A Christmas Tree named Chaos

Some people enjoy decorating Christmas trees. I hit the peak fun of putting up the tree at about age 7. Then the ‘been there, done that’ vibe took over. I enjoy having a tree, but I’m not so keen on decorating it, especially with the tedious chore of un-decorating it looming short weeks away.

My wife could do without a tree altogether. It seems she carries some childhood hang-up about bringing ‘nature’ indoors. Even bound tight with strands of electric lights, a tree brings her too close to the horrifying concept of camping. Five years ago she convinced me to buy an artificial tree ‘for emergencies.’ We’ve had a tree emergency every year since.

perfect spot

One to put it on the tree and one to stand back and see how it looks.

That’s not all her fault. I don’t miss the days of lashing shrubbery to top of the car and digging pine needles out of my socks. Until the boys complain about our lazy Christmas spirit, we’ll continue falling back on the emergency tree. Which brings us to another Christmas tree emergency:

The boys.

Putting up a tree with boys of 7, 3, and 1 is a special brand of adventure. Forgive me in advance; I can’t do it justice.

Christmas tree lights are mostly made in China nowadays, which explains their sturdy construction. A strand of raw eggs would be more durable. As I unwind the strands, Big Man drags them, without regard for their precarious filaments, to the most convenient outlet, because plugging cords in and turning lights on are his greatest pleasures. No matter that he killed half the bulbs winding them around table legs on his journey.

piling up the Bling

“Can we get a little more Bling in this area?”

Buster tries to help, grabbing the opposite end of the strand and attempting to yank it away from his careless little brother. The strands work better for tug-of-wars than for lighting trees.

Big Brother helps me swap out bulbs to make complete, working strands. I tell him what color I want and he hands me a bulb. We make another complete strand and are about ready to start putting them up when I realize he hasn’t salvaged the remaining good lights from the half-dead strand. He cannibalized a complete strand I just made to provide me bulbs.

Meanwhile, Big Man and Buster want to tangle all the strands into a web.

I begin yelling, but a Christmas Angel stops me. The Spirit persuades me it would be more in keeping with the Season to pour myself a scotch. I always listen to Holy advice.

load-bearing branch

“Just a few more of these on this branch should do it.”

Somehow, we get the lights up. The boys attack the ornaments with a will, each eager to throw as many up as he can before they run out. Shiny things are hung two and three to a branch in the fervor. I let them run wild. I’ll spread the ornaments out later.

No, I won’t. Maybe it’s the bright light of Christmas in their eyes or maybe it’s the warm glaze of scotch in mine, but I realize this is their tree now. I’ll leave it just as they made it.



22 comments on “A Christmas Tree named Chaos

  1. Oh, it’s a brave new world, and a tangled web we weave, when we decide to let the kids retrieve, the lights and ornaments. Happy holidays to you and the family, Scott :O)

  2. Bought a fake tree years ago…I love it, but it wouldn’t make much of a blog post, “I got the tree out of the garage and went back to watching football.” I do enjoy reading about the chaos in your house so keep on doing what you’re doing.

  3. amommasview says:

    Good on you! I do understand how hard it is to not move the ornaments around. I fight that little demon every year. We have the little tradition that me and my husband put the tree up (not a real one) end of November with the lights and then the kids put up one ornament each per day from then onward. The tree starts shaping into a nice colorful something. Sometimes I stand there and really want to swap ornaments around just to get it a little bit more even, but as you said, then you realize how much they love their tree and it’s so much better to see the sparkles in their eyes and the pride than having the ornaments spread out evenly…

  4. Dean B says:

    An emergency Christmas tree is a brilliant idea! I might just steal it. 😉 Love what your little boy said about needing more bling? 😀

  5. Gibber says:

    We don’t have kids we managed to get out fake tree that came with lights upstairs and in our window. We have not decorated it and decided we just like the lights so you’re not alone.

  6. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Oh, Scott! You will have fond memories of these days a few years from now. In the meantime, who cares how many ornaments are hung on one branch and who cares if all the lights are not working? The whole point in Christmas is to act like kids and have fun. I do like your Holy Guidance … even though I don’t drink I just might with 3 young boys. Merry Christmas, my friend. To make your day (or at least I hope) as one of my Mother’s gifts, I gave her your book, “Housefly in Autumn”. I was so impressed with it, that I had to get a copy for her. There, feel better now? LOL ❤

  7. Ahdad says:

    Which is why I took over decorating duties a long time ago. On my own. Princess does show interest in helping her Dad. She’s now thirteen.

    Maybe she can help me…next year. Provided she remains a good little girl in the coming months…

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