Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Scott and Candy's Christmas Halfway House

Before you drop your boozed-up uncle and your toothless meth-faced co-worker off here, it's not that kind of halfway house. Back off, Corky.

This is the house where all holiday preparations are done halfway, then left to simmer, then eventually returned to.

Take our Christmas tree, for example. I have not put up a Christmas tree in 11 years. Not a regular-sized one anyway. For Scott it's been even longer with no tree. A couple of years during the "single" decade, I put up a pitiful 2 foot tree that Hankie would momentarily observe, then knock over. I didn't blame him. I couldn't respect a tree like that either. My lack of enthusiasm hung on its branches like the stench on a soggy cigar. It wasn't even Charlie Brown cute. It was just unloved. Propped up and plugged in and forgotten, like the severed head of Ted Williams in its cryogenic cubbyhole.

Being single at Christmas sucked in many ways. But at least there were no hideous in-laws to have to go see, and no rip-roaring arguments with the spouse over his gracious yuletide tradition: striving for surgical precision in the exactly matched hours we spent with his family, vs. those spent with mine.

There was also his nightmare aunt who could not stop asking me when I might be going to have a baby.

Me: "Well, first I'd have to start sleeping with him again."

All this while she and her sister prepared their special holiday hors d'oeuvres: celery with Velveeta smashed down into it with their own fingers. The only thing better than Velveeta? Velveeta with fingerprints. Lord knows what went into the cheese ball.

But I digress. Don't you hate it when people say that? I do.
Look. I digressed again.

Now I'm smack dab in the middle of the future that I'd hoped for, for many many years. My in-laws are freakishly great, my husband is so adored by my family that I could puke, and life has reached a place where I have, to a large degree, stopped gnashing my teeth in agony. I'm actually excited to do sappy traditional Christmas things. Scott bought us a pre-lit tree at Costco, and last night he got it out and assembled it and fluffed and re-fluffed the branches and plugged it in. Today he put another string of lights on it, the crystal-cut colored ones that resemble a Lite Brite.

We have reached the halfway point on the Christmas tree. Time to savor it a little before the final round. We still need to put a billion ornaments on it, but I did dig out the exquisite angel to top it off today.

Yes. She is a German Shepherd. I suppose you thought that the celestial beings with wings had human faces? Oh that's rich. God is not nearly so banal. He selects his angels' faces not from the likes of Jimmy Durante and Ernest Borgnine and whichever of the Gabors has kacked. He instead goes directly to the neglected mutts of the rural backroads. "Come, Buster!" he says. "Stop rolling in dead bird and letteth me putteth thy wings upon you!" And Buster runs up the dirt road toward that voice. He does not even stop halfway to lick his butt.


  • At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Velveeta with fingerprints. Mashed in celery. Excuse me while I hurl.

    OK. I'm back. I think you might be on to something. Dogs are much more angelic than people.

  • At 7:57 AM, Blogger Hoosier Mama said…

    "We have reached the halfway point on the Christmas tree. Time to savor it a little before the final round."

    So, have you stopped halfway to lick your butt?

  • At 8:24 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Don't lie, Futuresis. You went to make some right away, and have already eaten it. Mmmm.

    Hoosier, no, but that could be a great new tradition! Must start doing yoga again to make that possible.

  • At 10:58 AM, Blogger Dana said…

    I think that is my new favorite Christmas story (Buster's). I am surprised you don't have a cat as your tree topper. I guess Hankie wouldn't hold still long enough?

    A child of a friend once asked 'if we were made in God's image, were the animals made in the angel's image?' I thought that was very cool...

  • At 11:18 AM, Blogger Carin said…

    With an empty tree, you'll have to start crafting. Want me to dig up the tampon angel instructions?

    And, a dog angel is fitting, since dogs are proof that God loves us.

