You’ll Never Believe What Santa Left Under The Tree

The women in my immediate family have never really been known for our grace. We’ve certainly made valiant attempts to become more graceful – Mama taught ladies’ exercise classes for years; I took ballet until I was eighteen; Sister cheered all the way through high school – but by and large, we’re a stumbling bunch.

And while Mama has always contended that she doesn’t drink alcohol because it makes her thumbs numb and thus renders her incapable of cutting her food, I personally believe that part of the reason she doesn’t imbibe is because she fears the effect that alcohol would have on her balance. Remaining upright is a tricky proposition for all of us under the best circumstances, and there have been many times when we’ve been known to trip over a perfectly flat expanse of floor or a pesky molecule of oxygen that’s floating underfoot.

Don’t even get me started on the effects of, you know, the wind.

It’s probably no surprise that all three of us have fallen down stairs and suffered broken bones as a result of our astounding poise. Mama fell down the stairs at our old house and broke her arm; Sister broke an ankle when she took a tumble down some exterior stairs at her office (in fairness, I believe there may have been some icy conditions involved), and I fell down our basement stairs and broke my leg because apparently air makes me lose my balance.

In short, we’re an orthopedist’s dream.

When D and I bought this house last year, one of its biggest selling points was that it would enable us to be free and clear of stairs. There are just a couple of steps up to the front door, and the only steps inside the house are two very wide ones that lead down into the living room. Given my family’s propensity for falling, fewer steps seemed like a very good thing indeed.


A month or so ago I asked Mama if she wanted to come for a visit after Thanksgiving and help me decorate my Christmas tree. Mama loves to decorate a tree, whereas I love to put up garland and hang wreaths and set my dining room table with Christmas china. So we make a pretty good team – especially since I rank the methodical placement of ornaments right up there with getting a root canal without the aid of anesthesia.

Sunday afternoon D put up our trees, and Monday I pulled out all the storage bins that are filled with decorations. I’ll be the first to admit that the boxes have made the house a little, um, cluttered right now, as evidenced by the fact that yesterday morning I walked into the living room in my sock feet, accidentally stepped on top of a large plastic Rubbermaid lid and slid, as best I could tell, approximately three-quarters of the way to Tuscaloosa.

I am an elegant, nimble flower.

Yesterday afternoon I left the house so that I could run some errands by myself, alone, without anyone else with me, and when I got home Mama had made tons of progress on the tree. Nobody can decorate a tree like she can – unless it’s Sister, who has some mad tree decorating skillz her own bad self – and aside from a few finishing touches, Mama’s work was done. The tree looked beautiful.

A few minutes later I was in the kitchen, and I heard a noise that I’ve heard countless times in my life, a noise that clearly indicates Oh My Word, Someone Has Fallen. The noise was immediately followed by D saying, “Are you okay? ARE YOU OKAY?,” at which point I took off down the hall, more than a little bit worried that there was a trip to the emergency room in our near future.

But right before I walked into the living room, I heard Mama laughing. She was laughing A LOT. And she was assuring D that she was perfectly fine, that yes, she had lost her balance, but she was absolutely, perfectly fine.

I can’t even tell you how relieved we were.

And y’all?

When I stepped down into the living room to check on Mama – knowing full well that she was fine but just wanting to make sure with my own eyes – and when I saw what you’re about to see, I collapsed into a laughing fit so severe that I nearly wet my pants. And while what happened wouldn’t have been even remotely funny if Mama had been hurt, the unusual nature of her (thankfully) minor tumble left us all with an incurable case of the giggles.



We still haven’t been able to figure out how she landed in this particular position. But I guess that when you’re as klutzy as we are, the only surprising thing about falling down is that sometimes you wind up in the most unexpected locations.

With the most unexpected views.

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  1. ahh, yes… um..I’m just inspecting the under-side of the Christmas tree. Yeah, that’s it. ;)

    I’m glad that Mama is okay!

