Holiday Cheer

Time flies and advent calendar doors open.


Around November first, I said to Dan, “What do you think about getting the tree December 10th?” He looked at me with confusion and disgust. I could tell what his train of thought was:
a) Why are we talking about Christmas? You know I hate Christmas.
b) Why are we talking about Christmas? We still have carved pumpkins why the door.
c) I really hate planning anything, especially planning Christmas.
d) Christmas trees cost money, don’t they?
e) I am trying to play my video game.

I love planning and I love Christmas, so I decided that December 10th would be the day.


Come December 10th, Rex-Goliath opened up the little door, and Surprise! Time to get the tree. I will say, Dan surprised me. Not only was he keen on procuring a tree, but he also expressed interest in going Christmas shopping.

We packed up the family truckster and headed for the MOA.

The best thing about the Mall of America on that particular day was that TLC was filming an episode of Mall Cops during our visit. We actually saw the crew following around a husky security guard with a boom mike.

Xavier and I did a little Christmas shopping while Dan and Rex-Goliath had a little adventure consisting of flirting with those ladies selling lotion at one of the many kiosks in the mall, playing with legos and meeting large crustaceans.


When the Bubba Gump Shrimp mascot walked up, Dan said that Rex-Goliath looked as if he had run into Jesus Christ himself – a cross between complete awe and sheer terror.

My exploits were not nearly as interesting – I did realize that Urban Outfitters is selling a replica of almost every ceramic tchotchke that I have purchased from Valu Thrift in the past 3 years at a 1000% mark-up. I could look at it two ways – bitterly (why didn’t I ebay them before the damn kids or dog broke them?) or somewhat proud (I always knew I had the taste of a trendy thirty-something with an excessive disposable income that tries really hard to look cool and vintage without the odor that comes with things that are actually cool and vintage).


Speaking of cool and vintage, we are now arriving at the tree-trimming portion of the post. Trim-the-tree pictures are boring and awkward. The tree always looks weird and distorted when a non-professional is telling it to say “cheeze,” and it is really difficult to get a picture of the children hanging up ornaments obediently. So I had a little fun with Picasa (the Google picture editor) and turned some of them into strange 70s-style pictures (or possibly just strangely-tinted pictures of my kids and tree).

Both purchase-the-tree and decorate-the-tree day were in the advent calendar. I timed it so that we bought the tree right before Chloë arrived for the week. I even wrapped a few presents to stick under it before she arrived to make it more exciting.


I left the selection and purchase of the tree up to Dan. Now that it is all said and done, I would say that he picked a decent tree. From where my butt is currently parked, the tree looks full, round and even. When the tree first arrived, wrapped in that orange plastic netting, it looked like an alien Jennifer Lopez – our tree had a butt. A junk-in-the-trunk-style butt.


I found this quite amusing, and as Dan was sawing and trying to shove the giant, misshapen trunk into our inadequate tree stand, I felt the need to snap a picture of the tree butt. For some reason, Dan did not find this nearly as humorous as I did.

The tree was so voluptuous that Dan had to run to the store for a plus-sized tree stand. He tried sawing, voodoo spells, ice-picking, threatening to use it for firewood, and whispering sweet nothings, but the tree would not comply and squeeze into our old stand. Rex-Goliath was rather fascinated by the sawing portion of this process, so I made him a little cardboard saw so he, too, could experience disappointment.

The actual trimming was left up to the kids and I – Dan had a thing that evening. It was a packed evening (crafting, baths, dinner, Christmas Sponge Bob *shudder* and a full clean-up). We saved the tree until the kids were in their jammies. Everyone participated, some working toward the original end goal, others with their own plan.


Chloë was the most helpful – she actually put ornaments on the tree.

Rex-Goliath discovered a long strand of beads that we usually hang on the tree and proceed to drag them around, whipping them about the house.


Xavier alternated between hollering and chewing on a Santa hat.


I made the kids pose for an action shot as well as a “completion” picture, promising popsicles for cooperation. I am not above bribery.

They did a lovely job and enjoyed their orange and root beer popsicles immensely.

We had an extra stocking this year. Rest in peace, in the freezer for now, dear Chuckë.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Mr. Wonderful said,

    Looks like a good time, it’s hard to imagine why some people dislike Christmas.

    You forgot the part about standing in subzero temperatures, skulking about the tree lot looking for a non-mangy tree, then hauling it half a mile to the check-out, driving home, cutting the thing off the roof of the car, hefting it up on your shoulder, needles sticking into you in advanced interrogation technique fashion, getting it into the apartment, then the final four hours of hunching down trying to get the tree to assume some sort of vertical stance while simultaneously propping it and screwing the tree stand pegs into tree trunk, and let’s not forget finally cleaning up the explosion of wood dust and pine needles every-fricken-where.

    Oh wait, that’s right. I did that while you snickered and snurgled, mocked, and chortled.

    Love you.


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