I Would’ve Finished It Too, If It Weren’t For Those Meddling Kids

I Would’ve Finished It Too, If It Weren’t For Those Meddling Kids

It just shouldn’t be this hard.

But somehow, it always is.

I try to enjoy decorating the Christmas tree, I really do.

After all, it’s really important to the kids. They love gathering around the tree, carefully placing heirloom ornaments on the tree while Christmas music plays in the background, a cup of hot cocoa waiting in the kitchen.

In my dreams.

That’s the only place that scene has ever existed. I realized this a few days ago when I attempted to engage my children in the family tradition of putting up ye olde Christmas tree.

The first order of business — getting the tree. Oh, what fun. In my dreams, the kids would clap with delight as I exclaimed “Hey, let’s go get the Christmas tree!”

My son Tony would eagerly hunt down an axe from the garage, while his sister and I grabbed our coats and mufflers. Then we’d go tramping merrily through the forest in search of a perfectly formed cedar, as a light sprinkling of snow began to fall.

In reality, it required three or four threats throughout the course of three or four days, to get the tree from the garage into the living room. The first was to my son’s Internet connection, then to his computer and finally, to his X-Box.

“Gee Mom, you don’t have to be so mean,” he said slouching toward the garage.

Oh, yes I do.

“When your sister and I get back from shopping, that tree had better be sitting in the living room,” I warned. “And it better be put together!”

Despite the lack of enthusiasm on his part — and his sister’s as well — I felt I was pretty well ahead of the game.

I had the tree all ready, bought last year. I had even managed to find strings of white Christmas lights, on white wires. The tree was white. Lights on green wires simply would not do. Only someone failed to notify the Christmas light manufacturers and retailers that white trees were “in” and white trees require lights with white wires.

I had to make do with icicle lights, which were designed to hang outdoors, from the eaves of a roof. It was totally ridiculous.

But this year, I had found white ones, in early November. Even more amazing was the fact that I had bought them right then, instead of doing what I usually do, which was wait until the day I put up the tree, at which time they would no longer be available.

Not this year. This year I had a tree. I had the lights, and I had a fresh package of ornament hooks for the ornaments that I had carefully organized last year. And I  knew where all of them were.

So all that was left was to introduce the lights and ornaments to the tree, which would be assembled, in the living room when I got back — or that high-speed Internet connection would be ripped right out of the wall!

It was in the room all right. The bottom half was toppled over, the middle part was strewn all over the room and the top part was huddled in the corner.

There was a visible footprint on the bottom branch.

What tha? Dang blasted kids!

Of course, he professed to have no knowledge of what had happened. He said he had fully assembled the tree.

“Something must have happened to it!”

“Does this look assembled to you? Well, does it?”

As it turns out, he had assembled it, but the tree had unassembled itself when the base cracked and one of the legs broke off. I suspected the footprint was vital evidence as to how that had happened, but for now I was too upset.

My beautiful tree, ruined!

“Uh, Mom, isn’t that the tree you paid, like, $20 for at the dollar store last year?” my daughter asked.

That wasn’t the point. The point was, this wasn’t supposed to happen. It was a perfectly good tree, and I had lights with white strings!

So she said she could tape it together and it would be perfectly fine. Even though I know it won’t be, she does it anyway, and it does work. At least, it worked long enough for me to spend 20 minutes straightening out the branches until it fell over, smushing them all together again and dislodging several branches in the process.

So I drove to Wal-Mart to see if I could find another cheap, I mean, reasonably priced, white Christmas tree, that wasn’t pre-lit. There was none, of course. I was about to consider gluing, which I knew would only lead to more heartache, when I spied, wonder, of wonders, replacement artificial tree stands! And they were a measly $5.

Merry Christmas to me!

So I got home, Amanda tore herself away from a rerun of “Shrek” long enough to help me get the tree into the stand. I fluffed out the branches, put on the lights, and realized that there aren’t enough. The top of the tree didn’t have any. We needed more.

I asked Amanda to go get them.

“Why can’t Tony go?” she whined. “He broke the tree. Make him go.”

Fine. I make him go. Dang blasted kids.

There still weren’t enough lights.

Now it was Amanda’s turn to go, except by the time we finished the discussion of why we’re putting up a Christmas tree when none of us want to do it, established that Christmas trees of every shape and form are stupid, that Christmas lights are equally stupid and obviously the work of the Devil, and agree that we all would have been better off watching Shrek, the store was closed.

Dang blasted kids!

So, you’re going to go tomorrow and get the lights and put them on the tree, right?

“Yes Mommy.”

Now see how easy that was?


Laura Bush’s Hot Chocolate

  • 6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla (or more)
  • Pinch of Cinnamon Powder (optional)
  • Whipped Cream
  • Orange Zest

Mix cocoa, salt, and sugar. Add milk. Heat to dissolve. Add light cream, cinnamon, vanilla. Heat to just under boiling. Mix very well and pour into warm mug. Top with whipped cream, cocoa powder, and fine orange zest.

1 Comment

  1. Sarah McDonald
    Jan 25, 2013

    When did Christmas become such a hassle? Was it always that way and I’m just realizing it now at the age of 29? I now have a whole new appreciation of my parents efforts. I will probably continue to have these realizations after my own child is born.Sigh.. they were always right, Dang blasted parents.

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