• Jessica Sherry

Release the Christmas Kraken

Is it just me or does it feel like everyone’s going Christmas crazy this year?


We are, a little. For the first time in twenty-some-odd years, we aren’t going anywhere. This disappointing reality has inspired a greater focus on making Christmas awesome at home, something we homebodies can really sink our teeth in to, Kraken-style.


We got our Christmas decorations down from the FROG room and up early, though for days it looked like Christmas had thrown up in my dining room. Red and green chaos, like we’ve released the Christmas Kraken and it’s causing havoc for the villagers. I’ve decorated for Christmas every year, and yet can’t remember from one to the next where I put what.


Still, it’s December 8th and everything’s done, including our outside decorations—a new family record. Usually, we’re still hanging ornaments the week before Christmas and contemplating whether to bother with the outside lights at all, like lazy, indifferent Christmas slackers. In our defense, our Whoville-like neighbors have their extensive Christmas lights up the week of Thanksgiving and one of them (SMH) has them professionally installed. So, it’s easy to get bogged down with Christmas-light-envy and give up altogether.

Anyway, in our zeal to get Christmas ready, we realized that our tree topper—a sweet angel given to us by my in-laws decades ago—well, has seen better Christmases. She no longer sits atop the tree in the regal, graceful manner you’d expect from an angel, but rather sits haphazardly, as if contemplating suicide. So, with sadness, we decided. We need a new tree topper.


You’d think a simple tree-topper-hunt would be an easy task… the first week of December… in a city… with loads of stores begging for our money. Wrong, silly billy. We scoured the city in search of a perfect tree topper, even hit up Christmas stores, and alas, our quest has failed.


The first problem is… we’re (I’m) picky. We don’t want a freaking top hat or upside down elf legs or, holy hell, a decapitated snowman’s head for our tree topper. IDK what prompted these trends, but they don’t fit with our vision of the perfect Christmas tree. Still, wherever we go, these options are plentiful while simple, traditional angels and stars are hard to find. What's happened to angels and stars, people?

The second problem is… we waited too long. That’s right. Even though we performed a personal Christmas miracle getting all our halls decked the first week, it wasn’t soon enough to go out shopping for odds and ends like toppers. We should’ve done this before Thanksgiving when we were out buying Thanksgiving things and lamenting the fact that Christmas had already taken over. But we were busy with Thanksgiving plans then, Geez! And after that, Thanksgiving leftovers. Criminy Pizza!


By the time we scoured the land for tree toppers and finally digressed to try Target, they were all sold out! The tree topper aisle (yes, at Target there was an entire aisle devoted to toppers including gorgeous angels and stars) was completely empty—not one left, even online. Are we the only ones who keep their tree toppers for twenty years? Geez Louise!


The entire seasonal section at Target looked like a looted, ransacked mess as if Christmas Tasmanian devils had grabbed everything up. Are Christmas hoarders a thing? Are they dressing up their stashes of toilet paper and paper towels with tree toppers and ornaments? Yikes. Maybe we should release the Christmas Kraken on them (Devious wheels turning).


Anyway, with Christmas tree lots around town already closing because they’re out of stock, I have the sneaking suspicion that we’re all going a little more Christmas crazy than usual. That’s fine. Cool beans. Whatever. I get it. This year’s definitely taught us the value of our home lives and to celebrate time with our families. No doubt.


Only what am I going to put on top of my tree, people?


… My suicidal angel? Did you see her face? She’ll definitely take the plunge if I make her stay up there another year and using duct tape might make her disgruntled (like my gnomes).

… A roll of toilet paper? That’d be a disturbing, but fitting homage to the year.

… A lampshade?

… NOTHING? No matter how many ornaments adorn the tree, it still looks naked without a topper.


Leaving the tree untopped doesn’t feel right.


Neither does the fact that the City of Wilmington only has one freaking Target. Come on, Target.


Anyway, the tree topper search continues. In the end, I’ll expect I’ll have to get creative—another thing 2020 has taught us. It’s the year of making do with whatever you have around the house (or can order from Amazon). Maybe I’ll fashion something together out of sticks or bones or old phone cords. Would it be too weird to glue together all my empty hand sanitizers into a star? Or should I start a new trend altogether? Top the tree with a giant, octopus-looking sea monster. Hm. The Tree Kraken.


What’s topping your tree this year? Are you hoarding tree toppers in your basement? What’s crazy about this Christmas for you? Share below, if you dare tempt the Christmas Kraken.

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