The Minutia of Christmas

( From December 2014 and last year, I adore this look back ) The sound was a thwap and a roll, hollow plastic bouncing and traveling across the floor. My new Christmas tree balls were this moment’s entertainment. The “ball balls” were being extracted from their big clear box and thrown while I hurried to put my laundry away. Although that’s exactly why I bought those, I underestimated the little monkey’s reasoning skills.let the ball-a-thon begin on

Every day is jam-packed with holiday fun.

Not unlike any other day in my life, I’ve been cramming the carrying out of Christmas details into the tiny time slots when I’m kid free. I got started early! Then stalled. And then the holiday started to close in on me and every other person in the free First world.

garland as a boa on

No one to impress but me, I knew I had time. But the tree had been lit and yet naked for a week. On the heels of the Christmas ball shot put incident, the unearthing of ribbon and tinsel garland set off a playing frenzy with Fiona dragging the garland around screaming “Mine, Mine” while the cat chased and pounced on the end. I’m not accustomed to the toddler mayhem yet. I like my holiday decorating to be quiet thinking time for me. Ha!garland and kitty games on

Today was cookie making day as well. My son and husband conceived that cookies would be Eamon’s offering to the school class party. I apparently was no where around for this important strategy tete a tete because I am no cookie baker. And alas, Pilsbury’s Sugar cookies with embedded Christmas tree designs that you just cut and bake were all gone from the grocery store’s refrigerated section. So I talked myself up into helping Eamon make chocolate chip and sugar cookies. From scratch.

creaming the butter and sugar on

I hate baking because I’m a cook. Exact measurements? And a toddler who refused to eat her dinner and is now milling around your feet and now falling off the step stool knocking sprinkles everywhere? Call them disaster cookies. choc chip cookies on

I was feeling generally hostile and irritated and pulled out just enough patience to have Eamon do most of the work. And yes, for her sake and mine, I sent Fiona out to Dada who was doing train garden setting up.

I enjoy my domesticity straight up. I am good with all the ten million details of Christmas but I just want to do them alone. No I don’t want to ever bake cookies with the kids again unless they are well-behaved young adults. No they won’t ever be decorating my Christmas tree unless they’ve proven to have tree decorating abilities. And yes, I will totally take advantage of their cute art project creations to make gifts for people at Christmas and cash in on their one absolute contribution. Creative mindless fun. The rest of Christmas is serious business and better left to the professionals. Christmas cookies from

Merry Christmas to all you perfectionistic special event planners and decorators otherwise known as moms across the world. You’ve given enough. Take a seat and enjoy the event because it’ll be over in a blink.

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And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Oh My Trying Tannenbaum

It seems every year without fail, my tree and I have decorating issues. It’s not the tree’s fault (although this year our tree had a little problem I’ll mention later). My overzealous search for the perfect combination of texture and color in the tree decorations that are right for both night and day viewing is undeniably over-achievement 101. And when I then change the tree theme slightly from last year, I’m inevitably in trouble.Full tree shot

Again, I forgot that the tree’s daytime ‘look’ is very different from the nighttime ‘look’. I made this mistake last year too.  I had it decked out in gold, white, and/or green and then night fell and the tree disappeared. Because the only element that translates at nighttime on a tree lit with a thousand twinkling lights ( seven strands of 150’s), is the color Red. And not just a little here and there. You need a lot of Red.

This year I envisioned a more natural tree theme. I decided to go with white, light green, brown, and red. I started with a light gold ribbon as a base to diffuse some light. I added a wide green ribbon to this. Then an orangey red ribbon cascading down with sheer red bows everywhere. Nighttime came and, surprise, it needed something. If you guessed more Red, you would be right. The tree decorating then stalled until yesterday.tree 2011

My husband and I decided to do the round-up shop together. That’s the shop for the last bits and pieces to fill in the gift gaps and obtain “the stuffers” kinda shop. I broke the rules by shopping without a list and used the forbidden credit card (just this once) to get my creative juices flowing. And there was the answer to the 2011 tree dilemma, red tinsel garland. From previous years, I’ve procured orange and magenta garland, but not red. And it was the perfect dark red to compliment the orangey ribbons.

Last night I festooned the tree with the 45 feet of my new Red garland and added more brown paper flowers. I put the last of the ornaments on and saved a few special ones for the son to put on tonight. I thought it generous of me to let him touch my tree.  It looks fabulous and you know, now that he’s seen it, my husband said I was rrr…right about  the necessity of the Red garland.  You don’t even notice the lean of the tree because I wedged it against the ceiling with the stub from where we had to cut it off to fit the ceiling height. Now all’s right with my world and Christmas can progress.