Maybe we actually ARE in Kansas, Toto.

Yesterday I was driving my kids to their yoga class when I came into a standstill traffic jam.  As the 140 km/hour wind gusted around our minivan, I wondered if, perhaps, the insane weather had anything to do with it.  The question was answered as I finally manoevered past the firetruck filled with men cleaning up the streetlight that had blown over onto the very busy street.  Are we in Kansas, Toto? 

I nervously drove home past downed trees and signs only to hear news updates that a) the entire downtown core had been shut down since windows had blown out of two high rise office buildings, and b) police were urging everyone to stay indoors.  OKAY. 

In other words, it was the perfect day to spend the afternoon putting up the Christmas tree.

The day before we had put up the various decorations – my husband had taken advantage of a mild day a few weeks ago to put up the outdoor lights – but the children could not wait another DAY before putting up the tree.  And here’s the thing about Christmas tree decorating with young children: while it is a wholesome, lovely, family activity, there are moments within the wholesome, lovely, family activity where I fear my head might explode.  Or something.  Because I answered “Not yet, lovey” approximately one thousand times in response to the question “Can we start decorating yet?” while I held a giant string of lights for my husband to very exactly wind around the tree.  Once the lights were just so, I let the kids loose on the decorations, to the detriment of a couple of them; nothing, however, that glue wouldn’t fix.  Things started to spin out of control as little wire hooks got lost, (fortunately) shatterproof balls bounced on the hardwood, and the dog flopped sadly in front of the tree, his spirit apparently broken by the upheaval and change in his life.  There’s a tree.  In the corner.  And the table moved.

The result, of course, is that we have a very Christmassy house, and two boys who will not stop talking about the tree.  Which is cute, of course, but a little tiring.  “Mom Mom Mom Mom Mom Mom what’s your favourite decoration Mom Mom Mom Mom Mom?  Let me show you what mine is.  Mom?  Mom?”

Mark was super excited about decorating.  I was slightly worried he would spin off the planet.  I was also worried if he stepped outside he would spin and blow off the planet.  See that little snowman and tree on the coffee table behind him?  My mother gave that to the boys last year.  It plays “We Need A Little Christmas”.  Is it possible my mother hates me?
Jake put every single one of his favourite decorations on three adjacent branches, including the one he made in kindergarten featuring him in a Santa hat.  Sadly, some of the decorations keep slipping off the overweighted branches, but I don’t have the heart to move them.  He wanted them all to be together, so they wouldn’t be lonely.
Every year I buy an ornament that represents something we did this year.  Since we went to Disneyland, I bought a Buzz Lightyear-and-Woody-in-a-stocking ornament.  “Everyone loves Woody!” Mark said happily.  Hehehe.  Woody.  Remember Mark’s obsession with beavers, and his stuffed animal named Beavery?  Jake has, apparently, caught beaver fever, as he received a large – very large – stuffed beaver for his birthday.  He named it Woody.  I love when the boys play so nicely and calmly together with their stuffies, especially when they talk about how much Woody loves Beavery.  I bet he does.  I just bet he does.
Don’t they look like they just calmly spent the afternoon sitting serenely by the Christmas tree, playing quiet card games?  As opposed to spastically running around the house, shrieking about Christmas?


  1. Woody loves Beavery.

  2. “Yes, we need a little Christmas! Right this very minute!” I have the same singing snowman. It’s only been out of the attic for two days and I’m ready to rip it’s head off.

    “Again, Mama?” I grit my teeth and say “Sure pumpkin!” And there he goes again.

    Your tree looks really pretty. I swear I’m not a scrooge 🙂

  3. I find this post very comforting. Tree trimming — like baking, Monopoly, and crafts — is never the restful, quaint, family-bonding experience I fantasize about.

    I decided that this year we should put the Christmas tree in our sorta-renovated basement family room. That’s where we are putting the new Wii, so the only way the kids will see the tree if it’s down there. But first I have to tape, mud, paint, and prime the walls. No problem, right? HAHAHAHAHA!

  4. They do look like they had the calmest day!

  5. I love/hate the way the kids decorate the tree – it is so them, and so not me. Which is good except a tiny part of me hates it because I want it to be perfect. But my kids did it, so it is perfect. Sort of. For some inexplicable reason, I love the Glee version of We Need a Little Christmas – like, I can’t stop listening to it. I need medication. More medication.

  6. oh christmas tree decorating…bringing families to the brink of insanity since…well since Jesus was born.

  7. Christmas makes me so incredibly happy. Love the chaos followed by the end result. Hot chocolate and marshmallows for everyone, I say!

  8. The kids want to do the outside lights today. Hold me.

  9. This will be us this weekend! I’m tired of the mom, mom, mom, mom, mom when are we putting up the tree? So now we can move to the favourite decoration question instead.

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