My family has a separate tradition. It’s called, “Countdown to Holiday Herbicide.” They take turns guessing how long it will take for me to snuff out the Spirit of Peace and Goodwill by killing the Christmas flower. The winner gets extra whipped cream when the pumpkin pie comes around.
I'm up to the challenge. As a trained amateur with years of experience, I can take that Poinsettia from Merry Christmas to mulch in minutes.
This year’s offering was a particularly hearty specimen, and if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s an arrangement with an attitude. I knew it was time to win one for the chipper.
Before long I had a lovely pile of poinsettia potpourri arranged in a dainty ring around a festive foil-covered pot of sticks. But knowing I would soon be found out by the plant lottery patrol, I needed to spring into action.
I pulled my 50-caliber rapid fire glue gun out of its holster, rounded up my glue stick shells, and hummed the A-Team theme music for inspiration as I began reconstruction.
“What’s that smell?” Son One strolled through the kitchen sniffing the air like dinner was minutes away from setting off the smoke detectors.
“What smell?” I asked innocently, shoving the contraband paraphernalia behind my back.
“Mom, either you’ve been branding wolverines in here or you hot glued your thumb again. Are your hands stuck to your pants?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve been dabbling in mind-altering substances.”
“Oh, no. Don’t tell me you’ve been in the glitter, too.”
Just then the family dog, a hearty mix of Labrador and Dalmatian, wandered nonchalantly through the room. He bore so many poinsettia leaves between his ears that he looked like Sitting Bull in full headdress. Translucent sparkles floated like snowflakes in the air around him.
“Why does the dog look like he’s the main attraction for Disney Princesses on Ice?”
“I had a little trouble with my aim.”
Son Two joined us in the kitchen, head bent over a hand held video game as he headed toward the refrigerator. He stopped suddenly, sniffed the air, and looked at me accusingly. “Have you been trying to make cookies again?”
Son One snorted. “Stand back. She has a glue gun and she has no idea how to use it.”
I brandished my weapon, sending hot adhesive across the room and adhering the dog’s bowl to the linoleum for life.
The dog sidled over to the dish like a Sugar Plum Fairy in full costume, and I felt my heart grow like the Grinch’s on Christmas morning. In a world where a Labrador can grow up to be a fairy princess, maybe I could end up with a green thumb.
After all, once the wrapping paper lies in mangled piles, and Santa scrapes the dried glue off the reindeer, isn’t hope what Christmas is all about?
Besides, I won the Poinsettia Slaughter Lottery under an assumed name. The dog and I entered as partners.
Join me for more "Don't Let This Happen To You" moments at Mind over Mullis.