A Moment of Dark Humor...

Yeah, I laugh about all this stuff now...hope it gives you a weird little chuckle also...

The Christmas Tree

We always had the same Christmas tree when I was going up with my a-parents...My a-mom found it in the town dump (our version of Wal-Mart) and always thought it was one of the best finds of her entire life. It was one of those trees from the 60's that basically looked like it was made from pipe cleaners and wire.  She thought that if she laid enough tinsel on it that it magically looked 'real'....child cynic I was,it always just looked like a pile of tinsel on a very fake tree to me.

My a-dad made no bones about the fact that he hated Christmas, particulary since the tree had to be by the TV (no matter how little money we had, he made sure we had cable, that way, he wouldn't miss wrestling). He'd be doing is weird little squat in his Laz-e-boy (how apt) every Christmas before the kids got downstairs, waiting to pounce. ..Because he just KNEW we would stand in front of 'his' TV.

Every year since I could remember he made a little game of throwing the entire Christmas tree out into the yard. Sometimes he'd wait until the gifts were opened, sometimes he'd start out the festivities with the annual 'tree toss'. A few times he also threw the gifts out into the snow...but as we usually just got things like socks, we were able to easily retrieve them and go onto our Christmas lunch of canned ham.

Without fail, my a-mom would be in tears because her 'beautiful' tree was out in the yard. All the 'exquisite' ornaments she had collected from the Salvation Army store and various 'free-please take' boxes would be broken. My brother and I would be put in charge of gathering what tinsel we could from the snow drifts and drying it out to be used next year.

As we got to be young teens, when Christmas would roll around, my brother and I would make bets on exactly on far into Christmas day the tree would last.  The loser had to haul in buckets of coal. When I was 15, the tradition changed, forever.

My a-mom managed to somehow gather only plastic ornaments during her summer scavaging expeditions, and had cleverly wired them to the tree, We were unaware of this because she was the only one allowed to decorate it, the children were to 'stupid' to do it correctly.

When the tree toss came, the expression on a-mom's face was happy...she waited for a-dad to come back in and squat on his chair then cheerfully walked out into the snow and retrieved the tree. Some tinsel was missing and badly ruffled, but ALL the ornaments were INTACT,. She triumphantly thrust it back into the tree holder with a loud "HA!".

A-dad was strangely quiet for a moment.

A-mom looked at him and said, "I wired it with all plastic ornaments this year, asshole."

A-dad was quiet again.

Then he said, "Touche, Sandra, touche." He was strangely calm the rest of the day.

When next Christmas rolled around, he didn't even move from his chair until lunch, although he did do some profanity laced ranting, which was pretty normal. Risking death later that night, my brother asked if he would be throwing the tree anytime soon (wagers had been made after all).

A-dad said, rather sadly, "No. That woman went and took all the thrill out of it last year."





When it comes to Christmas-related memories, I tend to remember the more darker parts of my life, so I really enjoyed reading your post.  I almost went into one my delightful coughing, wheezing, laughing/asthma attacks over this little gem:

one of those trees from the 60's that basically looked like it was made from pipe cleaners and wire.  She thought that if she laid enough tinsel on it that it magically looked 'real'....

I called my a.mother's version of that same spectacle "The Christmas Umbrella".  She'd have my adad assemble it and place it in the corner of the living room that boasted a thick shag carpet rich in all sorts of gold, orange, and brown fall-foliage colors and seating that came in the form of two love seats covered in a fabric that could only be described as "plaid burlap".  The "tree" was placed on a hard suitcase, which got lifted on one side so the "tree" when completed, would not tilt and fall from the weight of the world's thickest gold garland and gajillions of large and smalls ornaments she personally placed to make the "tree" look uhhh... "special".

When I was little, I loved all the flashy colors, (it was the only time of the year we had anything remotely bright and cheerful in that room/house) but with each year, came more and more ornaments.   By the time I was 10 or 11, I could not understand how/why she thought her finished product looked very classy.  All I knew was one simple rule:  oooh and ahhh when her final product was presented, or God-Dammit, the entire Christmas Season WILL BE RUINED.

On the very rare occasions I was allowed to have a friend come over during that magical time of the year, I'd make sure that friend got my "on-the-floor" tour of the Christmas Umbrella.  [Like you, no kids were allowed to touch her decorated splendor, so half the fun was making sure no object on or near the tree got moved or touched in any single way.  I swore, if something was moved even a millimeter, she would notice the change and then complain to my dad that I was found "snooping".]

So, on a really good day, (meaning I was allowed a friend over, and my mother was upstairs sleeping, ( a Christmas miracle, itself...), we'd lay on the urine-smelling shag carpet,  scoot ourselves underneath the "tree", and lay in awe and amazement: one half of the "tree" was covered with all this crap, and the other half was nothing but large thick green wire pipe-cleaners with three "branches" that looked more like green forks than any tree I had ever seen.  It was a vision to behold, and not one that was easy to believe.  [My finale, at the end of the tour, was showing the suitcase, with the wood shims underneath it... explaining everything behind my parental's Christmas Magic.]

Years later, the umbrella was passed-onto my non-biologic brother.  I'm not sure if he got the suitcase.

When I got married, I swore in agreement with hub-man, "We will only have REAL trees in our house at Christmas time, and each year our kids will help decorate."  [Yes... I made sure he was one of the friends who got The Tour...]

Tinsel Makes Me Barf....

I won't even touch a package of it in a store.

I have a 7 (almost 8 year old) and a 14 month old....Starting last year, the oldest has pretty much taken over Christmas tree decorating. I just follow his oders when it comes to the tallest branchs, and he picked out the light up star for the top when he was in kindergarten. It's super colorful and somewhat cheesy...I can see why he wanted it.