  2. Oh my word! I am certain mother appreciates that picture. How funny.

  3. Oh, my word… just HOW did she land in that position but nary a thing is shaken from that tree???? I mean it is fully in tact…….things that make you go HMMMMMM……… glad she’s ok!! And I can just imagine you in a laughing fit over the sight of Mamma under the tree……
    bless her heart!!!

  4. Bailey's Leaf says:

    Glad that Mama is okay! Hey, are you doing your really cool card tree this year? The internets want to know!

  5. Mama is going to need to take something before she goes to bed tonight!
    At least she fell in the privacy of your home. I made a beautiful fall at a friend’s wedding reception and had to be carried away on a golf cart with a broken foot! Good times indeed!

  6. Oh, poor Mama!
    At least the whole darn tree didn’t come down on top of her. That would been such a waste of her mad skillz.

  7. Oh My Land! Your poor mother. Very funny decorating skillz.

  8. You make me laugh. Just what I needed before I tackled this term paper!

  9. Stephanie says:

    Oh my word – too funny!

  10. It’s a wonder she didn’t whack the small of her back on the corner of that VERY broad step. . .and even MORE freaky than that is that while I was reading your post, I was in a time warp and thought I was reading ANTIQUE MOMMY (right BEFORE you in alphabetical order in my internet favorites folder) whose site I had just left. I felt like I might fall over myself as I tried to figure out just why Antique Mommy was using the word “mama” with abandon. I moved into the moment when I read “sister.”

    Glad she’s okay. It’s a wonder there was a repeat of the fish farm incident when she fell.

  11. ROFL! This post was hysterical! I’m still picturing sliding across the floor in the bin lid! Thanks for the laugh. I’m glad Mama is okay.

  12. Roxanne – that was an excellent call on your part. I’m just sayin’.

    And Bailey’s Leaf – I AM doing the card tree. Can’t wait!

  13. Maybe she should stay down there until Christmas is over. It can be a very dangerous season, as you’ve already noted with the plastic bin lid.

    If your Mama was really clumsy, she would have taken down the tree with her. She shows some gracefulness you didn’t give her credit for!

    Glad she’s all right! (And wasn’t she lucky to land face up so you didn’t take a hiny picture for us Internets to see.)

  14. That was an impressive feat.

  15. A kindred spirit! I understand, sister, I do.

    Now you’d think with seven years of ballet, tap, baton and jazz, I’d be coordinated, right? Nope. In fact, Chris said we needed to pad the walls when I was pregnant all four times–not because I was crazy either–because I ran into walls and corners and such for no reason at all. I agree with your Mom–that is why I don’t drink. For goodness sake, I have enough trouble not hurting myself or others!
    You bless me, you sweet flower!

  16. Hysterical. And you don’t have to tell us, but I noticed there’s a blurry spot. Did Mama show some skin? :-)

  17. BTW, you need to write a song about this :)

  18. The laughter, it’s more than I can handle. Poor Mama.

    I am so pleased that you took a picture, though. And shared.

    You’re the best.

  19. Grandma got run over by a reindeer, walking home from our house Christmas Eve…

    Mama got eaten by our Christmas tree, hanging up the ornaments Christmas Eve…

    Yeah, there is definitely a Country Christmas song to be discovered here.

  20. I’m glad she’s alright, but I have to say I did laugh out loud. (At the office.) Your poor mama! I’m on the clumsy side myself, so y’all have my sympathy.

  21. How she didn’t manage to pull the tree down on top of her I’ll never know…..This would be a delightful picture to use on her Christmas card this year!

    By the way, your tree looks gorgeous!

  22. Tell me about falling!! I’m good at it!! :-)
    Bless your mama’s heart! Glad she is okay though….

  23. it looks like the tree is trying to hide her!

  24. Just trying to figure out how that could possibly have happened is cracking me up. THAT is what you call talent!!

    How in the world did she get UNDER the tree!
    Have fun with your mom in town!
    Much love

  26. Oh my heavens… I AM laughing out loud — I can’t believe you weren’t helping her up… instead you are photographing her… and the gentleman… he’s not helping her…

    “Wait — let me get the camera.” THAT’S HILARIOUS….

  27. ok — now apparently MY thumbs are numb. There is no gentleman in the picture. What was I seeing??

