Tonight’s the big night, my wife’s company holiday party, which is taking place at my house. I’m thrilled that it will be over soon, preparing for it has been a beast.

Any time you agree to host an entire company at your house, any sense of normalcy goes out the window. Because of tonight’s festivities, we’ve been on a tear preparing every minor detail for the influx of guests.

I realized that decorating this year would be a little different from previous years due to the party. I had no clue just how different things would have to be.

In my previous post, I mentioned the concern about whether we would even be allowed to decorate for Christmas. Fortunately the HR Department came back and said that we could since it was our private residence hosting. If we were Jewish, we could have our menorah out, but since we’re Christian, we were okay with our standard decor.

I was happy to hear that and was looking forward to getting our decorations out. Oh boy did The Wife have other ideas. Our Christmas tree, which we’ve had for a dozen years, was no longer “appropriate for the space.” Nope, time to get a new tree. Oh, and instead of a new fake tree we can use for years to come (and because I’m cheap and don’t want to spend money on trees each year), this year it has to be a real tree. FUCK! Off to the tree lot we go, to pick out some way overpriced monstrosity that will rain pine needles on my carpet throughout the holiday season.

We get the thing home and properly placed. Time to decorate. I get out the box of ornaments and start lining them up for The Kids to place on the fancy new tree. Nope, no go on our traditional ornaments. The Wife headed to Hobby Lobby or Michael’s to get all new ornaments to create a “themed” tree. Yep, it’s red and silver all over. Ribbons run up and down and around. New fancy ball ornaments adorn the branches. She even bought a new star for the top that is more in line with her “Christmas vision.” We’re easily into the tree and ornaments for $700, probably more. I haven’t asked how much everything has cost so far and don’t know that I really want to ask.

Out front I historically have run a line of lights along the base of our shrubs. It’s nice, clean, and simple. As I’m working through the tangle of light strands, The Wife tells me that she’s scheduled a company to come out and put lights on the front of our house. This is something I’ve resisted for years. All of my neighbors have crews do their lighting, I’ve been the lone hold out, putting my simple display up on my own. Not this year. $1,100 later (had to buy all new light strands and bulbs) and I now have every gutter lined with lights. I will say that the front of the house looks spectacular, but I’m a bit sad that I didn’t have any part of it. Go to work one morning, no lights. Come home from work that evening, house is lit up like we’re going to be on the “Great Christmas Light Fight” show.

At this point, I’m afraid to ask about the rest of our decor. We’ve collected odds and ends that get displayed throughout the house each year. Some have sentimental attachments, others just seem to “fit the space” perfectly. As I’m sure you can guess, all of that stuff is still packed away. The Wife brought over our neighbor who fancies herself to be an interior decorator. They went through the house, made a list, and took off shopping. I have no clue how much they spent, but they came back with two car loads of Christmas crap that is now placed throughout the house.

Various rooms have different themes. The dining room is the Snowman room. There are snowmen everywhere. On the dining table, sideboard, window sills, chairs, fucking everywhere. The living room, with the tree decked out in red and silver, is the Santa room. You guessed it, Santa is fucking everywhere. We now have Santa-themed throw pillows on the living room couch. Where do you get “Santa-themed throw pillows” and is there enough of a market for those to have them readily available at the store?

The family room has been converted into the miniature village room. There are little buildings on every open surface in that room. Now, some of the buildings light up or play music, which is kind of cool, but there is no free surface to place your drink while you watch TV. Any tabletop has buildings and some white fabric covering that mimics snow occupying the complete surface area. The Wife tried to explain the “flow of the miniature village” but lost me after describing how Pastor Jones’ church had to be next to the bakery because of some reason I ignored. Yes, The Wife has a complete background story for each building and its occupants.

Tonight the party happens and hopefully all of this will soon be a distant memory. I’m lamenting the loss of our traditional decor and am very sad that my favorite items are tucked away in a Rubbermaid tub still. It just doesn’t seem like Christmas this year. More specifically, it seems like I’m spending Christmas at the house of a stranger. I’m hoping this is a one-time thing. Although now that I’ve spent all the money on new decor and lights, should we keep this party train rolling in future years? What would you do?

Good news is that we’ll be overloaded with good food & beverages tonight. The Wife’s company has spared no expense on the consumables. Now, the biggest disappointment for me is that they decided to not get the spiral cut ham like in previous years. That was, by far, my most favorite part of the entire party. I would hover over that ham and nibble on pieces all night. Apparently there were some employees in the company who felt that having a ham as the main item of food was insulting to their religious beliefs. I can understand that and certainly sympathize. To be honest, I think they just got tired of me monopolizing the ham and decided to just screw with me by not having it this year. Yes, it’s always ALL about me!

The party will be interesting. I’ll try to post Part 2 as soon as I can after the party ends. I’m wondering if anything crazy will happen. Usually the gift exchange is good for a laugh or two. Occasionally someone brings a very inappropriate gift for the exchange (a blow up sex doll last year), which brings a good laugh. More than likely it will be a boring affair where I play the roll of happy host, refilling drinks and directing people to the bathroom while trying to sneak as many cookies as possible without The Wife noticing.

Wish me luck!