Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The truth about women and Christmas

I have come to realize (long ago) that sometimes the less an item costs, the more assembly is required. This Truth came to mind as I put together the inexpensive Wal Mart Christmas tree I bought on clearance for $6.00 during last year's sales. Every itty bitty branch of the tree had to be tweaked. However, the two hours of work is worth it as the tree certainly does not reflect the clearance price.

Those three words... some assembly required... are to me what seeing a spider is to my son. They bring a shiver up my spine. There is nothing like assembling anything, whether a tree or a toy... especially at the last minute... that changes my mood from Ho, Ho, Ho to Bah Humbug!

The wooden cranberries now drape the branches and about half of the ornaments were hung before I became too tired to continue. It's hard work decorating the tree and then the hours of tweaking it until it is perfect. Last year I draped the tree with strands of golden beads and loved the "uptown" look they gave. This year we're returning to the country look.

When we owned our larger house, I liked to have a real tree in the living room and an artificial tree in the family room. The real tree was decorated with the golden strands of beads and (mostly) Stephanie's ornaments... which she took with her when she married.

The artificial tree in the family room was draped with the wooden cranberry strands and my primitive-country ornaments, as well as those made by children. It was the best of both worlds. :)

Christmas is hard work and... for the most part... women's work. Women make Christmas happen. Women ponder just the right gifts for each person and lovingly search them out as if they were looking for hidden treasure. Men stop by CVS on Christmas Eve or order online and pay the FedEx shipping.

Women plan and design and purchase and tweak and decorate. Women cook, bake and make fudge. Women bake enormous pieces of gingerbread to cut out, put back together, and decorate with candy... while keeping men and children away from it. Men shovel their way through deep snow to the grill on the deck.

For the most part, women act as social secretaries and balance the parties, church programs, and school (or co-op) plays. Older women write things on big calendars. Younger women use their i-Phones.

Men put up the Christmas tree and and complain when it tips over. Men assemble toys on Christmas Eve and are tempted to use language for which they have to repent on Christmas morning.

Of course, there are exceptions and I have met men who can out decorate moi' and know their way through the mall in December. Make that one man... I'm trying to remember more... who was that other man... hmmm, will have to think on that one. After I finish decorating the tree. ;-)

19 comments:

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Boy have you nailed the "woman" import in Christmas! Women do, by and large, make it happen! And love doing it! Although, I am never so exhausted as I am at the end of Christmas Day! And, yes, decorating a tree is hard work. But it's nothing as compared to taking that sucker down! Merry, merry! C

Pen Pen said...

True!!! if I left it up to my husband... there would be no Christmas. :D

Debbie said...

My husbands thinks all there is to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is buying a turkey!
I'm sure we women could use a simpler approach to the holidays, but I want more for Christmas dinner than turkey!

Mrs.Rabe said...

Women are the heart of the home, as the old saying goes!

I love doing though!

Connie said...

You are right on when you say the woman is who makes Christmas happen. But aren't we blessed to have a man to share the day with!
So many homes are missing the male influence, either by death or divorce. Family is what makes Christmas happen.

freetobeme - Anita said...

You hit the nail right on the head! But when my husband looks, with satisfaction, on my work, and compliments me, then it's all worth it!

Dawn said...

Oh boy, ain't that the truth. The part I don't enjoy about decorating is putting the lights on the tree. Everything else is fun to decorate to me, but those lights.. Grr.. I remember the tree we had growing up. You have to put each branch into the wooden pole, and then position each branch just right to make it look close to being real. Taught me patience to help with that one.LOL!

Kirsten said...

So true...can't wait to see your finished tree! Hope you're posting pics :-)

Linda said...

I agree about the women being the ones who make Christmas at home. I enjoyed doing it. Now that I'm older I don't have the energy and my back starts to hurt after getting out the decorations, so I've found I definetely have to pace myself. Also I'm using a smaller tree this year. I really wasn't wanting to do much this year until I got started. A few lights up is enough to get the creative juices running. Linda

Lucky said...

It's worth it though, right?

matty said...

One word: AMEN!

Fondly,

Matty

Marge said...

We have been married 45 years. I have decorated 45 trees. I have written probably 4500 cards. I have cooked 45 turkeys. I have purchased gifts for .......let's see....7 kids, 7 spouses, 15 grandkids, many other relatives and friends, etc.....Yes, it's the women who do the work for Chritmas! But that means I do it MY WAY!!! No criticism at all! It's an exhausting season, but I love, love, love it! It is always a labor of love when you know the reason for the seaon.....Jesus.

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

A great read Brenda, as always, and spot on!! As Mike often says we're "the glue"!
Blessings and good thoughts.
Warmly,
Tracey

nanatrish said...

Brenda, this was a great insightful post. I also carry most of the weight of Christmas, but I am blessed that my husband will help me clean. He leaves the cards for me to write, but actually I kind of enjoy writing them out. I know I love opening them so I have to write something on them. Honestly, I am sad when I open the card and it's just a name. I love even a little note and pictures WOW. I always try to put a copy of Avery's school pictures in mine. I enjoy your tips for inexpensive ways to have Christmas fun. You are a special friend and I wish you a blessed Christmas season.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Yes, women do make Christmas happen in the home. It is joyful AND exhausting. I'm trying to make it simpler--more emphasis on Advent services and less on commercialism. This year I've decided to only bake and cook what I REALLY love! I'm just loving your new banner--perfect for the Christmas season! Hope your kitty is still settling in nicely! V.

Senkyoushi said...

Thank you!! I needed this gentle reminder as I feel snowed under. I think I'll go cross a few things off of my list so that I can relax and enjoy the season.

Christina said...

I love Christmas. :)
I agree, women are the ones who make Christmas actually happen. Even the most uncreative, non-baker, "let's do something practical" sort of women bake delicious cookies, decorate to the best of their abilities, and totally take advantage of the season's opportunities. Sometimes I wish Christmas would carry over into January and February. Winter would be a lot more pleasant that way, I think.

Lallee said...

Brenda, you have been speaking my mind. I want to scale back on the decorating too (I think) and spend more time celebrating Christmas in other ways. My decorations are so mixed in the boxes, we'll see how it all works out. I am grateful for a hubby who does all the heavy lifting and setting up the faux tree. The setting out is my job. I'm trying not to let worldly pressure in my head make me get it all done. It's all for the King.

Anonymous said...

You just described my life.....!
Thankfully I have a husband who appreciates all I do because his mother never did any of those things, sadly. So when I feel overwhelmed, I remind myself that someday my family will look back at our Christmases and remember the magic!