Life happens: Oh yes, this Christmas will be different

By Aprill Brandon
Dec. 20, 2012 at 6:20 a.m.
Updated Dec. 23, 2012 at 6:23 a.m.

It never fails.

Every single December, I tell myself - "Yes, this year will be different. This year will be the year I have the most perfect Christmas ever! So perfect I'll make Mrs. Claus look like a chump!"

And then, every single December, my plans crumble like the crappy, store-bought Christmas cookies I got in lieu of actually baking some from scratch like I planned because I ran out of time.

I can never quite pinpoint where it all goes wrong. I mean, I technically don't start acknowledging Christmas until Dec. 1 out of spite that the season now starts in March. But still, that gives me roughly 24 days to do crap. And I always start out with the best intentions and extremely detailed plans.

For example, the outside of my house will look like one of those YouTube videos of Christmas lights that are set to the music of Mannheim Steamroller. Meanwhile, the inside will look like a snowglobe vomited all over my house (but, you know, in a good way).

All gifts will be thoughtfully hand-picked, purchased, wrapped beautifully and shipped out by Dec. 15.

I will actually take a humorous photo of myself, my husband and my dog (you know, where I'm drinking a martini, my husband is stuffing his face with fruitcake and Buffy is, I don't know, taking a poo or something), send it someplace where they magically turn it into a Christmas card and send those out in a timely fashion (i.e. before June).

I will go out and cut down my own Christmas tree, a 14-foot-tall freaking Douglas or Steven or Brent fir, from the woods with my own ax-wielding bare hands.

I will go through and gather all clothes and assorted items we no longer need/want and donate them to charity to make room for all the shiny, new gifts we get.

I will finally make cookies or a pie or bootleg Christmas hooch made fresh in my tub for my neighbors and actually remember to give it to them.

I'll finally throw that epic Christmas party!

And, most importantly, I will set aside time to go out and do Christmas-y stuff, like ice skating or the city tree lighting ceremony or caroling or anything involving not drinking eggnog alone in my house to Bing Crosby.

And yet, so far, this year is turning out like every other Christmas. Ahem.

Our house is currently the dark, creepy one on the block that looks like the place where Christmas carolers enter but never come back out.

The inside does actually have festive decorations up. However, the vast majority of them are currently held together and/or attached to the wall by highly visible duct tape.

As of right now, a total of four gifts have been purchased, all so far for my husband, who knows exactly four of them.

Hmm. Where is my camera again? I own a camera, right?

Our tree is once again the very fake, very cheap, very misshapen (because fluffing it just seems like too much work) tree I've been using the past several years because, as it turns out, asking your average salesperson where they keep their axes sends out some not-so-subtle red flags. Plus, like, I'm pretty sure cutting down your own tree involves walking and junk.

As for organizing and getting rid of stuff, I still have a suitcase from a trip in August I have yet to unpack. In fact, it has become my de facto drawer for "kinda clean" clothes.

What the heck are the names of my neighbors again? Daniel and Sue? Mark and Peggy? Dennis and Denise? Ah, screw it.

If I do have a Christmas party, will people expect to be able to use the bathroom? Because I can't remember the last time I cleaned it and, like, I don't know, why does it fall on me to have a party? What? Like they can't host a party? Ugh.

But at least I always have eggnog. And Bing Crosby.

And eggnog.

Lots of eggnog.

Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at



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