  28. My husband thinks she is just working on the tree… he thinks a tree must be perfectly balanced. That’s why we never decorate the tree together… LOL

  29. I’m glad she let you take a picture! :)

  30. And here I’m laughing, and I don’t even know Mama. I’m thrilled she’s OK. Otherwise, this laughter would be very, very inappropriate.

    (Great story by the way, with or without the ending.)

  31. STOP IT!!!
    Tell Oui Oui to simmer down!!

  32. Physical comedy is the best!

    Thanks, Mama!

  33. Oh, I am laughing right along with you! I’m glad she’s okay. How DID she manage that position!?!!??

  34. Now that is some tree decorating dedication. I don’t know what is funnier. The photo or the fact that she let you take a picture of her ON THE FLOOR!

  35. Oh, your poor dear mama. I can relate. I can SO relate.

    But, I must say, she’s got some nifty looking shoes there, so that’s a plus. When I slip and slide on those pesky molecules of oxygen, I always hope that at least I’ll be as picture-ready as your mama is. Kinda like when my mama says not to wear underwear with holes in them when you go to the grocery store in case you get in a car accident. If such things are going to happen, we might as well be cute in the midst of it, right?

  36. Oh how I sympathize! My husband coined the term “pulled a Sarah”. Another way of saying that someone tripped! I’m glad that your Mama is ok!

  37. If you hadn’t heard that noise I would have just thought she was checking on the ornaments under there!!!!

    Your family takes the cake. I fell 3 or 4 times during my pregnancy and my husband accused me of instilling the clumsy gene before they were even born.

    I have no idea what he is talking about.

  38. I did lol when I saw the picture! I hope she isn’t sore after her fall.
    I’m sorry, but I’m still laughing….

  39. I’m laughing so hard at this. I’ve read it twice, the second time out loud for my husband. He’s got tears rolling down his face he is laughing so hard. This hits VERY close to home. In our old house, I fell down the stairs about once a week. Thus the reason or master bedroom is on the main floor in this house!!

    Glad your mom’s okay, but tell her thanks for being a good sport and giving me a good laugh!

    Seriously, my sides hurt. :)

  40. I was still laughing about you sliding almost to Tuscaloosa when I got to the part about your Mama falling UNDER the Christmas tree. Oh, my WORD, how funny! I’m glad neither of you were hurt because it’s really bad taste to laugh at somebody that’s injured. I’d have still laughed, but it would have been bad taste. ;o)

  41. Hilarious! I am just glad she didn’t hit her head on those stairs!

    And Alex doesn’t mess with your Christmas china? My girls would have it chipped and broken for sure!

  42. Glad your Mama is fine. Been lurking in your blog as well as Big Mama’s for a long time and feel like you are family. Hope that’s not too stalkerish.

    Just wanted to share my best ever fall. Was walking in some deep snow, fell face forward into a snow bank while simultaneously realizing that my pants and underpants were now somehow magically residing gracefully around my ankles.

    Luckily there was only one person to view this exceptional sight. Perhaps not so luckily it was my boss.

  43. kelli in the mirror says:

    That is hilarious. And sometimes you just have to laugh, even before you find out if they’re hurt.
    My mom and I laughed hysterically while we watched my father break his tailbone when I was five years old. It was funny until we found out he was actually hurt.
    I’m SO glad your mama isn’t! :)

  44. Lisa P in California says:

    Okay, I’m laughing so hard I can barely type! How did she get UNDER the tree????!!!!?? If I would have been there in person to see it, I guarantee that I would have peed my pants laughing. You just made my day! Thank you!

  45. I don’t know what I more amazed at: her ability to fall UNDER the tree without knocking it over, or that she stayed there while you went and got your camera and took her picture!! ;0)


  46. I am so glad Mama is OK. I have that gene and reading all the comments made me feel so much better about my clumsy self! We named our first daughter Amy Grace and my Daddy said, “What – you’re hoping by giving her the name she’ll actually have some?” My nickname growing up was Grace, and not beacuse of the wonderful gift of our Savior on the cross!

