Holidays gone astray

Kimberly Dupps and Kimberly Dupps

My roommates and I were in the yuletide spirit this weekend, reminiscing over past Christmases and anticipating what was to come this year. While my roommates told of times where they went skiing with their families or received the perfect present, I had a much different story to tell.

Let me preface this by saying that not every Christmas of mine has been bad. There have been a few good ones but those are not as fun to tell.

The first Christmas where things began to go wrong was when I was in the second grade. My brother received a Nintendo (hot stuff!) and I got a mini computer. He was so excited over the toy that he spent all of Christmas evening and the morning of Dec. 26 playing the damn thing. I had been sleeping on the couch because my new toys were covering my bed. While Jim thought he would never be caught playing the game all night, he spoiled his luck. As he went to disconnect the cord from the television, he knocked the Christmas tree over only missing my head by two inches.

My mom says I could sleep through everything and it was true that night.

As the Christmas tree just missed my head and ornaments broke, I laid there talking in my sleep. It was only when my parents heard Jim trying to put the tree back up that anyone even knew. My dad picked me up, carried me to bed while my mom tried to salvage the tree.

Jim’s little escapade was not the only time our tree got knocked over. When I was a freshman in high school, our family got our first live tree. Previously, we had used a 30-year-old artificial tree that was my paternal grandmother’s. My dad insisted on using it for sentimental reasons but my brother and I were eventually able to convince him otherwise. We spent much longer decorating the tree and loved the smell that filled the room. However, we were not ready for what was going to happen.

As usual, my parents were arguing and this time it seemed pretty bad. Jim and I ran into his room trying to drown out the sound with non-Christmas music. We were doing just fine until we heard glass shatter on the wood floors. We peaked outside the door only to see broken ornaments everywhere and the tree lying next to my father’s feet. I guess my mom didn’t like the tree as much as we did and pushed it on my dad in the heat of the argument.

Not every Christmas involved a fallen Christmas tree mainly because my extended family is not into throwing inanimate objects. More like dressing things up. My cousin Laura, who is five years older than me, got a dog when she was a senior high school. It was dumb on my aunt’s part for buying her a dog she would never take care of. Laura got married immediately after college and her husband would not let her bring Fozzie to home.

So on Christmas, Laura tried to illustrate how important the dog was to her. She took a baby bonnet from the toy box in the basement and grabbed a “play” baby stroller. The next time I turned around Fozzie was in a bonnet, baby doll outfit and strapped in a stroller. The entire day Laura pushed the dog around in the stroller, trying to convince her husband to let her bring the dog home.

This Christmas I am just hoping for everyone to get along. No fights. No dogs dressed as babies. No fallen Christmas trees. However, my brother and I have learned to live without a tree. It is not worth all the effort to put it up only for it to be knocked over later. This year we are buying finger paints and a piece of posterboard to show our Christmas spirit.