A Christmas Story Remix

Guest Blog by Tracy K. Ard

Don’t be fooled by the adorable faces of Tracy’s three children (below). Life with them, according to Dad, is a mixture of A Christmas Story and Dave Barry’s worst (or best) nightmare. If you’ve never read Tracy K. Ard, you’re in for a fit of giggles. His tongue may be in his cheek, but his heart is always right where it belongs.

ChristmasRemix-color

Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh

The lights are up. The tree is decorated.

O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way

The sound of holiday music fills the air. Another Christmas swathed in tradition and
orchestrated with perfection is under way.

Well, almost.

“Dad, when will the lights be back on?” A winter storm knocked out our power about 15 minutes ago. To Dalin, my six-year-old son, this means the Xbox has been unavailable for nearly an eternity.

“Soon,” I say. “Why don’t you stop hopping around and just sit down for a minute?” Even in complete darkness, I know exactly what he’s doing: tail-spins, backside rotations, and front-nose tweaks. All tricks he’s learned playing a snowboarding game on the Xbox.

“Watch this one,” he says. I then hear the heartwarming sound of a 60-pound first grader landing a big-air jump somewhere near the middle of our living room.

“Tight,” I say, which roughly translates to: Thanks for not breaking your head or my widescreen television during the execution of that last trick.

“It’s going to be even better in the snow!” he says.

His level of confidence is amazing, especially considering he’s never actually been on a snowboard. He’s fully convinced, though, that the skills he’s developing by leaping off our furniture and playing video games will transfer directly onto the slopes. In fact, he’s requesting to go somewhere this winter where he can “grind” on a few rails and attain “phat air” on some half-pipes.

I’m not exactly sure what these terms mean, but they generate horrific visions of my phat backside rotating wildly out of control down an ice-encrusted mountain, resulting in a grinding face plant and a severely tweaked nose.

“I’m totally stoked,” I say, which means: Your mother can’t wait to take you.

Bells on bobtails ring
Making spirits bright

As I look across the room, I see Matison, my oldest daughter, sitting next to our tree.
She’s remarkably creative, resourceful, and fearless for a four-year old, so I decide to crawl over and make sure she isn’t doing anything that will require emergency care–I’m still on edge from a recent cabinet-climbing expedition she led that culminated with a trip to the hospital and 11 stitches across her chin.

“What are you doing?” I ask, noticing that she’s surrounded herself with several
ornaments plucked from our tree.

“Playing Christmas. This is Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus,” she says, nodding
towards a glass Cinderella, a gingerbread bear, and a small model car. I’m not sure who’s playing who. “And these,” she continues, holding up a snowman, a reindeer, and Winnie the Pooh, “are animals from the manger.”

“Who’s this?” I ask, pointing to a plastic Spiderman dressed in a Santa hat.

“Dad,” she says, as if it should be completely obvious, “that’s Spiderman.”

What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Convinced that her antics are mostly harmless, I scoot over next to my wife, Tamie.
“Where’s Makenna?” she asks, referring to our two-year old.

“Upstairs,” I say. This is based on the assumption that Makenna is somewhere near Big
Mouth Billy Bass, her best friend and the sole source of our holiday music. Billy is one of those so-called “novelty” mounted fish that blare out redneck renditions of numerous Christmas songs (by “numerous” I mean two: “Up on the Housetop” and his personal favorite, “Jingle Bells”). My parents sent him to us, claiming he was a gift for the children. Tamie and I have since come to believe he’s payback for something I did to them as a child. Although I can’t imagine what I would have done to deserve Billy.

“Do you think we should go get her?” my wife asks, knowing full well she won’t come
down without the fish.

Before I can respond, Makenna shouts, “We coming down!” This is followed by the
sickening noise of something heavy pummeling down our stairs. Tamie and I quickly feel our way to the bottom of the landing, nervous of what we’ll find there.

Ride ‘Em! It’s Billy. He’s strapped inside Makenna’s baby stroller and was apparently sent down ahead of her to mark the trail. Unfortunately, he survived the trip unscathed.

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way

The fish is a technological wonder, likely constructed from the same materials used for flight data recorders on commercial aircraft. He also came pre-equipped with a military-grade motion sensor and power supply, allowing him to detect any movement within a two-mile radius and blast out his cheesy Christmas carols at decibel levels capable of overpowering most home theatre systems. He also blasts out his cheesy Christmas carols if he detects any change in the temperature or barometric pressure. Or if he detects any continental drift.

