I just have to share the utter chaos that surrounds a Christmas tree in our house.
Let’s start at the beginning. First, we must choose a tree. I’m really kicking myself for not taking pictures during this, but I think the craziness caused me to quit thinking. You’ll just have to use your imagination.
Sunday morning, two weeks later than we usually pick a tree, we bundle everyone up in all their winter gear. Tiny abominable snowmen, they all waddle to the van, eager to go. We climb in, Lukas is screaming because he’s not getting buckled fast enough, two kids are arguing over a seat in the van, Andrew and I just climb in the front and look at each other.
Off we go. On the way down the driveway Andrew hits the soft snow on the side of the driveway and digs into the ditch a bit. No worries, we made it. But from that point on the speedometer shakes back and forth. Oh well, Bertha is ancient, what can we expect.
We had a nice drive to the tree farm after that. Other than the “how much longer” repeated from the back row.
Now, to find a tree. The nice young man told us we find the size we want to the right. So we trudge off through the snow in search of the perfect tree. It was truly a beautiful morning and everyone was dressed well for the cold. The sun was shining and there was no wind. We head in one direction but Andrew isn’t happy with any of the trees so we head off in the opposite direction. Pretty soon Lukas is lagging behind. At one point I look back to see him just laying in the snow. I encourage him on and we catch up. David has found a tree he thinks will work perfectly but Andrew and the older kids are already way up ahead looking at another batch. Nope, none of those are sufficient.
“Let’s go to the other field,” Andrew suggests. The other half of the farm is on the other side of the parking lot. So off we go. As we reach the parking lot and cross over, Schwabs start to fall off the train. I look back and there’s a trail of Schwabs in the snow. Little dead Schwabs. Lukas, then 20 feet later Jacob. Another 10 feet down the row lies David. And near me is Heidi, curled in the fetal position under a tree.
Meanwhile, the older kids and Andrew are at the end of a long row. I decide I better just stand in the vicinity of the fallen Schwabs, so there I am, stuck between the moaning children and the children on a mission.
Turns out there weren’t any good trees on that side either.
Back to the other side. The teens and Andrew race ahead as I encourage the lumps on the ground to get up and come along. We make it to the parking area where Lukas kneels down in the gravel, lifts his head, and yells at the top of his lungs, “THIS IS THE WORST DAY EVER!!!”
At this point, I lost it. I started laughing so hard! I just couldn’t contain myself. It was utter chaos. Lukas laid in the snow and I stood in the parking lot and we just hung out until the rest of the family came back, thankfully, mercifully, carrying a tree.
Fast forward to Monday evening when we decide to decorate the tree. It’s not a very big tree so decisions had to be made about which ornaments could be hung. Andrew and I sit in our camping chairs while the kids make decisions and start to hang ornaments.
First, a glass owl hits the floor and shatters. Commence sobbing by said child. Next Captain America hits the floor and his arms go sailing off. Dad to the rescue with super glue.
Meanwhile, the 2 year old is taking the ornaments back off the tree and running off with them, the 4 year old is leaping the ornament piles on the floor while the older ones are shouting at him to stop, 2 kids have started a Nerf gun war (obviously in the same room), and the phone is ringing.
You can’t make this stuff up. I looked at Andrew and sighed, “maybe we should have put them all to bed and decorated ourselves.”
Later, when the tree was lit and decorated, the kids started commenting on how pretty it was and how they loved decorating it. I’m not sure what part they loved! But, hey, if the memory for them is good, it was all worth it!
I for one, look at the tree and chuckle every time, thinking back to all the chaos it took just to put up a tree.