Commentary: Here's to holiday craziness

The (Tacoma) News TribuneDecember 23, 2010 

Forget the Three French Hens.

This is the Week of Roosting Chickens, when forgotten details and unfilled promises come home to give me the beady, baleful stare.

Forget anticipation. These last few days before Christmas are all about the deadline.

And I hate deadlines.

I come from multiple long lines of people to whom they were an alien concept.

In Christmas pageants at school – yes, thank you, I am that old – we siblings were the reindeer shedding their jingle bells because the glue on our costumes wasn’t dry yet.

At home on Christmas Eve, our dad was the guy rooting around the basement for the box of Christmas lights Santa would need when he flew in that night to put up the tree. Our family made Santa work extra hard, and, judging by what we heard him say, he was not pleased about that.

For us, Christmas was like sledding into a snowbank – fraught with potential disaster and way too thrilling at the end.

It’s a hard habit to break.

To this day, I think big, and get started late.

This means I occasionally shade the truth to my friends at the grocery checkout.

“Do you have your tree up?” Beckie asked Saturday at Summit Trading.

“Yep,” I replied.

Technically, it was true.

We’d cut it the previous weekend, elated to find a grand fir with no back and lots of space between branches. It’s a look we got used to over decades of forays into national forests the weekend after everyone else had cut all the good trees.

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