven.

I went over to Tom, threw the paper in his lap, “wake up” I said, you’re done with your nap.  The despair on his face was plain to see, as he walked into the room and saw gifts meant for me.

I grabbed a glass of eggnog, sat down by my tree, what a wonderful season this turned out to be.

I do have to give Tom credit for putting up the outside lights.  He doesn’t enjoy it but he does it.  He even helped a neighbor’s wife put up their outdoor lights as her husband refused to do it.  In fact when Tom went into their house to look for him, he found him sitting in a chair muttering “I hate Christmas, I hate Christmas.”   Whatever you celebrate this year I hope you have a wonderful Holiday and a happy, vaccinated New Year!

9 thoughts on “December Meltdowns

  1. Marie Rice says:

    I loved your story. It seems the same at our house where we dont do outside lights because Jim cant get up on the ladder that easily. No tree either. Hard to do when you are just alone. But I decorated the house, have cookies baking and carols playing so there will be some spirit alive. Packages wrapped and mailed. I love to wrap, but not mail. Whatever, it is Xmas and as you said 2021 will be better. Shelter in Grace.
    Marie

  2. Rosi says:

    I’ve NEVER seen soooo many houses decorated w/ CHRISTMAS LIGHTS🎄in our housing area. It’s a happy sight to see! 🎉The HOA has even got a contest going and wonderful prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, & 3rd. Our yearly boat parade on the river was canceled and yet a couple of boat owners decorated their boats and spread some cheer🎉🎊. So much kindness near and dear! While we will be in a “stay at home” we are thankful for All in our life👍🏼. I’ll be drinking my eggnog with a cheer and perhaps dance a little to the tune “ It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”🎄

    God Bless🌟 Merry Christmas & Happy 2021
    Love & Hugs
    R & R 🍷🍷

    • Stevie says:

      I do think people are going all out this year. Almost every house on our street has put up lights, that hasn’t happened before. There was a hole where our neighbor hadn’t gotten lights up until Tom pitched in to help but now it looks great. Merry Christmas to you too!

  3. Susan says:

    The first year we were married, Chuck wrapped all my presents in the funny papers!
    Another year when we went to visit his parents, he forgot my presents at home, so I got little boxes with written hints as to what the present was going to be. So now I do all the wrapping.

  4. Jan Fawcett says:

    Merry Christmas Tom and Stevie!
    I always enjoy reading things you have written. We did a lot of outdoor decorating this year. The fence, pergola and gazebo all have garland, lights and ornaments. We even have Christmas carols playing outdoors in the evening. I wonder if it drives our only neighbor nuts. Don’t know why we did it. I think it was truly just for me this year as no one will be coming here! Can’t wait for the vaccine!
    Hope you have a very Merry Christmas! Stay healthy! Virtual hugs, Jan

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