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Putting up the tree

December 15, 2009

Two weekends ago, we decided that it was time to put up the tree.

As I’ve noted here on the blog, Christmas used to be one of my most favorite times of year, and decorating for the holidays brought me much joy.

Yes, I did say, “used” to be.

Now, not so much. It’s basically become a time of an anxiety ridden neurotic push to get decorated, Christmas carded, and gift bought on top of all the other bullshit I don’t have time to do. You know, like clean my house, and go through my kids closets, fold laundry and get the bills paid on time. You know…like that stuff.

To add to the joy, when the Christmas tree goes up, Rusty and Lelia, our cats, must be locked in the laundry room each evening, so that the tree doesn’t look like it was decorated by a deranged, vindictive toddler by Christmas Eve.  I mean, it’s a hanging cat toy display, or so THEY think.

funny pictures
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So let’s also add the joy of hunting and capturing said cats each evening, when they do NOT want to stay couped up in the laundry room, behind a hated closed door, and join me in enjoying how they conveniently “disappear”.

Then let’s do that again in the morning as I rush to get out of the house in time to get J2 to school and myself to work, because soft hearted ass that I am, I can’t just leave them locked up in there ALL the time, can I? Noooooooooo.

Can you feel the joy and excitement? Huh? Huh? Can ya?

With all that anticipatory joy in mind, my husband dragged the tree  out and much discussion ensued as to where the tree should go. (Yes…we have a fake tree. My husband and I reckon this is our 17th or 18th Christmas with this tree, and it still looks pretty good, and at this point we figure it has only cost us $7.50 per year – waaaaaay cheaper than buying a real tree, with the added benefit of avoiding the needless sacrifice of a perfectly good and lovely pine tree to the secular Christmas God.  And before you carry on about the smell of pine, we’ve got a CANDLE for that, so have no fear!)

The kids were enthusiastically lobbying to put the tree in front of the big picture window which would entail a total rearrangment of the already cramped living room, while my husband weakly lobbied to place it next to the entertainment center, which would require minimally less furniture re-arrangement.  I just watched the volley, and when the time came, and all eyes turned to me pleading “Where do you think it should go?”, merely offered to help my husband move the furniture to get the tree where the kids wanted it to go.

My husband and I understood this to be the only way there would really be “peace” on the issue.

And then, the yearly archeological dig at the Episcopalifem household began in earnest. As the furniture was moved, various treasures and horrors harbored beneath the furniture were revealed as if they were just waiting to be discovered!

  • an old dried up cat poop
  • various coins of the real and play variety
  • school shoes
  • an old air hockey game
  • old school papers
  • a sticky and disgusting lolly pop remnant, which vaguely resembled the cat poop
  • Halloween candy wrappers
  • Easter Candy
  • Valentines
  • 1000lbs of cat hair and dust bunnies
  • smelly dirty singleton socks
  • a variety of working and non-working pens, markers, and broken pencils
  • 500lbs of stale Doritos and cheese doodles
  • a crusty Gogurt wrapper complete with mumified yogurt trail on the carpet
  • assorted lovely stains on the carpet, now exposed for all to see, a direct result of the accumulation of all of the above

Yes…the very cockles of my heart were warmed as the evidence of a year’s worth of housekeeping neglect was bared in all it’s unkempt glory in the cold light of day, and further illuminated under our new colored LED Christmas lights (purchased after the old ones were tested to be in working order PRIOR to being placed on the tree, but, once ON the tree, refused to meet the demands of the contract – you know…to actually all LIGHT when plugged in).

The tree is now up in all its splendor, smack in front of the window, the furniture awkwardly and oddly arranged for the occasion, its various branches and ornaments already rearranged at the whim of various stealth attacks by the kittehs. Not to mention the lovely tinsel butt floss we’ve discovered around to further decorate the floor and cat poop. (E. calls these little treasures “pull cords”.)

Joy to the World indeed.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2009 12:21 pm

    We had a cover for Mom’s tree. During the holidays, it lay on the floor around the tree. When the ornaments were removed but the lights remained, the cover was pulled up and the tree was carried down to the shed until the next year. Next best thing to having a tree with permanent lights.

