Oh. Christmas Tree.

I'm one of those people who gets all hopped up on turkey and decides to drag out all the Christmas decorations on Thanksgiving night. It's just because I like to keep the holiday magic going as long as I possibly can (although I'm also one of those crazies who insists on tearing everything down before the start of the new year). This year we were visiting family until November 29th - but as soon as we got home, where was I? Yeah. Trekking my happy little hiney out to the storage closet in our garage, in search of the Christmas tree.

Last year we decided to disassemble the tree rather than leaving it together like we had the year before. But that may not have been the brightest idea, because the tree is like 11 years old and has literally moved with us all over the world (it's been shipped to Missouri, Texas, Germany, Nevada, and Iowa in its piddly little cardboard box) so it's kind of on its last legs. And most of the little tags indicating which tier each branch goes on have been torn off through years of shuffling. So I spent like three freaking hours organizing each branch by size, all while using my greatest seasonal threat ("I'll call Santa Claus!") to keep the kids from messing it all up.

Finally the tree was intact, but bare. However, there was no way I was decorating it while the kids were still awake. At this age, they're not old enough (or tall enough!) to successfully decorate a tree themselves, and they don't care as much for the decorating process as they do for the finished product. So after they went to bed, Curtis and I got busy. (Not that kind of getting busy, you pervs.)

Pretty soon, our tree was decorated. And beautiful. Behold, in all its glory:

But then the kids woke up. And literally within minutes, an hour at best, our tree looked like this:

See the difference? Lights and garlands askew, tree skirt rumpled, branches disheveled, all ornaments mysteriously missing from the bottom third. And that? Was taken a few days ago. It's worse now. Between three sets of little fingers, a 50-pound pup who has never seen a Christmas tree before, and a cat who just can't seem to help herself, our poor tree is pretty much doomed.

I need to learn a lesson from this. I do this to myself every year. I am a perfectionist control freak prefer my holiday decorations all neat and pretty and Martha Stewart-y. How impractical is that at this point in my life? Unless I hire some armed guards to stand in front of the tree, Buckingham Palace-style, there's absolutely no way to keep this crap tidy. (Plus, if I could afford to hire anybody, it'd be somebody to clean my house.)

So it begins. An entire month of cringing as I see yet another ornament in the dog's mouth or catch the baby gleefully tugging at the beaded garland. At least this year I had the sense to keep the presents in the closet until Christmas morning ...


  1. Ditto here... We decorated the tree last night and this morning the dog got himself tangled in the lights and tore half the decorations off the bottom. Oy!

  2. Oh how I remember those days. One year we put a baby-fence/gate thingy around the whole tree. It wasn't as pretty as the tree skirt but it kept the baby and the dog from pulling the thing over.

  3. Oh how funny!

    All I've ever had to contend with is the cats...who love to drag the ornaments away with them. We put our heaviest bulkiest ornaments on the bottom of the tree so that they are too heavy to drag. I always love, though, when the bottom of the tree starts to dance...and sure enough, looking under there, there's a cat batting at the sparkly thingy-ma-whatchit he didn't see last time...

  4. Sometimes kids just ruin the prettiness of Christmas. ;)

  5. My tree is missing a crucial tree stand screw, I'm sure it will topple over at the first wisp of air, I'll send pictures once the big event occurs.

  6. Have a friend that puts her tree in the playpen and keeps the kids out . Seems to work for her. I too am picky about my tree and for years I only decorated the top half with the nice decorations, and the lower half with whatever they wanted to put on. At least I wasn't yelling don't touch that or put that back for a month. We've had two cats knock it over. and one dog try to eat it. At that time the tree was real. One poke in the nose with ceder and the dog kept her distance. Have a fun time and a Happy Christmas.

  7. I so remember those days. And even though, those days are such a hassle, there is a sweetness to the chaos. My girls are all teens, so the tree stays pretty, but this week, my sister comes to visit with her 2 little girls. We're going to save the bottom tier of the tree for them and we even bought Disney Princess ornaments for the girls to decorate and then take with them.

    I will say, though, I do love that everything stays pretty and shiny throughout the season.

  8. That's right. We just need to embrace the madness, right? Right!?

  9. I think it's a beautiful tree! We put ours up last night but haven't decorated it yet. So far DS hasn't shown any interest, but I don't give it long.

  10. I did good and put mine up the day after Thanksgiving this year. Every year without fail my cat uses the tree skirt as a litter box so this year I left it off and so far so good (fingers crossed). Last year he even pooped on the kids' presents, I laughed so hard but the kids did not, hee hee.

  11. Even in its disheveled state it doesn't look that bad. Maybe it will hold together another three or four years and then you can start over with a new one and the boys & Josie will leave it alone. ;o)

  12. Well, it was totally beautiful to start with. And HOW did you get a picture with the lights showing up so nicely? Every attempt I make to take pictures turn out like POO!!

    Anyway, I feel your pain, though clearly I'm a MUCH meaner mommy than you, 'cause all my ornaments are still in place, though somewhat askew. It's a constant daily battle with Mad Max.

    Good luck getting through the rest of your month. And I'm right there with you on taking it all down before New Years. Once it's over, it's over people!

  13. Your tree looks beautiful!! I love it! I have totally gone to the wild side here and am embracing it for the next... oh 10 years or so. Used to be SO anal about the christmas tree and the lights and every little detail. This year we hacked a blue spruce (in an attempt to keep kids from even getting close to touching it and knocking it into the wood stove) out of the woods and I let my hack-job hubby put the lights on it while the kids put one dozen non-breakable thingies on it and threw a red garland around it circa 1989. Good memories though. I just can't decorate it without the kids. I have too many great memories of my childhood decorating the tree together.

  14. Two things to make your Christmas tree childproof (coming from the mom of four boys, ages 7 and under):

    1. Get a REAL tree. Seriously, ask the guy at the tree farm or lot for the PRICKLIEST tree he's got. Works like a charm!
    2. Have your handy hubby make a tree platform like my husband is doing this year. It's sheer genius, I tell you. If you're interested, I'll be doing a post on it soon on my blog.


Post a Comment

Commenting makes you big and strong! Okay, maybe just strong. Okay, so it's only your fingers. But still ...

Popular Posts