As is my way, I've been spending the last couple of weeks kind of stressing out about when to do the Christmas decorating. I was trying to find a time when at least one of the children wasn't present (i.e. preschool time or nap time) so I wouldn't be wrestling breakable things away from both children at the same time while maintaining my festive cheer.
And then, as so often happens, I just up and did it. One morning at 7:30, I announced to Cubby, "Hey, we're going to put up some Christmas decorations!" Then he and I raced upstairs all the way to the small attic in the very back bedroom to grab a box of decorations. I tore him away from all the fascinating junk stored in there ("Look! It's my old bassinet!") so we could get back downstairs before Charlie even made it out of the equally fascinating parlor and ascended the stairs.
I highly recommend splitting your home into zones and controlling your kids' access to some of them. When normally forbidden zones are opened to them, it's guaranteed distraction.
That one box was the only one I ever did end up bringing down, but it had enough in it to spread some Christmas cheer.
First out of the box were the hats. Unbreakable, wearable, and immediately commandeered by the children.
Next I found this random string of big decorative lights the MiL bought a few years ago. I could never figure out a good spot for them, because the bulbs are so big but the string is actually really short. But in my quest to find a spot to hang them where they would be near a semi-concealed outlet and wouldn't get yanked down by destructive gremlins (CHARLIE), I inadvertently stumbled across the perfect place.
I hung up some (unbreakable) stockings, strewed around some random (unbreakable) other stuff and called it good.
But what about the tree?
I wimped out this year and went with a tabletop tree again, so I wouldn't spend the holiday season shadowing Charlie to save the tree from imminent disaster.
Because we needed what A. termed "a micro-tree," he just went into the woods and whacked the top off of a pretty small one. I stuck it in a vase filled with broken flowerpot shards and wet sand and once again, called it good. Are you sensing a theme?
O Christmas shrub.
It's actually a pretty terrible little tree, all sparse and weirdly shaped and I don't even have any decorations on it yet, because that requires another trip to the distant attic, but you know what? The kids don't give a damn about any of that; they only see the lights. I think if I put up nothing but randomly looped strands of lights, they would be happy.
You'd think I would have learned by now that trying to do things the way I did before I had kids by doing them without the kids is so not the point. The point is that I do have kids and so should do these things with the kids, however random and chaotic the result.
I'm a slow learner. And that really is a ridiculously ugly tree, but who cares? Not them, and therefore not me.