Oh Christmas Tree…

Holidays. I love decorating for them. I used to decorate for EVERY holiday. Christmas was the best. All of the sparkling, twinkling lights, the soft glow on the ornaments. Snuggling and cuddling with your best man, a bottle of wine, and kitties in the glow….   The way the cats would find a way to bring the tree down at least once a week during the season…

Well, maybe not so much the tree climbing.  As fun as it is coming home and finding the tree laid out, I could probably do with just memories on that one.

After I separated from my first husband, in 2001, I couldn’t find the heart to decorate. I had the stuff, I just didn’t have the energy to pull it out,.  In  2002, I was “sharing” one of my best boys, Izaak, with his mom. We both worked for the same company, me on days, and later graveyard, (24/7 office), and her on swing shift. Taking care of a 2 year old, I forced myself to decorate that year, for him. The rest of the time? Not so much. What presents would I put under the tree? With whom would I snuggle in the soft glow of the lights?

After I met Pete, it kinda continued. Not because I didn’t want to decorate, but because he is a master procrastinator.

First, I need to say that I am not one of those women who put up a tree the day after Thanksgiving, and leave it up for months, like my friend Sarah. ( BTW – Miss Sarah has her own blog, where she posts lots of pictures of her crafting, cooking and playing – as well as writing!)

ANYWAY, Miss Sarah told me she puts hers up, and leaves it up until her birthday in February! Good heavens. Thank goodness there is diversity in this world! Makes for fun and interesting times!  And thank even MORE goodness I am not expected to do this!  It would drive me even  battier than I already am!

I generally  will put the tree up and decorate about mid December, and that stuff comes DOWN on New Years day. No ifs, ands, or buts. I love the decorations, the soft lights, the shiny sparklies, the snuggles… (OOOOH! SHINY!!) After a few weeks though, the clutter starts to hit my claustrophobia nerve, and it has to go

I have been with Pete now since around August 2003. First year, we were not living together, and I was still in the “dun wanna bother” phase.

2004, we were in Massachusetts, but he was in his “mid life crisis” phase, and not sure if we were “right” Still didn’t want to bother . (Sigh.  Whole other story.  Maybe later.)

2005, we were engaged, and he was living with me. Promised that he would get a tree from his parents land. (They have 12 acres or so in the foothills of the Appalachians, and grow trees specifically for cutting at Christmas.) This was put off until roughly 2 days before Christmas, when I couldn’t see sacrificing a tree for one week of ornaments, and then death by wood chipper. 2006. 2007 and 2008, we were married, and the same. Promise of tree from folks land that just never happened…

2009 came, and we had moved to Austin. I was working for dream company, and his sister (who lives here in TX – San Antonio, to be semi exact) passed on a rather spectacular (if very large) fake tree that they had replaced. Seriously. You don’t want a real tree in TX unless you are fond of brown, shedding pines in your living area. This begins roughly 2 days from putting up the tree, regardless of how careful you are about filling the water resevoir in the stand.

OMG people! I had a TREE in 2009! Out of the box, set up and everything! Of course, I didn’t have lights or ornaments, so I had… a fake tree.  Period.  Big and green.  Its conquest and takeover of my living room was complete. /sigh

Last year, for the first time since 2002 and Izaak, I decorated. Pete’s mom had fallen a couple of times during late summer/early fall, breaking both arms and her pelvis. He had gone back to Massachusetts for most of  October and November to help out, and came back with a big box of ceramic ornaments. His mom has been teaching ceramics for more than 30 years. Has a studio, with molds, kilns, paints… the whole nine yards. Add some Walmart specials, and lights, and we were in business!

We did learn a very important lesson, and because of it, our tree will always looks half decorated, at least as long as these kitties are in our lives. Other cats I have had in my life have been successful in bringing the tree down – so much so that I had to have guy lines attached to the wall to keep it upright.  Thank goodness these couldn’t do that with the monster.

HOWEVER.  I have to leave the bottom 2 feet or so free of all but soft ornaments, or I will have an obstacle course of exploded land mine ornaments thoughtfully provided by Spook, with a generous helping of shredding from Callie.

  • From Spook: “Hey ma!  Its the holidays!  Chill out all ready.  Sorry about the dagger like shard of ceramic in your toe.  Shoulda watched where you were going!”
  • And Callie:  “It’s a tree! There might be a squirrel or bird up there!  I have to get it, since you won’t let me out to get the ones in the yard!  Might as well mangle this stuffed ornament and that ribbon while at it!  The squirrel might be hiding in it!”

This year, we plan on decorating again.  I am hoping that we can actually put a couple presents under it. (besides the nice new, non carnivorous living room furniture. Which will technically surround it, because I refuse to wait until “the day” to use it, if I have it.) If not, I might just wrap some empty boxes… because I am a dork. I know it, accept it, and embrace the awesome dorkiness that is me!

If we can, I would like to look for a slightly (MUCH) smaller tree. (even though I will probably need guy lines again). Seriously. The one we have now? Lovely, realistic looking, full, thick – and fills almost half of my not so large living room when up. (base diameter is about 5 feet.) Regardless – I am hoping that a tree, with attendant twinkles, sparkles, snuggles,  and claustrophobia will be part of life beginning next weekend. If the digital camera I want from Santa happens, there might even be pictures!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bellanoctumnSarah
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 03:30:34

    LOL!!! Yeah I’m a freak who loves all the weeks of christmas 🙂 I get it honestly from my Mother 😛

    But I am SO glad that your Bronchitis has let up enough that you felt up to posting!!

    I think that empty boxes are just fine if you are going for that more festive look ❤

    Do tell…. would you like a homemade grocery bag? If you head to my blog you can see the amazing that is the one I made and I can make one for you too!! I will even wrap it so that you can put it under your beautiful tree ❤

    I hope to see you at work on monday!! MWAH!


  2. Vicky
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 12:02:36

    But don’t you know? Cats have known since the beginning of time that Christmas trees are put there solely for their enjoyment. 😉

    I still have to get one. Kiddo wants me to put one up, so I will, but I have to go buy one and lug it back home first. Ugh.

    I used to love the whole Christmas decorating thing, but then I discovered that it wasn’t so much the decorations that I loved as it was spending time with family. I married into a family that doesn’t decorate, and it just destroyed it for me. There’s no fun in decorating alone. It is because of this that I’m of half a mind to wait until kiddo is actually here before starting. I’ll buy the stuff but I won’t put it up until he’s here, and we’ll do it together.


  3. Kittin
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 23:33:48

    We put up ours last night. Around midnight, Sean sleepily mumbles “tree…”. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about, so I ignored it. Oops! Simi had managed to climb half way up the tree (and its NOT a small tree), before slipping and falling… then tearing into the bedroom and throwing himself onto Mum’s tummy >.<


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