All of a sudden, Suzi got very excited as we were listening to Jolly, which is by far the best of the SiriusXM holiday music channels we’ve listened to.
The music’s mostly up-tempo, as opposed to some channels that seem to be into Christmas dirges, and there’s good variety … important when I’m pretty sure we heard three or four different versions of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in two hours.
So what had my wife so excited?
“The 12 Pains of Christmas” came on, and she said she never gets to hear it. Sure, I think it’s best played a bit closer to Christmas, when the stress is really high, but it’s entertaining no matter when it’s on.
But how painful ARE the 12 Pains of Christmas?
1. Finding a Christmas tree.
We’ve gotten our tree from the same place for years — our basement.
Yup, we’re fake tree folks, but while finding the Christmas tree isn’t painful, for several years, putting it up was. The problem wasn’t the color-coded branches that we had to put in the “trunk,” it was that the lights were attached to them, meaning the branches were all attached to each other.
Every year, I often sounded like the guy in the next item on our list.
2. Rigging up the lights
We’re having a little bit of an issue this year with strands of lights going out on our tree, but we had a couple extras, and so we seem to have worked it out (knock on wood, or whatever our tree is made of).
In the song, the guy struggling with the lights is by far the most entertaining, as he gets progressively more and more exasperated, including shouting “ONE LIGHT GOES OUT, THEY ALL GO OUT!”
Of course, it’s entertaining because it’s not us, but one way or another, we’ve all been that guy.
I don’t drink at all, and Suzi rarely drinks, and when she does, it’s never more than one or two.
4. Sending Christmas cards
Once we sit down and do it, it’s pretty painless. In yet another example of Suzi’s superior organizational skills, she updates our list and addresses every year, divides it between the two of us and we sit at the kitchen table and knock them out.
5. Five months of bills
We don’t have kids, which helps keep our shopping list manageable, so our bills are usually sorted in January.
6. Facing my in-laws
Suzi and I get along very well with the other’s parents, and since her parents have always prioritized Christmas Eve, that’s when we see them, and we see my family Christmas Day.
To be honest, the biggest problem we’ve ever had in this regard is my fault. I decided I wanted to do the grand Christmas surprise of rolling into the driveway unannounced, but I started stressing out over wondering if they were getting anxious waiting for us. (Go ahead and sort your way through the logic on that one … I’ll wait.)
And then there’s the first year Suzi and I lived together, when we stopped at our apartment, about 45 minutes from my parents’ house, to pick up gifts early Christmas afternoon. I called my mother to tell her we were on the way, but she thought we had just left where we had been with Suzi’s parents, about two hours away.
Now I call when we leave wherever we were spending Christmas Eve with my in-laws. Works best for everyone.
7. The Salvation Army
I don’t find the bell-ringers annoying. As far as charities go, I’m partial to this one, having been a part of it for several years.
8. I wanna Transformer for Christmas!
So yeah, this song is kind of dated. My brother had Transformers as a kid, and he’s in his mid-40s now.
As for toys of any kind, we don’t have kids or any other children to buy for, so Christmas shopping is mostly about trading lists.
9. Finding parking spaces
If our cat Sasha is sitting in my spot on the couch when I’m ready to shop on my iPad, I move her.
Other than that, if we go to the mall to buy gifts once most years, it’s a lot.
10. Batteries not included
The battery on my Kindle needs recharging if I leave it unplugged for more than 24 hours or so, but other than that … .
11. Stale TV specials
And I’m curious about what Jennifer Nettles is cooking up for Dec. 23.
But if you try to put on a Hallmark movie in my house — if we even get the channel, I’m not sure that we do — I will hurt you.
12. Singing Christmas carols
Does anyone actually do this anymore — go door-to-door and sing Christmas carols? I highly doubt anyone is this year, though.
Oh well, it give me an excuse to post this.
So, as it turns out, the 12 Pains of Christmas … not so painful.
How about you?