Holiday Hostage Negotiations


The sound of euphoric, post-Christmas completion; heavy sigh, unwrapping “borrowed” chocolate from a child’s stocking, and the first bite of hard-earned relaxation.

I’m one of those dreaded Type-A who insist on un-decking the halls as soon as the last guest’s taillight disappear from sight. “It was nice to see you, Aunt Betty – now scram so I can stuff all this cheer back into the Rubbermaid before the twinkling lights and dancing Santa drive me to Betty Ford!”

Some say I’m a tad Scrooge-ish, but consider this – I’m the go-to for all things holiday in my house. Hubby helps, the kids reign in the whining, BUT I’M IT! So before casting judgment, peek at my month of mirth.

November 26: Lug turkey-bloated family to tree farm, select perfect tree, argue about said tree long enough for gentle snow to intensify to face-numbing hale, chop tree with dull saw, struggle to recall date of last tetanus shot, strap down tree with aged bungee cords, pray for uneventful (read: flying tree) drive home.

December 15: Begin Operation Wrap, Bake, and Tastefully Decorate. WBTD.

December 20: Abandon WBTD for gift bags, Mrs. Smith’s, and Inflatable Snowman.

December 25: Enjoy family, friends, and excessive cookies.

December 26: TIMBER! Tree gone, Frosty deflated, return to “normalcy.”

Why so quick to drag Greensleeves to the garbage dump? Simple – the week between Christmas and New Year’s morphs from a seven-day stretch of relaxation into an explosion of activity in a blink, if I delay… Easter Bush.

This year, I implemented a new plan, a de-holiday mandate demanding complete family participation. In basic terms, I held my husband and kids hostage: no rides to the movies, no play dates, no ESPN until the last trace of Christmas was stowed for next year.

Worked like a charm…if you consider this charming:


Next year, I’m suggesting a cruise.


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