All of the little things he has made at school are included, paper candy canes and pom-pom bears...my favorites are the foam frames with pictures of him. And I make sure there's lots of candy, lots and lots of candy. Every flavor of candy cane, balls full of Nerds and fancy wrapped chocolate ornaments from Germany. It gives me a secret thrill when he asks if he can have some 'tree candy'. The bare spots show he's having a good time. His little friends run in and out with him for 'raids' in between playing.

I had always planned on ONLY having real trees when I was an adult....but my husband is incredibly allergic to them. I can't even have flowers in the house. I remedied that by buying an actual 'high end' fake tree'....still doesn't look real, but it doesn't cause a flash-back.

My brother (he is non-biologic, but we are close, I think it comes from being fellow prisoners) owns a large farm and takes his kids out to cut a tree from the property each year. They get to pick, no matter how ugly, squat or deformed, it's their tree. His daughter is known to put her 'My Little Ponies' on as decorations.

funny family traditions

Mine are 14, 11 and two 7 years olds, so we are finally approaching the years where the tree will start looking decent again.

My favorite ornamants are the big paper ones the little ones made in the early grades.  The more pathetic and lame it looks, the more I really like it.

I really like relinquishing the tree-decorating to them.  Considering it was never my job in the first place, it's fitting my kids have taken over my parent's role in that regard.

One area I cannot stand them near me is my baking station.

God save the little heathen who wants to mess-up my Christmas baking days.  I try to let them have a day where they can bake and decorate the cookies as they wish, but the mess they make, it really drives me insane.

Only in my kitchen and cooking do I get REALLY anal!

... <laughing>...  if you knew how unorganized/sloppy my kitchen was, you'd find that anal comment that much more twisted and funny.

In my next life I'm coming back as a man with no mental issues with mothers, women, or family.


I have not celebrated

I have not celebrated Christmas since I was 9 till present date. As a child in foster care I learned that most adults were full of shit ...so to me that meant their holidays and all were bullshit. I have tried for as long as I can remember not to be like those around me. To me celebrating these things made me feel like I was one of them. And that made me feel dirty and disgusted. Besides animals don't celebrate Christmas... And that was how I viewed my self for years... as that is what the system brain washed me into thinking... Now days I just don't care. I see it as people pick that time of the year to do their good deeds... while the rest of the year they are calling CPS on each other, killing, suing, degrading others... Christmas was the only time people were some what kind to me.. the rest of the year it was kicks to the teeth, garbage thrown at me, insults... calling the cops on me for trying to bum enough change to eat as I was starving... As a child, and even now some what I loath people to no end. I know it's not right but after 20 years of life with these insane people that is about all I learned from them.... and anyone who offers help is not doing it out of kindness. Especially males.. they offer help... but they want sex for that help.. no matter if your male or female.. that is just the way it is.

But I have decorated trees at city hall....at Christmas.... with toilet paper and Vaseline..

Ever try to take frozen toilet paper and Vaseline out of a tree  or off your car?

Ho ho ho...

"A Festivus for the rest-of-us!"

Here Big Guy, I offer you something to consider this year for yourself....



That was amazing!

"I can be changed by what happens to me, I refuse to be reduced by it." M.A.
One Step Up From Bottom

Why did you people all have

Why did you people all have such shitty families?! My A-parents were the best about Christmas....the whole thing is like a 2 week lead up of caroling, baking cookies, a gingerbread house contest where everyone wins a "Best of This or That" ribbon, numbered Christmas gifts so you can't peek/shake/smell your gifts, Christmas Eve gumbo, decorating.....etc. My AMom always took time out to take each of us out alone to get some 1-on-1 time while we shopped for the others in the fam. Amom and Adad would always talk about how they loved us and wanted to make sure that we always said, year after year that the current year was the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER. After I grew up, it was always, "You coming home just absolutely made Christmas perfect". It's gotten so that as an AA who lives 800 miles from her AP's, I can't even feel like it's Christmastime until I'm within 60 miles of home.

Contrast to my Birth fam...the one holiday I tried to spend with them pretty much consisted of me being awkward, them being awkward, and then me getting told that they really didn't like me very much. It was ok, I didn't like them either.

Idk, guys, but I'm sorry your experiences really sucked. I hope that as adults, you're making your own Christmas traditions and living them to the absolute fullest. I hope your Christmases are full of love, laughter, warmth, and the families you've created. Sometimes family isn't who you're born to, who you're adopted by...it's who you choose to be family with.

Why, indeed

Why did you people all have such shitty families?!

That's a really good question, why ARE children put in shitty foster/adoptive families?

Sometimes family isn't who you're born to, who you're adopted by...it's who you choose to be family with.

Sadly, for many, it takes more than a single life-time/generation to realize one does not have to stay in a mad-crazy relationship.  In fact, contrary to the scary warnings and threats made by those seeking constant control, the victim of abuse does have the right to walk-away from cruel abusive chaos.  The victim of dysfunction does have the right to make the choice:  stay with the controlling crazies, or be around/among kind, respectful (non-dysfunctional) people.  Unfortunately, these legal rights are given to adults, not children under the age of 18.

I know in my own case, for many decades I felt as though I had no choice but endure the negativity, the deprivations, and the criticisms, and make due with what I had in my hostile unhappy home.  In fact, I think this type of trapped, limited-thinking is one of the worst consequences that comes from gross family dysfunction.   [Keep in mind, victims are victims because the cry "No!" is not heard, it's not honored, and it's not respected.]

My own not-so-grateful childhood experience taught me children put in shitty foster/adoptive homes need to know it is more than OK to say no to dysfunction and abuse.  This lesson needs to be taught and supported, otherwise how else is a victim of shitty home-life going to feel confident and worthy enough to choose better quality people in his or her life?

Pound Pup Legacy