Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Decorating for Christmas
We’ve got it down to a science now. I start putting up the tree while Heather does all the non-tree decorating. The tree kit is missing a leg, so I use a stack of magazines to prop up the fourth side and then tape (yes, tape) the intact legs to the floor so the tree won’t tip over. Usually I use clear packaging tape but this year I used duct tape (as Heather says: “We’re so ghetto…”). After fluffing the branches, we proceed to the lights.
I would sooner brush my teeth with a pad of extra coarse steel wool than put up these lights. No, that image is too mild to express how I really feel. Let me rephrase: I would sooner bring a child into this world through my urethra than put up these lights. Year after year, it’s the same thing: Troy gingerly picks up one chain and tries to unravel it. The lights transmogrify, turning into thorns, thistles and weeds, choking the life out of his tiny, beating Christmas heart.
Every year before D-Day (that is, Decorating Day), my wife prays: “Please, Lord: help my husband be a man.” And every year, I throw a tantrum any four-year old would envy. It’s the one prayer of hers God never answers.
But this year was different. This year, I determined to “be of good cheer”. And, wouldn’t you know it? The lights behaved. Yes, wonders never cease.
Decorating for Christmas is an all-day affair. So it’s very important that there is an abundant supply of Thanksgiving leftovers to eat when you need a break. And of course, eating them cold saves a lot of time.
Troy starts with our tree, and now that the kids are older, we actually get things done a lot faster. Granted, they enjoy the fun jobs more than the tedious. I’m sure Troy will breathe a sigh of relief when he can train one of them to put the lights on the tree. Nothing makes him madder. Although this year it went surprisingly well and there were no Yosemite Sam noises coming from behind the tree.
Anyway, he starts on the tree and I start on the bookcases and the hutch on the wall. Because I am crazy about Christmas, and I go a little nuts. But only in the living room. So it’s OK.
And yes, this is where we get to the Christmas candles. I have 2 sets of star shaped candles, one red and one white. There are 4 in each set, and they decrease in size. I bought them at a store that never has the same thing again, so I refuse to light them. Because then they would be all misshapen. And that would not do.