  • At 11:23 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Dana, if I could've FOUND a catface tree topper, I'd have grabbed it. I just kept finding dog stuff. I love bad art with cat and dog themes almost as much as life itself. It all started in grade school when I put skirts on our German shepherd, Buck. Those were the days.

    Hankie is not amused by the dog angel.

  • At 11:25 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Tampon angels????? What could be tackier. And more wonderful. And absorbent.

    I agree about the dogs being proof that God loves us. Cats too.

  • At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My life partner is not of the Xian persuasion and thus no Yule cheer no more. As a youth, loved the holiday, carols sung on the AM dial by Patti Page, Tony Martin, and Julius La Rosa --and Aunt Emma's yearly treat: Jello with fruit pieces inside.

    And of course the (incoming) gifts: a basketball game where a spring shot the ping-pong ball at a tiny basket, and a kind of air gun that shot ping-pong balls about five feet or so. Perfect if you had a younger, smaller, sibling.

    But I digest--what I really wanted to do is tell you that eggnog is really good with Southern Comfort. So unless you're really committed to bourbon or rum, try it. Col. Sanders ... I'm sure he hit it pretty hard around this time of year, what with the deep fat smoke driving him bat-shit crazy,

  • At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ceisaf says that if god is really a loving god that god would let Buster stop and lick his butt on the way to heaven...

  • At 4:58 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Tell Ceisaf I can't vouch for the lower case "c" gods. :)

  • At 4:59 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Oh, and besides that, I'll bet in heaven, there's like a whole big line of heavenly dog butts for them to sniff, and a special beanbag chair to sit in for self-cleaning. And it is stuffed with cat fur.

  • At 5:01 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Tony...we had that basketball game at my house! That and the "Toss Across" game where you play Tic Tac Toe by tossing bean bags. Look how easily we were entertained. Now it's Wii wires hooked up to them rotten kids and their pea brains.

    Why do bean bags keep coming to mind today?

  • At 5:19 PM, Blogger Citlali said…

    Maybe you had a Baby Beans doll too when you were little and have forgotten. Your subconcious is reminding you... OR you could just be a child of the 70's -- it's just a nostalgic day. I personally have a thing for bean bags. Too bad we love cats so much, eh? Don't think one would survive in my house... OH, and I'm still in that amature/bachelor phase of Christmas decorating. Last year in an unexplained panic I spent $100 in a craft store (hey, it was 50% off!) on Black Friday. Never before had I spent CLOSE to that amount. Got home and hated almost all of it. The best one was that two foot wire tree -- mine's hot pink. What I really wanted was the black Nightmare Before Christmas tree, still two foot tall, but I'm too cheap to spend $50. So this year we'll probably really go the extra mile and color the hot pink one with black spray paint for real class. That way we can spend our decorating budget on the Jack & Sally stringed lights... = ]

  • At 9:33 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Citlali...I just saw black AND pink AND purple teeny weeny trees at Borders the other day. They were a mix of kitsch and goth. I loved them. I resisted the temptation though, since I couldn't decide on a color.

  • At 10:52 AM, Blogger Domhan said…

    I totally love the German Shepherd angel. It's soooo "Candy."

    Several years ago I found a Barbie-sized doll of Joey Ramone. I bought it for my son because he is a HUGE Ramones fan, but simply giving a 20+ year-old guy a doll is kind of lame.

    Christmas cometh.

    I bought a small Christmas tree, decorated it with shiny silver chains (purchased from the hardware store) and hung old AOL CDs on it. Then I wired "angel" Joey Ramone to the top of the tree.

    My son went BAT-SH*T! It's amazing how such a strange thing can make a guy so happy.

  • At 11:02 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Only YOU would think of that. And that's the best use for those stupid AOL CDs ever.
    I can hardly think of the Ramones without feeling all Christmasy anyway.

  • At 12:09 PM, Blogger Domhan said…


    If that ain't a Ramones song, it should have been. Just chock full of Christmasy goodness.


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