And Up Goes the Tree

bah-humbugSeasons Greetings! Based on my quick temper this past weekend, I know holiday stress must be catching up with me.  I told my husband a couple of weeks ago that I had no desire to do any Christmas shopping this year.  And after coming downstairs last night after spending 1.5 hours putting the boys to bed, I barked out at the other half of my family because they had the audacity to sit on the couch and watch TV with big boxes of yet to be hung Christmas ornaments and decorations sitting in front of them. “Can’t you at least decorate while you watch TV?” I asked, as I stomped over to the boxes and started ripping them open. My husband replied, “I thought we’d let Jack and Sam do the rest.”  I replied, “I just want to get it done.”  And his response:  ”Well, don’t do it if you don’t enjoy it.”  And I replied, “Well I don’t enjoy it.”  Growl.

Take a deep breath.  I actually do enjoy decorating the tree, but for whatever reason I feel the huge tidal wave of holiday preparations looming over my head more than ever this year.  This HUGE new list of things to do, when I’m barely getting through my normal daily life “to do list.”

There’s that perfect image that I’m sure many of us have in our heads of how the tree gets decorated.  You get up early, go out in the snow and cut down your tree.  Just before you left the house, that last batch of Christmas cookies came out of the oven.  After hauling the tree back home, the house still smells of cinnamon and chocolate chips, the fire is roaring, the Christmas carols are piping through the stereo (I mean ipod), frothy mugs of hot chocolate are in abundance, and  everyone in the family is laughing and helping (not just the ones under 6 – which of course causes another layer of stress).

If the rising of your Christmas tree was close to this image, please share, and I applaud you all the extra effort that went into making it so.

OK. Enough of the unloading.  I feel better.  Any wonderful tips from you wise women?!


  • Adriana Says:
    12-7-2009 09:44:49

    Ahh, the Bah Humbugs!!! Does anyone escape them 100% over the lengthy holiday season? I bet not!!!

    The only words of advice I might offer… “Choose best when to take on a new demand”.
    If possible, wait to be inspired to tackle a task. Wait to be well rested (ok, better rested). Wait for a clear plate … or at least a little available room. And finally, keep it simple!!

    Happy Holidays Everyone!


  • grandma Says:
    12-7-2009 10:00:50

    As an appreciative beneficiary of all YOUR hard work I want to thank you in advance for making the holiday so special.

  • Sharon Says:
    12-7-2009 23:39:59

    I learned to do things in small steps. For the tree ~ put it in the stand one evening, and bring it into the house another evening, and put the lights on when I had a few minutes, and then decorate as people had time (as the kids got older the decorating didn’t always happen on the same day/night). Same with cookies, as in get the ingredients to have on hand when I had time to mix up a batch to save in the fridge for when I had the oven on to throw in a panful….And so on for what I wanted to do. As the kids got older and life got busier some things got dropped from the list, like the huge three-course breakfast for jiffy cinnamon buns and favorite cereals. As time together gets harder to come by that is the thing we celebrate.

  • Elaine Says:
    12-8-2009 05:50:46

    For the past few years our Christmas tree has been put up and decorated relatively late in the season. Basically, I wait until family members notice and ask, “Hey – where’s our tree?.” At that point, they’re pretty motivated and eager to help.

    I didn’t start out with this intention … it just kind of happened. It also helps that we don’t do any entertaining before the holidays, so we can scramble at the last minute, if needed.

  • Anne Says:
    12-9-2009 13:31:10

    all great advice and sentiments, thanks! I did decide that things could get done in waves … so finishing up things when I get the time.

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