Happy Christmas, From Team Wheaton

I just haven’t had any Christmas Spirit this year. We’ve both been very busy, had an unexpected death in the family, and have sort of felt like doing Christmas stuff (decorating, etc.) was just Another Fucking Thing To Deal With™.

We weren’t unhappy about it or anything, but we don’t give gifts in our family, we aren’t religious, and with the kids out of the house, were just sort of treating Christmas like it was another day.

When I woke up this morning, though, something was different. Decorating for Christmas, and having a nice Christmas dinner with Anne and Nolan (Ryan’s out of town) became something I wanted to do, instead of something I felt like I was supposed to do, because Christmas.

I woke up about 2 hours before Anne, which is a Christmas Miracle in itself, and after she was sufficiently filled with coffee, I walked into the living room and sat down next to her.

“I have a thought,” I began.

“Uh-oh…” she said. I smiled.

“I know we haven’t felt like doing anything Christmas-y, but … I kind of want to just put up our tree, and a couple of decorations.” I said.

“I am so glad you said that,” she said, “because I woke up feeling exactly the same way. I think it would be really sad for Nolan to come over tomorrow, and we don’t have anything in our house that says ‘it’s Christmas! Yay!’”

“So how about if we go to the store, get some food for a quiet dinner tonight with just the two of us, and then get something for dinner tomorrow?”

“I’d love that,” she said.

So a few hours later, we went to the store, with everyone else in the world, and got some food for a nice, quiet, and dare I say ROMANTIC dinner tonight. We also decided to recreate our Thanksgiving dinner for Christmas dinner, because it was damn tasty.

We got home after a surprisingly relaxed shopping experience with everyone else in the world, and I said, “Mrs. Wheaton, would you like to share the joyous holiday tradition of walking into the backyard and getting the Christmas tree out of the shed?”*

“I would love that, Mister Wheaton.”

We walked up into the backyard, where I unlocked the shed, and began the traditional process of extricating the tree from where it lives 50 weeks out of the year. Along the way, I knocked over several cans of paint. Two of them cracked and dumped their contents all over the floor.

“Oh yeah!” I said, “Now it’s CHRISTMAS!”

“I’ll go get some paper towels…” Anne said.

Once we cleaned that up, we brought the tree into the house. I assembled it in the traditional Christmas way, and we stood back to look at it. We decided that it was good.**

I think the tree had been up for three minutes when our Cat, Luna, made some plans.

Luna's Making Plans

Literally seconds later:

Because of course Luna is in the tree.

Then Marlowe saw her, ran over to see what the heck was going on, scared the shit out of Luna, causing Luna to launch herself out of the tree, to be chased across the living room by the puppy.

With a cat-free tree, I took another picture:

You'll find one in every fake tree, you'll see.
You’ll find one in every fake tree, you’ll see.

The year we got the fake tree, I was filled with regret, because the house didn’t smell like Christmas at all. Ryan, who had just gotten his driver’s license, drove himself to the gas station, bought these air fresheners, and hung them on the tree for us. As moved and happy I was by his gesture, we had to hang them outside for about two weeks, because holy shit do those things have a pungent smell that is nothing like pine but is actually like radioactive death trees.

Anne and I hung more ornaments on the tree, and then we hung up a few — a very few — decorations around the house. Then, when we felt like we were done, I put Noel the Christmas Walrus on the tree to make everything official:

Noel The Christmas Walrus

Then, I walked into the kitchen and saw that Luna was recovering from her adventure:

A tiny box that barely holds you is the perfect place to relax after climbing a fake Christmas tree.
A tiny box that barely holds you is the perfect place to relax after climbing a fake Christmas tree.

I turned on the broiler, seasoned the steaks we planned to have for dinner, and opened a bottle of wine. Anne came in and joined me.

“You know what,” I said, “I’m really, really happy.”

“Me too.”

“I’m so happy that we decorated our house just a little bit, and put up a tree, because we wanted to, instead of doing it because we felt like we had to.”

“Yeah,” she said, “this is something we chose to do, and who cares if it happened the night before Christmas, instead of three weeks go?”

“I’m really glad we did this,” I said.

“So am I,” she said.

I leaned in and kissed her. “This feels like our first post-kids Christmas,” I said, “with just the two of us doing this because it was fun and festive for us.”

“Totally,” she said.

We looked at each other for a minute.

“I want to just check in with the kids,” I said.

She laughed. “Okay.”

I traded text messages with Ryan and Nolan, we wished each other a happy Christmas Eve, and then I got an idea.

“DUDE! I saw this on Tumblr a couple weeks ago, and I want to try it.” I ran to my office, while Anne stood, confused and confused***, in the kitchen. I grabbed my tripod and my camera.

I set it up in the living room, and I took some pictures:

My god, it's full of warp stars.
Warp speed, Mister Crusher.
I'M A CHRISTMAS TREE.
I’M A CHRISTMAS TREE.
Noel The Christmas Walrus is cleared for blastoff
Noel The Christmas Walrus is cleared for blastoff.

I was pretty happy with the way the pictures turned out, and I came into my office to post them while Anne wrapped a couple of gifts for the kids****.

Then I rejoined her in the living room to take one more picture that would let us say Merry Christmas (or Happy Winter Festival of your choice) to all of you who are reading this, from us here on Team Wheaton:

2013-12-24 19.03.22
Marlowe! Look at the camera!
2013-12-24 19.05.18
Okay, just wait and wear your antlers because it’s cute…
2013-12-24 19.05.28
Anne: I think we got it. Me: I think it looks like you’ve got her in a choke hold.
2013-12-24 19.07.21
There it is. We’re really laughing that hard.

