Friday, January 4, 2013

The gingerbread men conspiracy.

I tend to be a wee bit vain.  Really?  Yes, my dear friends and blog readers, if you're loyal followers of my posts than I'm certain you're aware of this particular flaw.  I don't know where it came from or how it developed over the years but, well..I own it.  I can say with all honesty that it embarrasses me but more often than not, it's laughable - usually after the fact of some ridiculous incident. 

I'm bringing this up today because I've started putting away Christmas decorations and I've been reminded of one of these moments.  Of course, I snorted out loud when I thought of it and it's a grand story now but at the time it happened I was furious.  You see my dear ones, I strive for the perfect Christmas Tree every year; it must be so.  When friends, family, or strangers see my tree, an audible gurgle of appreciation must be voiced.  I have to hear overwhelming praise for the glorious tannenbaum which stands shining before them.  This is so pathetic and yet so true.

Most families are content with plastic trees or - if not, trees strung with perhaps three or four hundred lights at best.  No, not for this Potts' gal.  I go for the gusto - thousands of lights are used on a natural Noble Fir which must reach the ceiling of our 10 foot family room.  Do I string the lights?  No.  I impose this particular job upon my husband which takes him at least a day and a half.  Each branch must be wrapped independently and no light strand must be hanging or seen by the naked eye.  Now, before I'm accused of being a decorating hag, let me say I'm the one who takes off the lights and puts away the decorations (please don't judge me, not yet anyway).

Not only do I prefer thousands of lights on the Christmas Tree but I want it to have an"old fashioned" look to it.  By this I've been known to string strands of cranberries, popcorn, and sugar plums until  naughty pets undermine my best efforts.  Candy canes, dried roses, and yes - every year I make gingerbread men from scratch, hanging them with raffia ribbons from the higher branches. 

During Austynn's first Christmas in our home, our tree was as beautiful as ever.  William, his older brother, had already been adopted and the kids were both awaiting Santa eagerly.  One lovely December morning, as I was sharing a cup of coffee with Austynn's case worker, I caught a glimpse of something out of place on the tree.  One of the gingerbread men looked strange.  I became distracted.  I couldn't concentrate on the conversation.  Something was amiss.  Yes, not only was something amiss, but something was missing...a head.  The gingerbread man was missing a head!  How odd.  Did it fall off?  My eyes wandered to another cookie.  This one was missing an arm.  Peculiar.  Another cookie..a leg!  This was more than a coincidence...this was a conspiracy.  Buttons were licked off another one!  THOSE BOYS!!!

...and here I was blaming the dogs.