Discounts and Distractions

This is a story I shared with my email list a few days after Christmas last year. I received great feedback on it and wanted to share it as a blog post, but who wants to hear a Christmas story in January? I mean other than me. Not everyone is on board with Christmas, but it can be a magical time for those who let it. I hope you’ve enjoyed your holidays and spent it in the way that made you most happy. Enjoy this Christmas story. I hope it puts you in the holiday spirit!

cool image by geralt at

For our first Christmas together twelve years ago, my wife and I bought an amazing Christmas tree. It was 9 feet tall, bazillions of lights.

A few Christmases later, when putting up the tree, I noticed some critters had nibbled the wires. No problem. I spliced, taped and once again lit up our living room like a… know.

The Next Year

We enjoyed the experience of chasing said critters from the Christmas tree box and out of the garage. The tree smelled of vermin. There was no fixing it this time.

To save money, we got a tiny, little tree from Wally. We said we’d search for a nicer tree Boxing Day when the stores discounted all the holiday decorations. We didn’t get around to checking the post-holiday sales and decided to do it the next year.

Then the next.

Then the next.

Finally. Like seven years later…

We went to Home Depot Monday. We bought a new Christmas tree the day after Christmas along with their last two half-priced spools of LED C6s.

I couldn’t resist.

Then I couldn’t resist again.

We put up the new tree as soon as we got home. The day after Christmas. Joking all the while how we can’t wait for next Christmas.

We weren’t really joking, though.

Yesterday afternoon I stared at my holiday music playlist in iTunes, feeling nostalgic for the holidays…that we’re still in.

Those of you with a job you don’t fit recognize that feeling, don’t you.

It hits Sunday morning or afternoon. You’ve still got a little weekend left, but you’re already dreading Monday. You’re looking forward to the next weekend, even though you’re already in the middle of a perfectly good Sunday.

That’s something we have to try to fix. Be present. Pun intended. Don’t dwell on a past or future. Not even yesterday or tomorrow. Surely there is something to learn or grow from each moment, even if it’s just to exercise patience.

About that time my kid came in. “Daddy, can we ride bikes?”

Yes! Yes, we can.

I love it when she distracts me.

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