When I was a kid, there was a popular
holiday song called “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front
Teeth.” So what does a grown up dyke wish for at Christmas, Kwanzaa
or Hanukah? After all these years of accumulating Stuff, I can think
of more I’d rather lose than gain. Starting with pounds. So no
sweet potato pie, chocolate coins or marzipan rugelach and certainly
no stealing Santa Claus’ cookies and milk.
This time of year is supposed to be all
about peace. I wouldn’t mind a little of that. No, make that a lot.
Put a one-way ticket home in every soldier’s stocking. Take all the
military funds and purchase ploughshares, not stock market shares.
Plough under all the failed strip malls, strip mines and clear-cuts.
Reforest our land. The returning troops and the unemployed could
rebuild the United States from potholes to playgrounds to honest
It’s not that I don’t want a
MacBook Air, an iPhone and a sled full of other cool gizmos, but
Verizon just sent me a free android phone whose wonders I’ve barely
begun to plumb. It’s not that I don’t want a hand truck or the
coffee table book Vivian Maier: Street Photographer. On any given day
I could add something new to my stuff lust.
The truth is, I have everything I need,
including a sled full of electronic gizmos. I have my sweetheart and
our comfy home and our beloved pets. We are healthy and have jobs. We
have caring family and friends. I have a new mess of books from the
I’ll settle for folding down the
seats in my car, covering them with the old army blanket and
trundling off to get our tree. We have the worst luck with trees, but
we keep trying. This is our fifth holiday season together. We’re
kind of a comedy act around the tree though.
The first year went fine. Except it
wasn’t Christmas yet. I flew from Oregon to Florida early in
December and my sweetheart met me at the airport wearing a Santa hat.
That was the zaniest, most festive gesture she could have made.
Immediately, it really was the holiday season. We went to an outdoor
stand all lit up with colored lights and got a beautiful, fresh tree.
We loaded it with a bountiful supply of decorations.
By the second year, we had u-hauled me
cross country and were still unpacking. We didn’t have time,
energy or space for a tree.
So for our third Christmas together, we
went to a PTA fund raiser and found the most perfect tree I’ve ever
seen. Should I mention my sticker shock at the cost of trees? I
remember paying $15.00; now you can spend $85.00 on a tree. Yet,
while my sweetheart was content with a mere six footer, I knew she’d
always wanted a big one. She couldn’t stop smiling at the
nine-footer I chose, not knowing what lurked within.
But, okay, my sweetheart is an old
fashioned girl and likes her trees so we brought home this perfect
tree, lugged it into the dining room and stood it up. A clump of mud
fell to the floor. Except, was that mud? What was that? A cry went up
from my ferocious femme. “It’s a mouse!”
It was indeed a mouse. A dead mouse
that fell out of our perfect tree. What else were those branches
hiding? Yuk! I removed the poor critter, but we were skeeved out. It
was like finding a cockroach in your entrée; you lose your appetite.
Then, of course, it didn’t fit in the
tree stand. We bought it a big sturdy stand. Somehow, we managed to
control our gag reactions long enough to get it upright.
Nevertheless, we had no desire to decorate it. So it stood in the
dining room bereft and when the holiday cards arrived we used them as
garland until we took it to the recycling center.
In our fourth year we were exhausted
from a major surgery and marriage planning. We would be out of town
for the holiday. We were a bit leery of the whole live tree
experience, but artificial wouldn’t do. No tree.
This year, I found a Groupon. Forty
dollars for an $80.00 Douglas fir. How could we resist? Sure, we’d
have to trek forty-five minutes north to get it, but hey, this is the
land of Mickey Mouse. The mouse lives, right? We are over the dead
Last Sunday we trekked. We scoped out
the web site, Google-mapped, GPSed, called ahead. We got up there and
couldn’t find the darned place. Turns out, it was so tiny we passed
right by. Some u-turning went on and we pulled up to it. The place
was locked up, shut down, closed despite its Sunday hours.
We called them, left a message, gave
up. We came home determined. My sweetheart went up into the crawl
space and slid tote after tote of decorations down the ladder to me.
Our home is adorned with many-hued totes. Will we get to empty them
All I want for Christmas is to see my
sweetheart smile when we light up our tree.
[Editor's Note: Lee Lynch is the author
of over 12 books. Her latest, Beggar
of Love, was called “Lee
Lynch's richest and most candid portrayals of lesbian life” by
Katherine V. Forrest. You can reach Lynch at
Copyright 2011 Lee Lynch