Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas tree 2011

We've had ours up since last weekend, and while it's not the best tree we've ever had, it does the job ("the job" being: look festive and make us merry). The decorating process got a little crazy since the kids were eager to help, and the whole thing kind of collapsed into a mass free-for-all with everybody grabbing at (the same) ornaments and going for (the same) branches, which were in many cases too light for the heavy ornament that the child(ren) at issue had chosen. Bickering may or may not have ensued. I admit that I cringed every time Caroline ran off with one my treasured ceramic balls with the kids' handprints (i.e., priceless to me), but as often happens with this kind of thing, any stress and discord associated with the tree trimming has already been forgotten and I have nothing left but magical Norman Rockwellesque memories of it. See also, Disney World Vacations.

Still, I have some strategies to help things run a little more smoothly next year. First, I think we might finally put up two Christmas trees -- a "kids' tree" with the big honking colored lights (preferred by David) and non-fragile and homemade ornaments, and a "Cathy tree" with dainty white lights (preferred by me) and an extremely rigid and humorless white and gold color scheme. This would allow the kids to have at their tree with exclusively non-fragile ornaments, and eliminate/minimize situations in which we have three children diving at a blown glass "Grinch & Max" ornament at the same time. We've talked about doing this for years, especially since we have an empty sunroom that would be perfect for a kids' tree, but it just didn't seem to make a whole lot of sense in the middle of the toddler years when just keeping the kids from knocking down ONE tree was a feat. But we're pretty much past that now, so next year may well be the year. Especially since we've reached a point where a nearly 9-foot tree does not hold even half of our ornaments. I guess that's what happens when you have ornaments coming in fast and furious from the craziest places:

We actually didn't even get through all of our ornaments before we ran out of room, so I'm sure there are some "A-list" ornaments that didn't make it onto the tree this year. When I pack up after Christmas I'm going to follow the brilliant suggestion of a good friend and pack separate boxes of "back of the tree ornaments," "non-breakable ornaments," "ornaments that we'd just get rid of if we were smart," etc. so that it's easier to find what we need next year. So yes, Christmas is still two weeks away, but I've already learned some lessons from Christmas 2011 and have BIG PLANS for Christmas 2012!!

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