When did this last happen? Hmmm. It's hard to remember -- perhaps because for three of the past six years, we had a newborn (or newborns!) at Christmas time and I'm suffering from major case of mom-nesia. What I can tell you based on our recent tree-trimming experience is that what used to take a day, now takes at least week. Our annual tree-trimming has become a tale in four parts:
- Buy the tree. This may or may not be a family affair. Last year my husband bought a tree on the way home from work one Friday night. No debate, no fanfare. It just arrived on our front porch. And there it stayed for several days until we found the time and energy to lug it inside. This year it was a family event -- at a local supermarket. Not exactly prime for photo ops and warm, fuzzy memories!
- Bring the tree inside. This year, we successfully managed to get the tree from the porch to the living room and into the tree stand all in one day. Quite a feat with five little ones tearing around -- two of whom were giddy making lists for Santa Claus and three of whom "no like that guy!".
- LIght up the tree. We learned the hard way that toddlers like to get tangled up in the lights so we now put them on after our little ones are all tucked in. This year, it was a random Tuesday after a long day of work. We were both bleary-eyed and even Burl Ives crooning in the background couldn't put us in the Christmas spirit. It felt more like an obligation or chore rather than the festive event it used to be. Even so, it was nice to come down the next day to see our tree all lit up... even if the branches were still bare!
- Decorate the tree. Now, this is it -- the grand finale, the moment we've all been waiting for. It's Friday night and the kids have been asking for a week if we're ever going to decorate the tree. I've lugged boxes of decorations up from the basement, Christmas tunes are blaring and our five little elves are eager to get the job done. And indeed they do.