Admit it: You want to put Christmas in your rearview mirror.
Look, I know everybody loves Christmas, but even good things get old after a while, and if you’re a parent, the shelf life for Christmas gets a little shorter each year.
Actually, we were ready to say adios to the holiday sometime in the afternoon of the day before Christmas. My wife was in one of her “OH MY GOSH, THERE ISN’T ENOUGH TIME TO GET EVERYTHING DONE THAT WE HAVE TO GET DONE” moods, while I was in one of my “Hey, everything is great, we’ve got plenty of time, there is no hurry” frames of mind.
When my wife is in one of those moods, she hates when I’m in the opposite mood.
“You don’t even know what all needs to get done today,” my wife said.
“It’s OK. Whatever needs to be done will be done in time,” I said.
My wife said something that probably put her on Santa’s naughty list for a long time.
So our 15-year-old daughter, Emma, and I did what we always do when my wife is in one of her moods: We drove to Joplin.
Driving to Joplin was actually a bit of a mistake since my wife thought the trip was “a stupid waste of time because you went to Joplin on Monday.”
It didn’t help matters when Emma said, “We’re going to Joplin to get you a present,” because my wife thought we did that on Monday.
“I don’t need anything; I need your father to make the clam chowder,” my wife said. And then she said something else that Emma and I didn’t hear, what with us slamming the door and walking to the car while my wife was talking.
A few minutes later, my wife called me on my cellphone.
“While you’re in Joplin, I need you to run a few errands for me,” she said.
“I thought you wanted us to hurry,” I said.
“Just run the (bad word) errands,” my wife said.
It wasn’t exactly an “It’s a Wonderful Life” moment.
The thing is, Emma and I did get home in time for me to make clam chowder. And we were also able to visit a few family friends and still were home in time to have dinner with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.
On Christmas morning, we were all relatively relaxed until about 10 a.m., when my wife looked at the clock.
“OH MY GOSH, THERE ISN’T ENOUGH TIME TO GET EVERYTHING DONE THAT HAS TO BE DONE,” she said.
I told my wife to relax, and my wife said something that likely will keep her on Santa’s naughty list for life.
I watched my wife frantically running around our kitchen and shouting things like: “I’VE GOT TO DO THE DEVILED EGGS, THE MORON’S GOT TO DO THE HAM, AND OH MY GOSH I HAVEN’T TAKEN A SHOWER YET. I’M GOING CRAZY!” Then I suddenly remembered that I forgot something very important this holiday season. I forgot to quote Chevy Chase’s classic holiday speech in the time-honored Christmas treasure that is “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”
When the movie first came out, it wasn’t considered one of your classics, but as time passed and more and more people spent too much time with family during Christmas, the film reached legendary holiday status. And nothing sums up spending too much time with too many people better than Chevy’s speech. So if you’ve had enough Christmas, this is for you.
“Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I’d like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people, and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye, and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, (bad word), hopeless, heartless, (bad word), bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey (bad word) he is. Hallelujah. Holy (bad word). Where’s the Tylenol?”
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