I lied to all of my readers. I said we always decorate the day after Thanksgiving. As it turned out, we got busy doing other things and did not get around to it. However, Saturday morning rolled around and it was obviously time to prepare for another holiday. Time to decorate! Princess Christmas made sure that Evil Genius was aware that it was time to set up the tree. She marched upstairs, went into the bedroom where he had just awakened (because we are very nice to him and let him sleep sometimes) and informed him that he needed to “Go downstairs and get the Christmas!”
In our house there is a certain way that you need to prepare for the upcoming holiday. It’s very important to follow the steps. I thought I’d publish this very important guide to getting ready. You know, just in case you need some guidance. As you read this, just imagine you’re hearing a little four year old voice saying “Let the Christmas Tree decorating COMMENCE!” (She really did say that…)
1) Getting Started: Say the words “Christmas”. That’s all you have to do. When you have little kids and you say the word, it causes planets to align and sets everything in to motion.
2) Decide where the tree is going to go this year. If your house is like ours this changes from year to year. Make sure that you choose the most inconvenient location in the house. This year Evil Genius chose to put it in the living room. This is fine, but we had to move a half dozen pieces of furniture that we don’t have any place for. That’s ok, do we really need to get out our front door or go into the adjoining room? Nah.
3) Bring the tree and decorations up out of the basement, or wherever you store them. Try not to kill yourself doing so. If you’re one of those people who isn’t deathly allergic to pine like I am (my eyes swell shut and everything) then go chop down a tree. THEN try not to kill yourself bringing decorations out.
4) Inspect containers for stowaways. Last year I went down to the basement to get the wreath hanger. I opened up one of the Christmas containers, and a little mouse peeked out through the Christmas lights at me, as if to say “HEY I’m SLEEPING in here!” I made my husband go through the container looking for mousies after the fact. He didn’t find any, but he did throw something small and mouse sized at me and made me FREAK OUT!
5) Restrain the four year old. Duct tape works well. If you don’t, every decoration that you own will be taken out and inspected, and then left on the floor.
6) Put up the tree. Realize you put it together wrong. Undo. Redo correctly.
7) Put the lights on the tree. See how many bulbs are burnt out. Take the lights back off. Replace with lights that work. Our lights would not light up on one side. The Grinch would have had a perfectly good reason to steal our tree.
8) Decorate. We start with “the big necklace” (which normal people refer to as the garland). Then add the ornaments. Half will be dropped. Some will be broken. There will be yelling. This year at one point Princess Christmas tried to hang just hooks on the tree. No ornaments on them. Because they were there, of course.
9) Take pictures of the decorating. Because you can. I took 57 pictures and had not one shot that I would consider Christmas card material. Yet. My children will be forced to pose for at least 28 more times before I let them off the hook. I AM GOING TO GET GOOD CHRISTMAS CARD PICTURES THIS YEAR IF IT KILLS ME! I can’t order a card with different shots on it from Target this year. I can’t afford it. I must make them myself.
10) Booby trap the area. Do this so that no one can actually approach the tree and contaminate it. Use ornaments, hooks, and decorations.
11) Rearrange The kids do this to the ornaments about every 36 minutes or so.
12) Turn off the overhead lights. Stand back and admire your tree. Remember what the room looked like in the light, because for the next month you will not be allowed to turn on any lights in there except for the ones on the tree. Your children may or may not have vision problems as a direct result of sitting in front of the tree and staring at it.
13) Now, go decorate the rest of the house. Like that matters! The tree is up, my kids care about nothing else except that and the stockings! Spend the rest of the weekend on Pinterest, trying to find ideas to accomplish this feat. I’m trying to find ideas to make a wreath. I’m thinking shiny and noisy-jingle bells and Christmas balls. Stay tuned.