    But here’s my question…in the picture it appears as though Mama is wearing what my Mama would call “A nice, sensible shoe”. Something with support, and with a nice big old rubber sole that should keep the dear woman from going keister over teakettle under the Christmas tree!! In stocking feet I could understand, but with Gramma shoes on!??!! The mystery deepens… :D

  47. She should have just said that she was checking the water level in the tree base. Oh, wait, artificial trees don’t need water. Maybe she was just checking the underside of the tree to see if she needed more ornaments.
    I had a wonderful time at my cousins house last week. We laughed hard and often and we almost peed our pants too!

  48. Oh my crackers. I am sitting here in the dark with tears rolling down my cheeks because I have laughed so hard. My stomach and back are begging for mercy. Thank you sooooooo much for giving me the gift of a laugh tonight and I am sooooo glad your Mama is ok.

  49. Oh, I’m laughing so hard I’m crying. And I may even wet my pants, too. That is one of the best blog posts I’ve read from anyone in a long, long time. I think I was in need of a good laugh. Thanks, BooMama!

  50. OMG! That is so funny! I was trying to figure out why you got a visit so early from Santa, with the title you gave this writing. I was laughing when you were sliding on the lid, but I started laughing a little harder when I got to your mom in the other room decorating the tree and then it clicked that she was going to be under the tree and I could hardly get to the story because I was laughing so hard! When I got to the picture I just totally lost it! My eyes are black from the mascara running down! I can’t wait to read it to my husband! I will have another great laugh! I needed a laugh right now! Lots of stress! My daughter’s WEDDING in 30 days! Keep the great stories coming!

  51. That. Was. Hilarious!

    Glad your mama is okay, but that was truly funny stuff. Loved the lead-up to the photo. Good stuff, Boo Mama, good stuff.

    And the tree looks beautiful!

  52. Priceless! And I think you may have found the perfect picture for your parent’s Christmas cards this year:-)

  53. I’m very glad that your mother is alright! I can sympathize with the family “fall-itis” heritage. My mother has it, and passed it on generously to me, and I unwittingly passed it on to both of my daughters.


  55. Oh that’s classic! and oh so funny :) Thanks for the 8:20 am laughing session!! Glad she was ok. Tree looks great by the way!

  56. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Did she “toot” on the way down? I got that wheezy laughter started BEFORE I got to the part about Mama. I was laughing at you sliding to Tuscaloosa on a Rubbermaid™ lid. By the time Mama fell, my Alex was literally wrapped around my neck shouting “MAMA? MAMA? WASS WRONG? WHY ARE YOU CRYING? STOP CRYING ISS GONNA BE OKAY!”

    I know though, about the poise and the grace. I like to call it “My Congenital Inelegance.”

  57. Oh, and PS, I looked at the picture again and I am hoping Santa will leave one of those under my tree too. She looks nice and tall! She might could help me dust my ceiling fans.

  58. I too am a clutz. It warms my heart to know other’s like me.
    Bless your mama and I am glad she is ok!
    In HIM –

  59. This pictures just lends itself to a song or poem. Maybe you can come up with one.

  60. Janet (aka JT) says:

    We could be related.
    When I was 8 months pregnant with my third child, we were at a Christmas party at a friend’s house. The hostess gave me a plate of delightful stuffed mushrooms, which I had never eaten before and was immediately completely in love with. I decided to go upstairs to check on my 2 boys and just had to take my plate of mushrooms with me. On the way downstairs, I don’t think a foot EVER touched a single step, and I BOUNCED down the stairs on my pregnant behind. THE ENTIRE PARTY came running to the stairs to make sure the house hadn’t fallen down, and there I sat, at the base of the stairs, with a broken tailbone, but with my mushroom plate completely intact. I hadn’t dropped a single one.

    My priorities kick in during emergencies.

  61. I am so glad your mama is okay, with that said–thanks so much to you and your mama for a much needed laugh this morning. I’ve actually clicked back twice, just for one more chuckle.

