“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
This maxim originated in 1949 with Air Force Captain Edward A. Murphy, Jr., who ran a bungled aerospace experiment. Perhaps his holiday gathering didn’t resemble a Hallmark movie’s, either.
Few do. Anyone celebrating Christmas wrestles with Murphy’s Law.
- If you’ve decorated, young children/grandchildren will un-decorate.
- If you hide medicines from them, you’ll have hidden them even better from yourself.
- If you’ve moved plants and breakables to your bedroom, they’ll remain safe — until you and your spouse rise for nocturnal bathroom visits.
- If light strings work, five minutes later, they’ll short-circuit your entire block’s electrical grid. Repairmen will come “after the holidays.”
Murphy’s Law also wreaks havoc with holiday feasts. Along with meeting fat-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and pescatarian (fish only) requirements as well as free-range partridges that have roosted in pear trees, hosts face numerous other challenges.
- If everyone shares dinner responsibilities, COVID-19, flu, road construction, blizzards and/or meteorite showers will necessitate a host’s wild dash for a turkey that can thaw and cook in 15 minutes.
- If you make real giblet gravy, older diners recall Grandma’s tasted better. Younger ones request gravy-in-a-jar.
- If you overload grandchildren with sugar, parents will disappear for a week.
Then, there is the weather.
- If half your family votes for snowmen, and the other half for clear roads, you’ll receive a compromise politely called wintry mix. Less politely: slop.
- If eight grandsons visit, it will slop all day. Every day.
Murphy’s Law loves to tinker with generational differences.
- If the eight grandsons play Monopoly, keep ice bags handy.
- If you own five identical, yellow toy cars from Cheerios® boxes, all your future NASCAR drivers will claim the same one.
- Mary, Jesus’ mother, might have welcomed a little drummer boy, but most moms of infants — and cranky, old adults — don’t.
- Though … if grandparents turn up “Jeopardy!” volume to seismic levels, they still insist children are too loud.
- If no one brings up politics or COVID, the don’t let-your-kids-tell-my-kids-there-isn’t-a-Santa discussion keeps communication flowing.
With Murphy’s Law on the loose, grinches could present an excellent case to ban holiday get-togethers.
But grinches don’t understand that Family Law trumps Murphy’s. It declares love is worth risks. Worth gravy, Santa and Cheerios® car clashes. Worth learning to pronounce “pescatarian.”
After Christmas 2020, who would have it any other way?
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How does Murphy’s Law affect your Christmas?