One last Christmas post and I promise to move on…
This is an idea that occurred to me fairly early this Christmas season, as we were just getting started with our decorating and everything was falling apart. As my daughter kept asking about when we were going to put up the tree (the day after Thanksgiving, just like always–why is that a surprise?) and kept hounding me about putting up the tree and finally it was time to put up the tree…and I realized we had no lights. (Take that, all you friends who think I’m incredibly organized.) I knew we were going from a pre-lit tree back to our old, needs-lots-of-lights tree, and I’d bought a few boxes of lights…but then I’d promptly loaned out two boxes for our Sunday School class Christmas party, held the evening after we were tree decorating.
At that point I was so fed up with the entire situation; with all the badgering about putting up the tree and finally getting set up and realizing that we could now do nothing with it. In desperation, I told the kids they could decorate the bottom half of the tree: the half with lights. Notice, please, that we finally have kids old enough to actually decorate the entire tree and not just the bottom branches, and now I’m asking them to just decorate the bottom branches. I wanted to be done with the whole mess and move on. I’d fix it later.
When “big tree decorating” was done, my kids unpacked their tiny trees, the ones they set up in their rooms. None of their lights worked either. At all.
And that’s when I started taking notes.
All Christmas I took notes on what would make life easier. Just little ideas, here and there, when they’d come to me. Problems that we’d had that could easily be fixed, something that could have been done better if I’d had more time to prepare, or things that seem obvious now but that I know I’ll forget by next year.
I present to you my Christmas list (maybe some bit of it will help someone else):
- Pack all lights in a separate box, and check to see if they work a few days before putting up the tree (especially lights for kids’ trees).
- Pack ornaments sorted by “fragile” and “not fragile” so the kids can help decorate much more easily.
- Put on cross-stitched ornaments first–they’re way bigger.
- Have a wide space cleared in the kids’ rooms a few days before their trees go up. (The bookcases are not deep enough to set the trees.)
- Unload one box a day, and ONLY one box. (“Tree” and “Kids” boxes first.)
- If possible, set up the tree the night before decorating.
- Have back-up “candle” bulbs ready [we put “candles” in all eight of our front windows]: only one burnt out this year.
- You are absolutely forbidden from buying ANY more scented pinecones. No exceptions.
Hopefully next year will go a bit more smoothly. I’ll need all the help I can get, seeing as by then we’ll have a eight-month-old girl added to the mix.