After moving to New Zealand from the United States over a year and a half ago, and being in awe at every turn . . . the natural beauty, the creative, the woo-woo, the simplicity . . . and fielding questions like, "there has to be something you don't like, right?" I'm finally ready to come clean.
Yes, New Zealand is able to bring out the loathe in me.
Let's talk Christmas. In summertime.
No I don't hate Christmas. And I don't hate summertime in New Zealand. And honestly, I don't even hate Christmas in summertime; it's just odd. But what do I detest? The Christmas tree light dilemma.
Our first Christmas, we couldn't be bothered to put the Christmas tree up. Yes, blame it on the balmy weather and a house full of our kids running around in swim attire. We just didn't feel it.
Early this season our youngest began his incessant questioning, "When's the tree going up? When's the tree going up?" Acquiescence prevailed. Up the tree would go.
Lights. Let's go shop for lights.
Outrageously expensive, they were. Something like $30 a bundle. And no, one bundle wouldn't do it. So I leave the discount store to go off and sneak a child-purchase at another store leaving the dear partner and son to check out said lights. What happens? He gets up to the cash register and finds out the clear ones weren't on sale.
Just the blue ones.
No multicolor lights to be seen, by the way, which is about as bad as telling a four year old there is no Santa.
Finally really getting excited about the prospect of decorating a tree, I anxiously make a big to-do with our son as we arrive home. As I unpack, unbeknownst to me, I come face to face with boxes of BLUE lights.
Really sister. You don't want to lose it over, of all things, Christmas lights (love, peace, lalala, what the heck did you do????). I did, however, question whyyyyy (read whine), a few times.
Okay, I thought. Be the sport. Put them on the blasted tree and be done with it. And this is what happened.
a very Smurf Christmas
To add insult to injury, looking at the tree made Elvis singing Blue Christmas play the skipped-record-game in my brain (you remember the lines . . . I'll have a blue Christmas without you). With so many of our family members so far away, that just felt like the ultimate Christmas insult.
And, it, plain and simple, hurt the eyes.
My question to partner: "So what do you think?"
His response: "Yep, this isn't going to work."
And a hallelujah chorus trumps Elvis every time.
To save a few bucks we ended up spending double the amount of money and ended up with a wad of blue lights that never went up outside, as we convinced our selves would be the method of our redemption.
Hallelujah, they all sang.
Today I am taking the tree down. Yes, some would say it is tardy, but we wanted the festive spirit to remain while our adult boys were here, and the last one just left. Youngest is tucked away nicely in a fun day camp and I'm plugging away to de-testosterone the house and put the Christmas stuff away. It was six males and one chick for almost a month.
So twisted am I that I'm actually giving thought on how to box the decorations so they will bring joy to reopen if we ever decorate again.
Then. Lights revisited. Did I mention that they are double stranded?
I can't get them off the blooming tree in a reasonable fashion. Nooooo, they have to be pulled over the top and woven through branches to end up in a huddled mess on the floor. An hour of my life is then wasted as I try to to untangle the heap. And another reasonable amount of time wasted as I am compelled to vent about every aspect of my frustration here, rather than stamping on the lights.
An hour later: One (double) strand almost untangled, but it's looped origin is right in the middle of the mass of two more bunches of lights: FED UP.
So there you have it.
YES, there is something I abhor about New Zealand: their Christmas lights.
And the scream-buzzing, dive-bombing house flies that are relentlessly attempting attack during my mind-numbing light debacle.
So freaking amazed I did not use swear words in this post.
Sorry New Zealand. I mostly love you.