I joke every year that I’m “getting my Griswold on” when the holidays are getting near. But this year, it dawned on me that I really AM Clark Griswold.
I am Sparky. I own it. I revel in it. I wear the hat proudly.
Everybody loves “Christmas Vacation” this time of year. Everybody loves to laugh at poor Clark and his attempts to make every holiday, every vacation, every family dinner a joyous and wonderful occasion, topped by no other. He goes over the top, he dreams too big, he forces everyone to join in, and then slowly and surely, it all falls apart. Of course, in the end, everyone has a great time and loves Sparky for his efforts, and all is right with the world.
I can SO relate to this.
Every year, pretty much as soon as Halloween is over, I’m ready to bust out the tinsel and saturate our house in it. Having kids is making it WAY worse. I use Declan as my excuse — “It’s for him! All of this!” — which is a lie because I’ve been this way for way longer than 3 years, much to Paul’s chagrin. But at least now I can justify my insanity.
The frustrating part of being Clark Griswold is the delusions of grandeur. My heart and head are so FULL of Christmas cheer that they make me think that every mantle in Southern Living could be mine, every Christmas carol sounds glorious coming from me and the smell of gingerbread will begin oozing from the oven whenever I turn it on.
None of these things have ever, nor will ever happen. But I still try.
I know I’m not alone in my excitement to decorate based on my Facebook feed, but I just wonder why I can’t be better at it. I have the will, but not the skill (damn, I have mad rhyming skills, though…). Shouldn’t heart count for something?
So like Clark, I’ve begun the house transformation. I’m keeping it more subtle than he does, but only because Paul would refuse to live here if I did everything I really wanted to do. I do want to keep it classy, mostly. But I’m not gonna lie, part of me kinda wants to be the house that people drive by during Christmas, either to “ooh” and “aah” or to point and laugh at, either one. I don’t want to be tacky, but I just want ALL OF IT.
I want to bake cookies and go to parades and sing Deck the Halls and cut down a real tree every.single.day. And I want my family to want to do this, too. Well, not so much Simon, he doesn’t really care. I kinda want to wear Christmas sweaters and put the reindeer nose and antlers on my Kia and go ice skating. Like always. But Paul hates ice skating and Declan would get bored at a parade and let’s face it, Christmas sweaters aren’t cute, so I won’t do
some of those things. (P.S. I see all my friends’ photos of their “Ugly Christmas Sweater” parties and I’m totally bitter and not just a little bit pissed that I’ve never been invited to one. Just sayin.)
So, like Clark, I drive my family nuts for 6-8 weeks out of the year (well, 52 weeks, actually), but it’s because I love them and I want to give them a fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. I want them to have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny fu… you get it. ‘Tis the season to be merry!