In Other Words: Take It Out On the Tree

This piece is written in response to Patricia’s IN OTHER WORDS CHALLENGE. You can check out the other posts in the challenge by clicking on the underlined link and following the little blue frog.

In Other Words

The quote of the week is…

“The Christmas tree is the dot on the “i”.”
Frank Taylor

Take It Out On the Tree

By JE Lillie

Things that send you over the deep end. Straws that break camels’ backs. Mole hills that become mountains. It’s the story of my life!

It is never life’s tragedies that break my spirit. I can handle the heart attacks, the sudden deaths and the out-of-nowhere divorces. Personal bankruptcy or the thought of national economic collapse don’t even make me bat an eye.

But let me burn the rolls for the turkey dinner or let the cat knock down the Christmas tree and break just one glass bulb, suddenly my world is coming to an end. I am ranting and screaming. I threaten the cat with a tennis racket future. I promise certain death to anyone at the table who might comment on the state of the dinner rolls.

Christmas is never ruined by the caskets or the court cases. It’s the slanted star and the broken bulbs that set me off. I spend more time grumbling at the Christmas tree than commiserating with the relatives who are screwing up their lives. Maybe that is the point! If I yell at the tree or threaten the cat, if I burn the rolls to a crisp they can’t yell back. The Christmas tree is a safe place to put my anger, my fury at how others are messing up the holiday. That means it’s not about the tree at all. The broken bulb is just a stand in for the brokenness around me, the brokenness I feel I cannot address because it’s Christmas after all. It’s supposed to be a season of peace on earth, good will to men.

I leave you with a thought this Christmas. If the people around you are just plain ruining the holiday for you, stay sweet. Smile when the family’s around and in your private times take it out on the tree!

4 thoughts on “In Other Words: Take It Out On the Tree

  1. Very wise advice! It is usually the little things that push me over the edge. It doesn’t happen often but when it does my response is a temper tantrum extraordinaire. I don’t have a Christmas tree to take it out on, do you think a Christmas cactus will do? Thank you for linking to In Other Words.

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