I have always been a very vivid dreamer and most of my life I have been a sleepwalker, so sleeping can always be an adventure. Most of the time my dreams aren’t all that worthy of remembering. But every once in a while there is a dream so disturbing that I find myself waking up in a fit. I feel so rattled that I need to shake it off. I have even woken up so upset by the night’s episode that I am very angry with my husband for doing what ever terrible thing he had been doing moments before in my dream.
Last week I had one of those nightmare dreams, and it still haunts me.
The dream begins calmly as I went about my day, cleaning up the house and putting a few things away. I noticed that the kitchen in my new house really needed some updating and I spoke with my husband about possibly putting in some new cabinets and a hardwood floor. We had recently purchased this dream home and it sat on a nice piece of land with a beautiful view of the woods and a long driveway. I was happy with this new move, but nervous about the changes moving would bring.
My husband is a calm man, most of the time. But he’s not one for a lot of chaos. This little house in the woods was a good fit for us.
Then came a knock at the door, one that sent this peaceful dream into a complete nightmare. Opening the door we discovered a sweet looking elderly woman standing on the front porch with a basket of cookies. Delighted by the discovery of what we thought was a welcome visit, we asked her to come inside. It was December and we were happy to host our first visitor, even though we really had no idea that she would bring on the destruction of our peaceful lives in just moments.
” Oh you must be the new owners! I am so very glad to meet you, my husband has been talking about your arrival. He wasn’t sure how you were going to fit in, but I assured him that you both seem like such a nice couple.” She said as she went right into the kitchen and began unpacking a large basket full of gingerbread cookies and the ingredients for what looked like homemade hot chocolate.
” I am not sure who your husband is? I hope we didn’t offend him somehow.” I was startled that we had just moved into town and already someone wasn’t sure we would fit in.
” Chris is an old fuddy duddy! He doesn’t like most adults at first, but he’ll warm up.” At that point she made herself at home and began to move our furniture around effortlessly and was now armed with an odd endless supply of goodies in her basket. Our fireplace was decorated with sweet-smelling evergreen garland and candles that she then began to light.
Confused as to why this sweet older woman was now comfortable enough with her new neighbors to come right in and start decorating our new home. I told her that we were awfully busy with our own unpacking and we should make plans at a later date to meet her husband, perhaps after the holidays we would have them over for dinner. But she didn’t seem to listen to me at all, and before I could stop this nonsense from getting out of hand she opened the door and began seeing more people into my living room. Oddly dressed in red and green, our home was now busy with more elderly women all rushing here and there decorating the inside of my house in Christmas decorations!
“Now hold on right there, we don’t celebrate Christmas. We are Jewish, we celebrate Hanukkah.. and well, that has already passed. I am sorry, it’s very nice of you to come over and help us decorate. But I must ask you all to leave.” I declared in my sweetest but firm voice. I looked to my husband for support, knowing that he’d back me up. However as I peered over the brightly wrapped boxes and bows I spotted my Hanukkah Harry munching on gingerbread and sipping cocoa! He doesn’t even like gingerbread!!
“Calm down, we knew it was going to take time to adjust to living here. Why don’t you just relax and learn to go with the flow?” He asked, now dressed in a bright red Christmas sweater and sporting a Santa cap. Shaken by his betrayal I knew I was going to have to make this madness end all on my own. This would mean going right to the originator of this and demanding that she ask everyone to leave and get those reindeer off my lawn!
Snaking my way through the hussle and bussle, trying not to notice the pointy ears on the height challenged woman dressed in striped tights and bells on her shoes, I found the harbinger of this nightmare in the center of what looked what was about to be the landing strip for sleigh rides. She was comfortably dressed in a ruby-red cloak that looked very warm and comfortable in spite of the fact that it now seemed to be snowing where just before her arrival it had been a warm winter afternoon. “Just listen for a moment M ‘am, I know all of this must be some curious local tradition. But we are new here and we just don’t DO Christmas. We like it calm and simple, we light the Menorah, make some Latkes. We DO NOT set up a 14 foot Christmas tree in our front lawn and could you please ask those people to stop singing it is very distracting. Really, I must ask you all to leave right away.. and take the reindeer as well.
She just laughed and gave me a wink as she pushed her wire rimmed glasses up her nose a bit further. “Oh dear, you’ll be alright. My husband will be here soon with the sleigh and then the children will come and we can begin having some real fun. Your husband seems to be enjoying himself already!”
That is when I spotted my husband in the middle of what looked like a snow fort launching snowballs over the top right towards another very elaborately built snow castle manned by children squealing in delight. He wasn’t going to be any help to me at all.
Storming back into my house, now having to keep to the path marked by what looked like red and white spiral cinnamon candies due to the unexplained amount of snow that had fallen in minutes, I was fuming. I came inside and stood by the beautiful roaring fire that cracked with pinecones and crossed my arms over my chest in annoyance. Nobody was listening to me at all and everything was out of control. Even my normally fierce dog who rarely likes anyone was now sporting those fuzzy antlers and bells around her collar as she raced to keep up with the little man handing out nametags to all of his assistants. “Merry” and ” Joyful” were in the kitchen cooking up something that smelled like Hearth and Home. While “Happy” and “Cherish” were fluffing the pillows on my couch and talking about how much nicer it was to have Santa home early this year since he instituted some new changes and allowed technology into the workplace.
Overwhelmed I flopped down into my rocking chair and shook my head, not even noticing the new kitchen and floors that had appeared in my new home just as I would have liked them. I merely crossed one slipped foot with bells over the other and groaned as I accepted the steaming cup of hot cocoa and leaned back. Santa’s HO HO HO could be heard as he came down the driveway and the cheers of his arrival started to just make sense. I indeed had to learn to adapt in my new life.. no matter how wacky it was. Change tastes like Christmas Eve in the North Pole.. apparently.
That was when the rhythmic jingle of sleigh bells began to sound more like alarm bells and I realized morning had come and it was time to wake up. Let me tell you, my husband got a talking to about not supporting me in my debate with Mrs. Claus and the next time he had better put down his candy canes and agree with me!