 Yeah, pictures with a puppy are pretty hilarious…

2013-12-24 19.08.19
Did you make steak for dinner? I like steak for dinner.

But Seamus can do a super good sit, and he wants you to have a Merry Christmas.

And so do I. I hope you spend the holidays with people you love, who love you back.

 

 

 

 

*A few years ago, we got a fake tree, because I am so stupidly paranoid about getting a real tree that somehow explodes into  a fireball for some reason and ruins Christmas like a kid who points out that Grandma just said something that’s really super racist at Christmas dinner. Not that I know anything about that at all.

**I also realized that this one little bit of lights that never seemed to light up, even though all the wires checked out and all the bulbs were in place, didn’t light up because we never plugged it in. The plug was wrapped around itself in a way that just hid it, and I never saw it until tonight. I texted Ryan, “dude. I am amazing”, and told him the story. “Our family is so smart, and so dumb at the same time,” he replied. “THAT is Wheaton Thinking,” I said.

***And also confused.

****We don’t give gifts to each other. We do give a couple little things to the kids.

64 thoughts on “Happy Christmas, From Team Wheaton”

  1. …holy shit do those things have a pungent smell that is nothing like pine but is actually like radioactive death trees.

    that’s my reaction to most air freshers & scented candles.

  2. I propose there is nothing wrong with decorating on the 24th – in the “old country” (we’re Polish) that was always the tradition – then everything stayed up through all 12 days of Christmas until the Epiphany. My mom pretty much still celebrates that way. Merry 2nd day of Christmas – 2 turtle doves would be awesome for your pets!

  3. Warm climates and real Christmas trees just don’t work for me. Not because I’m worried about fires, but because of the time my sister bought a real tree and got a giant, ready to hatch silverfish egg as a bonus gift. Nothing like hanging the last ornament, leaving the room and returning 10 minutes later to a carpet made of baby silverfish(the tree and all the ornaments were unceremoniously thrown into the front yard). *shudder* Hence, fake trees only for this Floridiot!

  4. Yeah – Christmas is always a time of mixed emotions with each being year a little different from the previous. Tears for those who are no longer with us, laments for those who can’t be and sometimes it just seems too much to get the Christmas Spirit going.

    I originally left a nice long story about how I went through a similar thing this year – the window on WordPress’s comments stretched to accommodate it – but unfortunately the post comment button dropped out of site (and clicking range.) I guess that’s why they call it “Comments” (and yeah I do ramble some times LOL.

    I’m glad you and Anne found Christmas – so did I… All the best for 2014

  5. Love the family holiday. I have two kids and waking up to only our family and not the cousins, uncles, grandparents is a great thing. I slept until 10am and slowly got up out of the bed. We filled our bellies with coffee and opened presents. I go a grea Beer Board game also.

  6. Hi,
    I just found your blog and podcasts and they totally saved me from a boring day at work! Brilliant!
    I hope you do more of them!
    Merry christmas & Happy new year from Sweden!

  7. Hope you had a great holiday. I want to say thanks to you because you have directly contributed to my family’s holiday for the better by getting us together for some board gaming.

    Brad

  8. I have been feeling the same way this year. I don’t know where my Christmas spirit went. I did feel it briefly one day.

    Merry Christmas to you.

  9. Will, thank you so much for doing your blog. I keep rediscovering it at exactly the right times in my life. Lately, I’ve struggled with fears regarding relationships and whether I’ll find that woman who wants the same kind of trusting, honest, adventurous and goofy relationship that I do. (Specifically, whether that girl I broke up with a year ago was that person, and I let her slip (she wasn’t)).

    Reading your blog reminds me of what, exactly, I am looking for. But what’s more, in your blog I see how your attitude to relationships (and life!) is what creates all those good things that you share with us.
    Thank you for that.

    Most importantly, thank you for sharing the lows. I can’t tell you how motivating it is to see you being so honest about the struggles that you face. It reminds me that, no matter how futile everything seems on certain days, those days do not define me. They are a natural part of everyday life, and they only cripple me for as long as I let them.

    I admire your honesty and vulnerability. I know what kind of bravery that takes.

    Merry christmas, and all the best for you and your family in the future.

    Jophiel Wiis
    Denmark

  10. Not being religious is fine, but I’d have thought Christmas would be a favorite time of year for you. It’s a celebration of the spirt of the ultimate “Don’t be a dick” guy, ….Jesus. it’s a time to remember ( if you can’t the rest of the year). “Love thy neighbor”.

    I hope next year brings you more ” true ” Christmas spirit.

    Jp

  11. This year, I went out at the last minute and bought a tree, because I couldn’t face putting up the tree we had, because it was a branch-by-branch pain (and not my tree, but my mom’s, whose house we live in, although she is currently staying with my sister for an undetermined amount of time; my tree is a small, skinny Charlie-Brown like tree for the small house we used to live in and really looked ridiculous here; I checked!), only to discover that we threw OUT that tree last year and bought a new one. So now we have a back-up tree. Woo. (At least I got an awesome deal on the new tree. And it’s not as wide as the OTHER new tree, so we didn’t have to move major furniture to put it up.)
    Lesson: Don’t throw out the old tree but keep the box and put the new tree in it!

  12. You have been well and truly blessed, Wil Wheaton, with health, love, a crazy feline, loyal fans, and true talent.

    In the spirit of the season, would you consider contributing to my blog series, “5×5 With The Hook”?

    It’s painless: You just answer 5 random, quirky queries and you’re done! It’s more fun than Sheldon Cooper’s Fun With Flags (there’s no girlfriend directors) and I can guarantee you’d be helping to spread some positive energy around the web.

    So what do you think, Wheaton?

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