The annual tug of war has begun.
On one end of the rope are my wife and our 14-year-old daughter, Emma, and I am on the other end. On the surface it might seem that I am outnumbered in this tug of war, but Emma and my wife aren’t that big and I have the strength of 10 men. Granted, they aren’t very big men, but still I can handle myself in a tug of war against my wife and Emma.
Or I would if this particular tug of war was physical, but, unfortunately, it’s not. This tug of war is a tug of war of wills, which means I’m toast. What sort of toast you ask?
The battle of wills we are engaged in is the battle of when to buy and decorate our Christmas tree. It’s an annual battle that, so far, has resulted in somewhat of a standoff. In general, my wife and Emma are of the opinion that our Christmas tree should go up in July and not come down until June. I, on the other tinsel, am of the opinion that our Christmas tree should go up at noon on Christmas day and come down at 2:30 Christmas afternoon.
Now, that might be an exaggeration of our respective stances on our Christmas tree dispute, but if it is, it’s a slight exaggeration.
My wife and Emma love to get what I consider a head start on Christmas. As I type this, my wife and Emma are home putting up Christmas decorations both inside and outside of our house. I guess I don’t mind the indoor decorations so much, but I’m not much for outdoor decorations.
I have sort of an ongoing reverse Fox News war on Christmas is what I have.
But because I’m not a Congress creature, I have learned, over the years, to compromise a bit on our outdoor Christmas decorations. Sometimes, in the past, I have even helped my wife put up our outdoor decorations. At least, I think I have. If not, I’m sure my wife will let me know when she reads this.
As always, call it a hunch.
The one area where I refused to compromise is the area of outdoor Christmas lights. I think outdoor Christmas lights are beautiful and festive — on someone else’s house. On our house, I think they are of the devil.
For one thing, someone else would have to put the outdoor lights on our house. I’ve never done it, but it seems to me putting outdoor lights on a house would be a lot of work. First of all, there would be the matter of finding the lights every year. Of course, if I ever did put up outdoor Christmas lights, finding them every year wouldn’t be too difficult because they would still be on our house.
See, that’s the other thing about outdoor Christmas lights: After spending hours putting them up, you have to spend hours taking them down.
It doesn’t make sense. I mean you don’t build a house and then tear it down, do you?
Once my wife and Emma have our house decorated (inside and out), they start whining about getting the Christmas tree. My wife and Emma say it’s not truly “’Tis the season” until we put up our Christmas tree. To that, I always say “’Tis too.”
I like to wait until closer to Christmas to set up the tree. See, I like having a Christmas tree, it makes the house feel festive. But if we were to put it up — say — today, I think I would get so used to having the Christmas tree around that by the time the actual day rolled around I wouldn’t notice the tree.
I would develop Christmas tree amnesia is what I would do.
So what my wife, Emma and I likely will do is compromise and put our Christmas tree up sometime in the middle of December and everyone will be sort of happy.
Now if we could just agree on letting the tax breaks for rich people expire.
The annual tug of war has begun.
- Local News
Second defendant sentenced in Joplin murder; man assessed 15 years in slaying of Jacob Wages
Circuit Judge David Mouton assessed Cody Stephens 15 years in prison Friday for his role in the home-invasion murder of 23-year-old Joplin resident Jacob Wages. Stephens, 22, pleaded guilty Dec. 6 to second-degree murder and first-degree burglary in a plea deal capping the prison time he might receive at no more than 15 years.
Runners to inaugurate trail in Walnut Bottoms
After months of planning, cleaning and clearing, a new trail in Walnut Bottoms will be the site of an inaugural run today. The run is being organized by Carthage resident Brady Beckham and other volunteers to introduce the trial to local athletes and raise money for future development.
10 restaurants participating in fundraiser for Camp Mintahama
Those who go out to eat on Wednesday night will have an opportunity to Dine Out with a Scout. That is the name Girl Scout troop leader Lisa Nelson has given the event designed as a fundraiser for Camp Mintahama, a Girl Scout camp south of Joplin.
PSU, city praised for partnership during kick-off to annual community campaign
Rich Luker, perhaps best known for his creation of the ESPN Sports Poll in 1994 and a nationally known expert on the idea of “community,” praised Pittsburg State University today as a national model for its partnership with the city of Pittsburg.
Students show off projects at regional History Day contest
Jillian Lopes knew she wanted to research the Holocaust for this year’s History Day competition, but the subject was far too broad. So she whittled it down until she was focused on Irena Sendler, a non-Jewish Polish woman who worked to save children during the Holocaust and whose life later became the subject of a play called “Life in a Jar.”
MSSU panel prepares presidential job advertisement for publication
The advertisement for the president’s job at Missouri Southern State University could be published as early as next week, the university’s search committee was told Friday. The ad will run in the Chronicle of Higher Education, a print and online publication for higher education professionals, for 60 days, said Darren Fullerton, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management, and a member of the committee.
Hundreds of Four-State Area students turn out to mark 40th PSU Jazz Festival
What began as an event with 13 high school bands has grown into what organizers believe to be the biggest event of its kind in the Midwest, drawing not just students, but internationally known professional musicians. On Friday, 66 area high school bands participated in the 40th Annual Pittsburg State University Jazz Festival, which celebrates a style of music considered to be the only original American art form.
Kansas high court: School funding unconstitutional
In a highly anticipated ruling Friday, the Kansas Supreme Court said the state’s current public school funding levels are unconstitutional and sent the case back to lower court for more review. In the 110-page decision, the court said Kansas’ poor school districts were harmed when the state made the decision to cut certain payments when tax revenues declined during the Great Recession.
MSSU student to attend posthumous awarding of honor for grandfather
As Missouri Southern State University student Savannah Schwab, unable to sleep, gazed out the window at a moonlit night from her bedroom in Fort Scott, Kan., her thoughts turned to her late grandfather. She had listened to an hour or so of the World War II veteran’s audio recordings that recounted his experiences as a member of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, 15th Infantry Regiment.
Last defendant sentenced in Pittsburg slaying
Nathan Whitney expressed remorse Thursday when he became the last of four young Joplin men assessed prison terms for the murder of Ryan Bailey two years ago in Pittsburg. The 29-year-old defendant listened to Bailey’s wife and adoptive mother render emotional victim-impact statements at his sentencing hearing in Crawford County District Court before standing up and responding to their loss.
- More Local News Headlines
- Second defendant sentenced in Joplin murder; man assessed 15 years in slaying of Jacob Wages