  62. Glad so glad that Mama was ok and that you had this wonderful experience of laughter. My oldest daughter has your same propensity toward grace…don’t know where she gets is from :) I’m with you on the decorating of the tree….right now my whole house has boxes in it and I am just overwhelmed…totally overwhelmed…in fact, I am going into denial and go sit on my front porch with my coffee and my Bible and just take a break from all my boxes!

  63. Wow! Good thing she didn’t take down the tree, or you would’ve had to do it all over! Glad she’s okay!

  64. ahem. now THAT is talent.

  65. I’m so glad she’s fine and, although I cannot see her face, how young she looks! :)

  66. You’re writing is quite witty – I love to read your posts. Glad your mama is okay after her near miss (I mean the steps of course). Let the decorating continue…

  67. She was just making sure that the Christmas Tree skirt was straight.

    Remember that Designing Women episode where Charlene has her baby and Bernice shows up at the hospital wearing the Christmas tree skirt that Mary Jo bought for her? Ha ha ha ha….

  68. Oh my word! I only laughed ALL THE WAY THROUGH this post…and only because the “lid slide to T-town” and the falling are something I would do! My friends and family always make comments regarding my propensity to fall.

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while…but this is the first comment…because oh, too funny and too close to home.

  69. Frankly, I’d love to see the post where she describes the whole debacle to her friends. That will be a cherished family heirloom forever!

    Please tell me her lovely outfit was from The SteinMarts?

  70. Thank you Thank You THANK YOU for giving me permission to laugh at your Mama! That’s a stitch!
    And, I’m so glad she’s okay!

  71. yes, well, I nearly landed in the same position two days ago while trying to plug in my tree and also avoiding falling on my presents. I am sympathetically chucking. :)

  72. That would be sympathetically CHUCKLING. gahhhh

  73. Oh Sophie… this just further illustrates my point that we’re related somewhere down the line.

    Glad you’re mom is okay… but I’m even more impressed that you thought to grab the camera as you ran to check on her. That’s love, I tell you (and really quick thinking!)

  74. Okay – now you made almost wet my pants!! I couldn’t stop laughing – mainly because the women in my family could be sisters with the women in your family! We’re all that clumsy too! Thankfully the only broken bone I’ve had so far was from stubbing my toe on the couch while wearing sandals.

  75. Wow! I just watched your daily link. Wow!

    I got out our Compassion child’s picture and I think I spotted him. Isn’t that neat?

    Our friends here who work for Compassion in the area of AIDS just got back from Rwanda and were able to take our child a soccer ball. It was the best thing ever! I just love how God uses the media we have, even YouTube. Maybe this will inspire others to sponsor a child.

    Love your heart!

  76. Too funny!! By-the-way, I just came across your blog and I loved your title “…read by tens of people everyday.” I have to say that was clever and I now have no choice but to read your blog on a regular basis. Have a blessed Christmas and thanks for letting me visit!

  77. Oh my, too much!
    This is up there with the Fish Camp story. I laughed so hard at that one, I seriously almost wet myself. This is a really close second! I love that she can laugh at herself, very charming quality!

    As I was reading the comments I got tickled AGAIN by the stories Ruthee and JT told.

    I’m not that clumsy, so I don’t have any stories of my own to tell, but it sure is fun laughing at ya’lls :)

  78. I think we may be related!

  79. I’m sorry…I had to read it AGAIN!!! That is almost hard to believe her placement…couldn’t have been MORE perfect!!! Way to go Oui Oui!!
    LOL again!!!!!

  80. that is hilarious…
    and that she let you take the picture is priceless…
    i understand the falling “thing”

  81. I don’t know that I have laughed so hard! That one got a belly laugh, for sure.
    I hope that mama is okay today.
    Oh and for the record, I probably WOULD have wet my pants! I have had three kids!

  82. Catherine in Orlando says:

    Oh, my, how great! What a wonderful entry.

    At one point in my not-so-recent past, I was crawling under the still-undecorated tree to make some minor adjustments and it fell on me. Longwise. So that only the soles of my shoes were visible. My adult daughters were laughing too hard to help me out from under, as it were. But at least they didn’t take a picture! :)

  83. I saw Mama kissing Santa Claus and then Santa Claus connecting with a strong left. And then down she went, right under the tree there. Yea, that’s pretty much how it went down. Oh, and then we laughed at her. A lot, actually.