Or even if he doesn’t.

Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh

“Are you okay?” my wife asks, stepping over Billy to reach Makenna. In the dark, it looks like she has blood around her face.

“I fine,” Makenna says, struggling to get out of Tamie’s arms and back to the fish.

“Chocolate,” my wife says, pointing to Makenna’s chin.

“All gone,” Makenna replies, which is the same response she’s been giving us for the
past several weeks. She has a stash of Halloween candy hidden somewhere in the house and every so often will just show up with a chocolate eyeball or a mouthful of candy corns. We’d be more concerned if it wasn’t for the fact the candy seems to have replaced her former preference of tissues dipped in the toilet. A little tooth-decaying, tantrum-inducing sugar is actually a delightful change.

As I guide Tamie, Makenna, and Billy back into the living room, I step down onto
something that crunches apart like a cockroach. A very large cockroach. One with rabid claws and venomous fangs. I respond by leaping around in circles and wildly trying to brush the remnants from my foot.

“Dad!” Matison shouts from somewhere beneath me. “You stepped on my Wiseman!”

“Your what?” I ask, fearing she may have actually befriended the nasty thing. I then look down and, much to my relief, find I’ve only trampled a festively decorated pinecone.

Matison starts crying. “Christmas is ruined!” she says. Fearing she’s being left out on
some clever ploy to snare a candy cane, Makenna joins her. Billy, however, remains indifferent.

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way

I hobble back to our couch and sit down, exhausted. For some reason, Christmas never turns out like I plan. I dream Norman Rockwell and deliver National Lampoon.
Then, from somewhere nearby, I hear Dalin.

“Wow!” he says. “That was a sweet Boned Corkscrew, Dad!” From the sidelines, he must have misinterpreted my erratic bug-stomping moves for a well-executed snowboarding trick. The night, miraculously, becomes silent. But only for a moment.

Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh

I laugh.

Tamie laughs.

All of our children laugh.

And our gloomy home suddenly becomes the proving ground for a rambunctious gang of professional snowboarders. Shadows take turns jumping, spinning, twisting, cheering, and rejoicing. And I’m reminded that Christmas doesn’t have to go exactly as planned to be perfect, and even if you shoot for a Howard Johnson’s but end up staying in a manger…

It’s still possible to bring joy to the world.

Even if you have to bring along a singing fish.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to A Christmas Story Remix

  1. This is WONDERFUL! Brings back fond memories of when my three children were little.

    (Thank You Jesus that my children are all GROWN!!!)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Heidi Viars says:

    Oh my goodness, Mitch … what a gift to those who read … emotionally I felt a bit like a rag doll, flung around by her feet … One moment I am laughing out loud … and then … feel my tears come up. THANKS for your introduction. I can’t wait to read/laugh/cry more.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. gpavants says:

    Mitch,

    Yes, love it on so many levels. Thank you, Lord for finding joy when the lights go out.

    Merry Christmas,

    Gary

    Liked by 3 people

  4. That was so much fun! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Gail Perry says:

    I needed this today. Thank you for the opportunity and a reason to laugh out loud.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. henhouselady says:

    Lol. Reminds me of when my kids were small We had five. I’m so glad we were never sent a singing fish.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. henhouselady says:

    Please no. I have grandlids.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Puresoulwidhijab says:

    Happy season greetings to you and your family .. and a great article .

    Liked by 3 people

  9. This was a very fun post; I enjoyed it! Tracy is right that Billy Big Mouth Bass is an instrument of revenge.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. “…even if you shoot for a Howard Johnson’s but end up staying in a manger…” – Exactly! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  11. pkadams says:

    Thanks for this little bright spot !

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Aimee P says:

    Ohmygoodness. This is hilarious! Love it!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Carla says:

    I love this post, thanks for sharing this Mitch. I am a little teary from laughing and emotions.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Marsha says:

    What a fun post, Mitch. This is perfect for the #WQWWC challenge about anticipation. You should put a pingback to your blog in my comment section. 🙂 Have a wonderful holiday season and thanks for stopping by my blog. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Pingback: A Christmas Story Remix

  16. gracespeaker says:

    Oh, how I love this! Gotta get me a Christmas Billy Bass!

    Liked by 2 people

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