Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Joy?

When we went to go cut down our tree, I had all these fantastic idealistic dreams of how the evening would go. We'd drive into the forest, a happy family loving each other's company. Then we'd pick the perfect tree, take the obligatory pictures, carry it to the car, where we would crack open the thermos of hot chocolate and enjoy. Then when we got home, we would decorate the most beautiful tree together as a family while Christmas carols played in the background. A lovely scene, yes? Cut to my reality--it was almost dark by the time we finished moving furniture into the garage to make room for the tree. Then we had to wake Sam up from his nap, get everyone loaded and head out. Then the snow started. When we finally reached our destination, it was darn near black in the forest. The kids had all fallen asleep, so Vince and I argued about which tree was best all alone while they slept in the warm car. Then we hiked back to the car to get the stuff and the kids, who were not happy about being woken up and wanted to dip into the hot chocolate already. So we got them bundled and the chocolate poured while I tried to wrestle Sam into his carrier with his bunting on over my thick coat. Hat, mittens, blanket-can't see where I'm going and can't hear over the screaming baby. I finally caught up with the others and broke out the camera to catch a picture of the girls with red noses, smiles, and hot chocolate down the front of their freshly laundered coats standing in front of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. Vince cuts down the tree while I hold the flashlight, camera, baby and blanket and 2 empty cups of hot chocolate. Vince starts to carry the tree out when Katie falls in the snow. Major drama! So he ends up carrying her and the tree all the way to the car in the dark and snow. Audrey was content to walk-this time. Put the kids back in the car, crank up the heat and we're off. At about 15 miles an hour because by this time, the roads are slick with snow and ice and we don't want to skid off somewhere. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a nervous wreck in the car when any kind of weather hits. I'm sure it was fun for Vince! When we finally get home I sit down to feed a very cranky baby while Vince tries to trim the tree to fit our house. In the meantime, the girls have found the decorations and have pulled them all out of their boxes and wrappers and strung them throughout the house. I will be finding those little hooks in my carpet (with my bare feet at 3 in the morning, I'm sure) until they are in college. I break out all my lights that have been in storage for 2 years and plug them in--NOTHING! Not one of the seven strands of lights work. I finally get half a strand working by sheer luck when I fling them across the room. So, I sat down to painstakingly go through each strand light by light to determine which bulbs were burnt out or had shorts. 2 hours and 1 and a half working strands later, I gave up. I declared it a Christmas disaster. Vince snorted at me from his spot at the computer and told me to go buy some new lights tomorrow. Tomorrow? I had the tree up and 2 little girls fighting over the decorations and he wants me to wait until tomorrow? I just brought out the 3 new boxes of lights that I bought last year and never used and threw away all the others. My tree has less lights than I wanted, but at least they're on there. By this time, it was bed time for the kids anyway. We put them to bed amid much wailing about not having the tree done. Let's just say that the next morning didn't go very well either. By the time Vince got home from work, the tree was decorated and I was at my wit's end. God Bless the little children, right?

No comments: