Friday, December 07, 2007

Deck the Halls, Not the Children

This week's column...

Because I’m now the only adult in my home, I’m frequently outnumbered on things like food preferences and movie picks. That’s why on the 26th of November Christmas decorating commenced at the Belknap house.

Now I’m not a Type A personality. In fact, I’m more like Type C, if there is such a thing. My house is not meticulous, Mt. Laundry looms in my basement, and my children believe cooking simply requires a can opener and microwave. So you’d think I’d be easy-going when it comes to Christmas decorating. Not so much.

I’m not sure if it’s because the majority of our decorations are breakable or I’m just a grinch, but as soon as I popped the seal on our Christmas tubs I became Martha Stewart preparing for a party at the compound. I was barking orders, telling children to stop touching things, and finally made everyone sit at my feet to watch me place everything “just so.” Yes, someone should nominate me for the Christmas Spirit award.

When we set up the tree a few days later I was determined to make it a more kid-friendly activity. I gritted my teeth through the light-hanging while all the bulbs and ceramic decorations were Zack-handled. Once finished I sat on the couch to let my kids go at it. After a half-hearted attempt to channel Martha and give hanging instructions, I finally gave up and watched the rest of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” while the bottom two tiers of the tree were loaded up with every decoration in the box.

So my house is officially Christmas-ready, although my children reminded me that we had lights hanging from the roof LAST year. They even volunteered to hold the ladder while mother risks life and limb stringing up those bulbs of horror. I told them it was a dangerous job, and Kaleb explained to his sister, “Yeah, Leah, Mom might fall on you and break your arm. Or leg. Or kill you.” Thanks, son. Either way, I believe we’re all in agreement that we won’t be decorating the outside of our house this season.

But we’ve been able to enjoy the decorations that went up early this year (I would call you all overachievers, but I might offend half my readers—all five of you). There are the inflatable Santas and snowmen and elaborate light designs, but so far the prize goes to a house just two blocks down from us. The entire front yard is dedicated to an ice sculpture including a heart, a cross and a frozen ladder. It requires a daily spray-down. My mind cannot wrap itself around the scrupulous planning and maintenance of such holiday cheer. But kudos to those of you who can because it satisfies my children and keeps me off the ladder.

So back to the song. Halls decked? Check. Gay apparel donned? Check. Joyous singing altogether? Sing with me now, people: Fa la la la la.

Let the Christmas celebrations begin. Happy Holidays, Bloggers!

9 comments:

Kristi O said...

I am so with you. In fact last year a person could donate 20.00 and the national guard would come hang up lights and then take them down later. So, my sweet little rancher had its two strings of lights, you should have seen the look on those guardsmen faces when they saw our small little quaint home, they didn't even need ladders and couldn't imagine why I had paid them to come. But in my world it was the only way that we were going to get lights and in fact no guardsmen this year, no lights. I am no martha stewart but my children learned early on, don't even discuss the tree and what kind of ornaments we have or how they are hung, its a delicate painting/sculture and if you touch you will surely combust and die! Once again I am glad I am not alone

shauna said...

kristi o, Oh, I love the national guard thing (wonder if they do that here). I think $20 is completely worth it (we have this high pitched roof that nearly knocked me off my ladder last year). My kids would be giddy with excitement...

linds said...

Hey!

I really enjoyed this post. I think I have OCD sometimes. I rarely let anyone help me clean the house, let alone hang up Christmas decor. You just helped me realize what a HUGE mistake that is. It doesn't have to always be perfect, I need to relax and enjoy letting others do their part!

Erin said...

Hey Shauna, what exactly does gay apparel look like? Just kidding! I just saw the "Hatemail Christmas cards" on Mom-O-Matic and thought of that. We have a two foot tree--the same tree we have had for 5 years. I have ornaments but pooped out before I put them on--and with Jill--what's the point?! So our tree has lights, beads and a star. And outside lights? Are you kidding me?!!

LikeAstaR said...

yay! I love, love decorating, but this year I have become much more relzxed (even if only in my own mind) having a 15 month old will do that to ya! Merry Christmas!

suburbancorrespondent said...

Good for you letting the kids do the tree their way - I guarantee you that will be their fondest memory (now that you've deprived them of the experience of watching Mommy fall off a ladder into the shrubbery).

karla said...

Normally, our tree is up by the end of November. Actually, I have a confession to make, the first year we got a tree, we put it up November 1st. Odd - yes, of course. But that was like our only decoration...so maybe we felt we needed to overcompensate or something?

We didnt exactly buy kid friendly decorations either. I totally channelled my inner martha and every decoration that I have is themed in gold glitter and stuff to choke on, which is pointless now with a baby.

Sigh..

Eileen said...

I totally gave up on the tree!! My girls use to get so furious with my, when I would "fix" where they put their ornament. So I learned put in a special little box "my special, breakable, memory" ones. I grab those,put them up really high, and let the girls go crazy. Later, when they are asleep, I take some off the wires or move some off the bottom, but for the most part I have learned to let go.
SO glad that you are not attempting the whole ladder on the roof thing. That scares me reading it from here. Stay on the ground my friend. Drive the kids around the neighborhood one night to look at the neighbors lights, but wish choice to stay off the roof.
hugs!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

We all have our things - go big with it!