The first of December arrived, and pictures of beautifully decorated Christmas trees appeared in my Facebook feed.
I wasn't ready.
Last year, given that the twins were two, I opted for the token, tiny, safely-out-of-reach tree. I had better things to do with my time than spend every day picking up ornaments.
The trouble is that I have a lot of ornaments. Mum always put a felt ornament in our pillowcases on Christmas morning. Embroidered with our initial and the year, they have served as a continuous link to the past.
I've continued the tradition with my own kids. Making the ornaments is the most important part of Christmas preparation for me.
The decorations are special, but there's not much point in having them if I can only fit a few on a tiny tree. So this year I braved the bigger tree. It's only three feet tall, but it's enough.
The kids were really excited to decorate it, and they did a reasonable job. Suddenly, it started to feel a bit like Christmas.
While I redistributed ornaments off a few overloaded branches and secured the tinsel, Vieve found last year's tiny tree. She declared it to be her "dog", and dragged it around on a tinsel leash. I took it away.
Finn used the ball ornaments as ping-pong projectiles. I took them away, too.
The next time they were alone with the tree, Vieve took six or seven of the felt ornaments and put the loops around her wrist. Then she stood there waving her arms in the air, singing "I'm a tree, I'm a tree!"
I had a chat with them about not removing ornaments. I should probably have specified not to add things, either. I can understand the hair ribbons. Even the pieces of wool have a certain decorative charm. The spaghetti... not so much.
Still, spaghetti is minor compared to the damage they wreaked yesterday. Well, it's either twin damage, or too much eggnog.
Are you drunk, Christmas tree?
Right about now I'm wishing that we had a convenient fireguard to put the tree behind (hmm, do we still have a playpen in the garage?). I know some people use the "touch the tree and Santa won't come" threat, but we don't really do Santa in our family.
I might just have to go back to the tiny tree and put it up high.
How do you stop your kids laying waste to the Christmas tree?
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