    Hope you can now enjoy the holidays! {{{Eileen}}}

    • episcopalifem permalink*
      December 15, 2009 2:19 pm

      I’m certainly going to try, but I still have quite a few holiday hoops to jump through before I’m anywhere near to being ready to just “enjoy” them. Thanks for the hope though, Shel.

  2. December 15, 2009 1:35 pm

    This is why I don’t have kids, cats, or a Christmas Tree. I won’t have one this year anyway.

    When i was in the US I put up a small tree on Christmas day and took it down twelve days later. The dog was wary and stayed a good distance away.

    • episcopalifem permalink*
      December 15, 2009 2:22 pm

      Yes, there are days when I wonder why I didn’t just become a hermit and then I remember how cute they all are – even the damn tree, and so, this delusion propels me forward, and let’s me feel good feelings in relation to all of them.

      Speaking of dogs and Christmas trees, my aunt and uncle had a dog who visited our house at Christmas one year, and the first thing he did, was lift his leg on the tree. Little stinker…he was, however, and exceedingly CUTE little stinker, similar to the ones I live with now.

  3. December 15, 2009 5:06 pm

    Well you sound a lot like me Eileen. Given that there is just the Contrarian and I, we stopped the entire thing two years ago. No tree, no decorations, no shopping, no cards. We usually get snowed in anyway and so it works. Our cats used to climb up inside the tree and of course all manner of dragging, knocking and otherwise screwing around with ornaments ensued. I get appropriately sad and feel neglected of course, but in the end, we have zero stress. I make a decent dinner but don’t go to a huge outlay of time. We are pretty happy the next day, since we have no cleanup!

    So I can relate! Best to ya Eileen this holiday season!

    • episcopalifem permalink*
      December 16, 2009 2:03 pm

      Your Christmas sounds simple and lovely Sherry! Best to you and yours too!

  4. December 16, 2009 10:34 am

    Did I mention that I never put my little tree away last year? That makes it really easy.

    • episcopalifem permalink*
      December 16, 2009 2:02 pm

      I like this. If it weren’t for the cats, I might consider it.

  5. susan s. permalink
    December 16, 2009 11:24 am

    Since our son is grown and lives away from us, I like the convenience of no pictures in the cards we send out. And we send very few. What with the telephone, and all, there is much less need to send out any sort of catch up letter. Also, I look at it this way. . . there are 12 days of Christmas, so any card that arrives or is sent during that time still qualifies as getting it done on time.

    Because I was the one that always put up a tree, there hasn’t been one of those since about 2000. I know that if kids are involved, it’s hard not to have one.

    There is a pretty wreath on the door that I bought bare and decorated. I hope it looks as nice in the daylight as it did last night when I hung it there. Maybe I will dust the mantel.

    Love you Eileen, and think of you often, not that you’d ever know it. ((((Eileen))))

    • episcopalifem permalink*
      December 16, 2009 2:04 pm

      (((((((Susan s.)))))))) Thanks..I do know it! And I can feel it too!

      • susan s. permalink
        December 16, 2009 3:26 pm

        Oh, and I love your new set of commenter icons! Especially the NSS one.

  6. whiteycat permalink
    December 26, 2009 12:26 pm

    Just read this today … hilarious! With four kitties there has not been a tree in this house for many years. I have enough trouble keeping up with them as it is.

    Merry Christmas to you and your entire crew!

  7. January 8, 2010 5:17 pm

    I have a friend who hung her tree from the ceiling a few years ago. It worked for her, with a sparely decorated home; but in my case there is no way to arrange things so that furniture is far enough away…to keep the cats off.

    I’m thinking about hanging ours upside down from a tree outside next year. Then the squirrels can make nests in it.

    • episcopalifem permalink*
      January 8, 2010 6:06 pm

      That is a definite thought…my tree has now been decorated by the derranged toddler. It needs to COME DOWN tomorrow. Yes. It does.


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