Lit Up At Christmas

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - December 17, 2008
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My job at work is all about deadlines, which is why, when I retreat to the sanctity of my home, I want nothing to do with deadlines. Unfortunately for me, during the Christmas season my life is riddled with wife-imposed deadlines. The clock started right after Thanksgiving and my days were then carefully plotted out nearly to the minute on all the things I had to do before Dec. 25.

As you know, I knocked out the Christmas tree purchasing fairly early. But that’s only like launching the space shuttle as then the entire mission commences. And I don’t know how this happened, but all of my wife’s responsibilities are dependent on me completing mine.

In other words, the decorating of the tree cannot start until I have strung the lights. As we neared nearly two weeks of an undecorated tree, our 11-year-old daughter started asking her mother when it was going to get done. My wife’s reply to her: “As soon as your father puts up the lights.”

Not wanting to dash the Christmas spirit of my baby girl, I decided to hang the lights on the tree late the other night. I know this is the wrong attitude, but my thoughts were: “You want lights? I’ll give you Christmas lights!” I was bent on lighting up that tree to rival the one at City Hall. I stayed up to the wee hours of the morning and fell asleep in the living room before I could throw the switch. Early the next morning after my wife woke up and washed her hair, she came into the living room and turned on the switch for the tree. It blew a circuit.

We lost power to nearly all the outlets in the house. Normally this is not a DEFCON ONE crisis, but as I said, my wife just washed her hair. I was suddenly jolted out of my slumber by my wife, who was now blaming me because she couldn’t blow-dry her wet and now matted hair. I immediately checked the circuit breaker and it would-n’t reset. I was getting nervous because my wife’s get-ready-for-work and get-daughter-ready-for school clock was ticking down. I went through the entire house looking for a working outlet. I found one in the garage.

I ran a utility extension cord into the kitchen and set up a mirror we had stored outside for my wife to do her hair. The situation was not pretty, and I could gauge the severity of it by the deafening silence from my wife.

As my wife was leaving to take our daughter to school, our child decided to ask the last question I wanted to hear that morning: “Dad, when are you going to put up the outside Christmas lights?”

My wife, tongue-in-cheek, answered for me, “Daddy’s going to be too busy shopping for Mommy’s present.”

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