Dear Stern German Lady,
Every December my wife virtually buries our home in Christmas decorations. It’s not just the tree and stockings in the living room; she’s not happy until there are Christmas towels and Christmas soap in the bathroom and another tree and knicky-knacky stuff downstairs. Not even a doorknob is safe from decoration.
It drives me nuts; I feel so claustrophobic. I bump into these decorations everywhere I turn. I was raised differently, more simply. There was a tree in the living room and stockings hung from the mantel. That was it.
For the last 20 years of our marriage, I have suggested — unsuccessfully — that we compromise and alternate every other year. One year her way, the next mine. When I do, she tearfully accuses me of being Scrooge. I admit I’m not big on the commercialized Christmas season, but is my request unreasonable?
– Not Fond of XMAS in Utah
Dear Not Fond of XMAS,
You are a simple man and I like that but these decorations do more than festive up the house during the holidays, they keep a number of demons at bay as well. Sure all those lights are bright and the power drain is extreme but it is that or having your youngest child put into a sack and beat with a birch-branch until blood bleeds from their ears.
The Gryla, Frau Perchta, The Jolakotturinn; these are creatures of unspeakable horror your wife is protecting you from. She even has enough kindness and mercy to spare you the knowledge of the beast she is fighting. Oh, you are going nuts because all the windows say Merry Christmas? Take those down and Frau Perchta will steal your face for her stew. It is going to be really hard to hang your simple stockings when you are being tortured by the Krampus!
Compromise is the foundation of any working relationship but your need to minimalize Christmas is going to get you and your family killed; and that would literally be the worst Christmas present ever. Be a man and submit to your wife’s decorations. They are saving your flesh and soul these holiday season.
Stern German Lady