Sadly our tree no longer leans awkwardly against the wall of our front room, its lopsided behind scratching the wall (my 4th grade teacher had the same problem with her buttocks). Rinda removed the few ornaments we own one by one and lowered them safely into their plastic catacombs. The hand-sewn stars she made, the stockings, and the bent paper clips used to hang the ornaments, all found a new home in a now empty, puppy-themed, holiday popcorn barrel.
With the last of the popcorn garland plucked from the tree, the needles swept up, and the tree flying through the air, its dead bristles preparing to shatter on the frozen ground of the backyard, I stood still in the hollow room. Rinda broke the silence with a silent hint and stacked the storage cases by the door. Before I hauled them out to the garage for their year long slumber, I chose to say a few words in Elvish (okay, okay, I said them in English, but with a British accent):
“Christmas is over; the goose that got fat is now eaten; the poor man bought booze with the penny that some stranger dropped in his hat and punched the woman that tried to give him a half-penny (what does one do with a half-penny?). Christmas is over but Christmas is not past; I shall walk with Ebeneezer and Charles who gave him speech, and ‘honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The spirit of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach'”
I shall live in the Past, the Present, and the Future — not the past, the present, and the future — important stuff gets capitalized, right? — like Abraham Lincoln or the Transcontinental Railroad. I choose to live importantly or make life important.
Allow me a brief return trip to the Past or the year formerly known as 2011:
I turned 26. I started working full-time from home, meaning, I got to be around my family 24/7. We rented our first house. Rinda and I had our second anniversary (I know, we are babies; but, it is still a wonderful accomplishment). McKay, my second nephew, was born. One of my biggest dreams came true when Claire was born: I became a father. My niece Abigail was born (within her first few months of life, my Abi-Gal endured 2 open heart surgeries — she is doing swimmingly.) The TV show I worked on was cancelled. I created content for and was part of a very strange sketch comedy group (thanks Chris and Jeremy). We shot the comedy webseries I wrote and co-directed, starring: Flavor Flav, Danny Trejo, Jon Gries; and YouTube celebs: GloZell Green, Miranda Sings, Antoine Dodson, Wheezy Waiter and Donnivin Jordan. We spent Thanksgiving with Rinda’s family and Christmas/New Years with my family.
Let me share some Christmas memories that, if remembered, will help make my New Year dreams a reality:
Above you see evidence of our Home Alone marathon (we watched 1 and 2 back to back), ate name brand pizza (Little Neros) from the film, and drank Fuller’s classic Pepsi. We also had an awesome Home Alone trivia game and a dance party around a mini Christmas tree, in honor of Kevin McCallister, the little guy.
Below, on the left, you see evidence of our Twas the Night Before Christmas gift exchange. Each of us had a gag gift and would pass it clockwise when the word “the” was said in the classic story. By the end of the game, you’re stuck with what ever gift lands in your lap — I got glasses that double as straws — joy to the world. Below, on the right, is evidence of our Ginger Bread house contest. Rinda and I gave up when our doorway collapsed. We promise to finish next year.
I’m worried as I look for more steady work. I have several projects lined up but nothing solidified. I am working really hard to make connections and find new opportunities. Somehow I know everything will work out. I have my family.
I’m applying the lessons I learned from Kevin McCallister to my New Year.
1.) Don’t forget what is most important: family. If you do forget, change; remind your self and those you love that they are number 1.
2.) Protect what you have: family, home, freedom,”I could go on forever baby.” If you don’t protect it, you will lose it. If setting booby traps is necessary, do it.
3.) Be kind; to everyone. Family, friends, teachers, co-workers, bird ladies with poop on their clothes.
4.) Listen. (I won’t say anymore…that’s the way listening goes).
Happy New Year!
UNFUNNY HUSBAND MOMENT: I gave Rinda the option to take down and throw our real Christmas tree out the backdoor in to the backyard or feed Claire (which I was doing when I gave her the options). I think she chose the tree in spite.
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