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A Christmas Convert

Well, over the last month Andra has made much out of the fact that I, MTM, was rather Grinch-like in my pre-Andra days. It is true that I had but two modest Christmas decorations then; certainly not the two-trees-worth I now share with Andra. It might be tempting to read between the lines of recent posts to conclude that I have suddenly embraced or am at least empathetic to the outpouring of ornaments that now adorn our home.

The truth is that I have been seduced not by sultry Santa stampings or alluring icicle adornments; it is the the temptations of Tradition that have taken hold of this tempered soul and transformed me into a Christmas convert. This is a much harder admission for someone whose ethic has long skewed to the progressive and modern…or as Andra has put it so often and honorably: Modernist Minimalist MTM.

To claim a tradition risks an admission of sentimentality; a difficult admission, especially for me. But here we are, ALW and MTM ensconced in the same hotel room, in the same northern city, doing the same thing we have done every year for the past ten (which conveniently corresponds to every year we have been in each other’s lives). Is this reiteration a force of habit, a lack of creativity or a fear of the unkown? I am confident that is not the case, as nearly every day of our marriage is embraced as a new revelation. Our extensive travels represent a kind of rootlessness, an antithesis to tradition. So what is it about this recurring Christmas custom we have to come to Montreal and cocoon in the cold and snow?

In my mind, ours is not a rejection of traditions we have been born into, whether they be expectant family gatherings or reverential rituals. Rather, I believe our coming to Quebec is a commemoration of our discoveries in common. That first Noël we shared was not intended to be an adventure, nor was it truly pregnant with the expectation that this would be a world-changing event, but nevertheless it changed us both. Or changed us into Both.

From that point forward we would always be Us, rather than her and him. As we learn new things everyday, things about each other and about the world, we do so together. And that has become our tradition. It is about more than the memories we share, it is about the discoveries we will make and the challenges we will conquer.

Notwithstanding all the memories attached to the ornaments that weigh down our trees back in Charleston, we are here and now celebrating our own Christmas tradition of looking to dreams of tomorrow and the new horizon that is still out there, continually receding as we hopefully charge towards it.

And so I have come to learn that the two ornaments that represented my Christmas tradition for so many years were one too many; it is my gift to have the one and only Andra by my side on this journey into the unknown. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

christmas gift

This post is part of the series Roll Out the Holly, about the stories Christmas ornaments can conjure. Click here to read the series from the beginning.

Merry Christmas Everyone

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May your Christmas Day be twinkly and shiny. You continue to enrich my life. Thank you for spending time here. Merry Christmas, Everyone!

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This post is part of the series Roll Out the Holly, about the stories Christmas ornaments can conjure. Click here to read the series from the beginning.

Seduced by a Squirrel

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A pom-pom squirrel. It decorated one of the first baby gifts awaiting my grand debut. I don’t know what was inside the box. Most likely, it moldered away in a forgotten landfill long ago.

Squirrelly has remained. A stalwart first friend. A fixture of my whole life. Every year, I unwrap him. Kiss him. Release him for a few short weeks to preen at the top of our big tree.

What does it say about me that my true oldest friend is a squirrel made of yarn and some ribbon?

Happy Christmas Eve!

For more about good friends:

He’s Super Human: Lou Mello

Into the Unknown: Lori O’Leary

Model Trains, Drugs and Thanks for Michael Carnell

This post is part of the series Roll Out the Holly, about the stories Christmas ornaments can conjure. Click here to read the series from the beginning.

 

The Marital Cock Block

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You know a cock block, right? It’s that thing that happens when you’re trying to score a little something-something, only somebody comes up and says something really embarrassing or stupid in front of your target.

“Hey, Man, did you ever get that conviction for pedophilia wiped off your record?”

Or

“Dude, your wife’s outside in the parking lot. Just wanted to give you a heads up.”

At some point in our whole Christmas vomit process, MTM threw me a cock block of sorts. Instead of complaining about the glitter and the sequins, the twinkles and the shine, he embraced it. With gusto.

I know the moment it happened. He saw these slinky icicles in a store, and he bought them for himself for me. When I opened them, my face quivering between “WTF is it?” and “I love it. You shouldn’t have.”, he ripped the box out of my hands and demonstrated their worth.

“They stretch. And, they wiggle when they hang from a branch. See? SEE?”

He jumped up and down beside the tree, over the moon with himself and his ornaments, and I lost control of Christmas vomit. His cock block would cause negotiations about everything: where to put the tree; how to place each bauble with perfection; what to do to attain the proper proportion of matte and shine.

I even tried to downplay the importance of decorating the very next year. “We’re going to be gone for half the month, MTM. What’s the point of dragging all that out?”

But, he was already in the attic, ripping open boxes and greeting ornaments like they were bosom buddies.

I think he kissed the slinky icicles. He probably still does.

To read more about MTM the urban designer/architect:

A Coda for my Architect

How to Wound the Architect Spouse

Help! I’m Married to an Architect!

This post is part of the series Roll Out the Holly, about the stories Christmas ornaments can conjure. Click here to read the series from the beginning.

Click the Cootchie and Win a Sexy Prize

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The identity of today’s ornament is a Cootchie contest.

Answer this question in a comment: What is the red rectangle near the top of our little tree?

The winner will receive this lovely Finnish lady to give some cheer next holiday season.

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For previous Cootchie contests:

It Doesn’t Often Snow at Christmas

Show Me the Money!

It’s Weird. It’s Strange. It’s a Christmas Song?

This post is part of the series Roll Out the Holly, about the stories Christmas ornaments can conjure. Click here to read the series from the beginning.

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