It’s that time of the year again. The time of year that pushes my anxiety and stress levels to the max. The joyous occasion of putting up the F*%$!ng Christmas Trees. Thank you to the Germans for starting this special tradition back in the 16th Century. It was supposed to chase away witches, ghosts, evil spirits and illness. Tall order for a nowadays fake, plastic green tree temporarily stuck in a plant pot that only 5 minutes earlier was trying to keep a mango tree alive. (Long story, it was supposed to be a lemon tree and it turned out it was a mango tree and well.. actually, it was a short story, I didn’t like the mango tree so it got turfed).
Back to the Christmas Trees..
It is supposed to be a lovely, fun, family bonding moment filled with Christmas spirit and joy. Well that is what it looks like when we see the obligatory beautifully decorated tree photos splashed on facebook.
On the contrary, this is how we roll…
Aiden’s nagging started in earnest yesterday morning, and following Ava’s School concert, went into overdrive by the time 4pm rolled around. With the trees not yet dug out of the ceiling storage and me nursing the cold virus bugs I brought back with me from my recent trip to Cape Town, I was not in the mood. (Note to self to stick some Bactroban up my nose for the next flight) Hubby did eventually get the trees out, but by this time I was in bed. I thought it would be fine to do in the morning. Surely?
That was Mistake # 1
2nd Dec 05.22am
I awoke to Aiden starting at me in the face, nagging to put up the Christmas trees NOW.
I have done some research on this and contrary to popular belief, the 1st Dec is not considered the best time to put up the Christmas Tree. It seems it is customary, especially in the US, to get your tree cut and brought home to decorate on Christmas Eve. Other sources suggest 12 days before Christmas which would be the 13th. Either way it wasn’t the 1st or the 2nd Dec and if you ask me, after today’s ordeal, I am all for the option of Christmas Eve.
I heard the sound of boxes breaking and masking tape being ripped off. Clearly Aiden wanted a head start. I left him to it figuring I have like maybe about 20min still?
That was Mistake # 2
I hear the boxes of ornaments hit the floor.
I’m up! I’m awake! Wait I’m Coming”
After a lot of whining and moaning, Aiden, Ngcebo and I (Like I have said previously, always assume all activities are with Ngcebo unless otherwise told) trying to put the trees up.
To explain the plural there, I have two trees. One is a lovely one that the kids can freely decorate with no colour, ornament type or placement restrictions.
The other tree is mine.
Yes, I know, the kids will be sitting in front of their therapists one day complaining about how their mother was a nightmare when it came to putting the decorations on the tree. I am ok with that. It will be money well spent for them. I have decorations collected from various countries, colour co-ordinated, bespoke ornaments. Not a string of tinsel in sight.
Mistake # 3 – Putting the tree up in the morning.
It turns out I didn’t think this one through. Putting the Christmas tree up in the morning was not the brightest of ideas. It would look a bit strange me, drinking at 8am on a Saturday morning. Non-the-less, I pushed through the yelling, the tears, the tantrums and sulking (me more than the kids at this point mind you) and got on with the task at hand. That’s water in the photos, not vodka, promise.
Apparently separating the branches out is just a tedious, laborious time-consuming task that Ngcebo long gave up on and returned to the iPad in the room. Aiden on the other hand….
After a short little cat nap, Aiden was back in full nagging mode, keen to decorate the tree but only the fun bits, like pulling apart my reindeer decorations, dropping my baubles on the floor like a basketball, flinging my bead strands around like a cowboy and putting the star on top of the tree before anything else is even on – I mean who does that??
Ava and Jay have joined us by this time and so with Bublé, Bieber, Beyoncé and the other festive Christmas albums queued up, I crack on trying to get one of the trees to stand up straight, stop the kids from mixing up the tree-specific decorations (and killing each other) and attempting to keep my sanity intact.
All in all we were done by 9.30am and all things considered, it wasn’t as bad as last year where I locked myself in the cupboard with a glass of wine.
Queue the obligatory decorated Christmas tree photo. Everyone Smile.
Christmas, perfectly sorted.