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The Family Stone

I love that movie.

The ideal of our wonderful, quirky, unconventional, vibrant family members all returning to the rambling ancestral home for a Holiday full of shared memories, good food, chaos and an abundance of love is one we all aspire to.

Perhaps it is this concept that sustains me through the run up to Christmas and all the manic, frantic, stressful preparations that are necessary to preserve our own family traditions. This year I was adamant that Mufasa was going to be MORE involved and I extracted a promise that we would do everything TOGETHER to share the load (ie. lighten mine.)

We got off to a great start with a lovely romantic outing to purchase the Christmas tree but the minute we got it home and secured in the stand everything turned to S*@%.

As he stood back to admire the beauty of it’s shape, Mufasa glanced out of the back window and was reminded that he needed to cut down a bunch of overhanging branches that were threatening to cause damage to the exterior and that was that. Yet again I found myself ALONE doing the job I HATE more than any other on this earth  (untangling strings of tree lights) while Mufasa drove off gleefully to the job he LOVES more than any other on this earth (trawling the isles of Home Depot in search of the perfect tools for the job.) THREE HOURS LATER he returned with a broom and ten boxes of light bulbs???????????? and went on to spend the REST OF THE DAY massacring my beautiful trees and piling up branches down the side of the house (where they will no doubt remain until April when he will finally muster the energy to move them to the curb for collection.) If you detect a trace of bitterness in this blog you would be correct; I AM FURIOUS. But what sort of wife complains about her husband spending hours of his time battling overgrowth so that we don’t have to pay the gardener to do it? I just can’t help feeling that he deliberately chose to execute this task on the very day I needed his help with other stuff and WTF are all those light bulbs for?

When Rockstar & Genius arrived home last night I’m sure they were seriously impressed with us. The house was beautifully decorated and PACKED with a ton of our wonderful, vibrant, quirky and unconventional friends drinking mulled wine and eating my homemade mince pies (an English tradition that I had decided to resurrect after a ten year hiatus due to being too busy fighting with tree lights.) They didn’t notice that it’s now impossible to access the garden from the left as there is a ten-foot pile of branches blocking the way, nor did they notice that the outside lights are STILL not working. (AH HA! Perhaps that’s what the light bulbs are for, however they are still in plastic bags in the garage.)

After all the guests departed Rockstar looked lovingly at me and said “That was an absolutely FANTASTIC evening” but before I could bask in the glory of his praise he added, “So much fun and everyone left by Eight O’clock!” Which is hilarious because it is in fact my definition of the perfect social event.

The four of us then passed a delightful couple of hours reminiscing on Christmases past; Genius dredged up one of my old Christmas letters, which he claimed, was the best EVER; he retrieved it on his iPhone and read it aloud. We all fell about laughing when he got to the bit about Mufasa claiming that changing the light bulbs on the porch was “a big job” and then we all laughed even more when we realized that the letter was written in 2009 and it is now 2013 and those light bulbs have still not been changed.

I think I’m ready to let go of my bitterness and embrace ALL of the wonderful, quirky, unconventional foibles that make OUR holidays unique. This is my family and we are Set in Stone.

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Reader Comments (1)

loved it but then I am a big fan madre

December 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermom

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