  84. And you went and got your Camera!


  85. I cheated. I read half the post then skipped to the picture and almost fell out of my seat! I noticed that not the first ornament was out of place during the fall. It appears as though her grace-lessness was in fact somewhat graceful!

    As for the falling down, me too…Just don’t do it down the back steps in February 9 months pregnant with no cell phone service while your husband is at a Men’s Prayer Breakfast 20 miles away.

  86. OMG, I’m laughing so hard right now, I’m so sorry!!! I started with the slipping across the floor on the rubbermail top – I have SO done that!!!!!
    My mom teases me too, I was born on a Tuesday “full of grace” Yeah, RIGHT!!!!!

  87. this post should have come with a warning. i nearly wet my pants, and that’s all before i got to the picture! i’m glad everyone’s ok. btw, i am laughing with you, not at you…i come from a graceful bunch myself. :)

  88. Awww…she’s just shy, isn’t she? ;)

  89. poor lady, but that is just too funny!

  90. Ok, do you laugh out loud at yourself while you write these posts?!! Between “apparently air makes me lose my balance” and “I am an elegant, nimble flower” I could hardly catch my breath! You are laugh out loud funny and I just love it!!

  91. Thanks for the laugh:)

  92. Oh my, I was already laughing before I got to THE photo and I by then couldn’t read the text! I am going to have to finish wiping the tears from my eyes and go back so I know exactly what happened. Thank you for the overdose of endorphines! Blessings, Shay

  93. Oh my word! I thought I was going to herniate something in my body when I read this, I laughed so hard! This was the perfect end to a crazy day– it really got my spirits back up!

    I have never landed that gracefully after falling, and I know from experience how hard it is to do! I think Mama is the bomb for saving the tree -and- not hurting herself at the same time!

    My worst clumsy experience was one time when I wanted to be extra cute to try and attract my husband’s attention– this was prior to us dating– and we were at bowling. Did you ever sneeze so quickly you didn’t know it was coming? Well, I did– right as I was standing at the line with my ball and talking/flirting to him– and smacked my face right into the ball–, gave myself a bloody nose and everything!!

    Ah, it’s a classic– get them every time if it doesn’t totally scare them off! 17 years and multiple accidents later, and he’s still here! Amazing!?!?

    Thanks for brightening my day, and I am awful glad your mama is OK.

  94. I rarely laugh at the stuff that people say is hilarious.

    But I did seriously LOL on this one. Out loud.

    Funny, funny, funny. And kudos to your mom for not taking herself so seriously that she wouldn’t let you post that.

    I’m glad she’s okay.

  95. Heehee…kinda like a Wizard of Oz-esque Christmas movie…

  96. Looks like a scene out of Christmas Vacation to me!

  97. What a RIOT! Isn’t it fun to have a fun mama??? :-) Glad she was okay!

  98. Oh my! I have the unfortunate habit of laughing when I see other people fall, but only because I also laugh at myself when I fall, so I figure it’s ok, right? And that’s only when no one’s hurt of course. Of course, an unwelcome giggle has been known to surface even in cases of injury. Oh well, glad your Mom’s doing fine! And how did the inside of the tree look to her?

  99. Glad to know Mama is ok…now I’ll LOL. :)
    Then I looked at the photo again and LOL again.

  100. While we are clearly from differing necks of the woods, we didn’t fall (literally – ha! ha!) far from the same tree. I’ve broken my foot twice – once because clogs that are a couple of inches (okay, maybe an inch and a half) are very dangerous to wear (if you’re me). The second time? This is great – I was WALKING out of the ladies’ room at work. Not hopping, skipping, jumping, twirling, sashaying, or any other fancy sort of move. Just walking. My foot decided to have other plans and just rolled underneath me and down I went. I had to make up some elaborate story cause it sounded pretty pathetic to walk (in flat shoes) and break ones’ foot. :D