Y’all Ready to be Merry?
It is officially that time of year (again). I am happy to admit that I am getting super pumped to be Christmas-y this year because Squeak is a little bit older and can participate more. But there is a lot of hassle that comes along with it too. The pain of busting out the totes full of lights and decorations, the pains of figuring out how to do our lights (new house this year), and fighting off the tiny Christmas tree dragons. ESPECIALLY fighting off the tiny Christmas tree dragons. Every year I worry about the cats destroying the tree/ornaments and every year they’re just like, “meh”. Actually, one gives it the standard cat-like disinterest and the other likes to sleep under it. 1) because “it r made of warm” and 2) because the kids can’t reach her. I’m sure everyone has seen the memes. So you know, the feline threat is real. But it has been Squeak and Cutie Muffin that are being the biggest pains.
First night/first day they were great. Look at the tree, talk to the ornaments, all of the adorable-ness that toddlers at Christmas have. But two days later and they have morphed into Gremlins after midnight. If I walk out of the room, even if I am within arms reach, they run to the tree and grab ornaments and flee into the night. Thankfully they are all plastic, but still, it is the principle of the matter. And the tree skirt. You guys, I kid you not, Squeak ran up and yanked it out leaving the presents in place. Like she was doing the tablecloth trick. I even swear I heard a squeaky “Ole”! Okay, maybe not, but you get the visual.
Christmas Tree Shopping
In my lifetime I’ve had a lot of trees. Giant, regal trees and small, just a step above Charlie Brown trees. We’ve gone and picked out and cut our own trees and we’ve bought them from hardware stores and fruit stands. I’ve put together pitiful artificial trees with enough garland wrapped around to make them look unlike a broom handle with sprigs of greenery. Hubs is a bit of a real tree snob. Although he “let’s me pick it” he is far more particular about the tree than I am. He is also very particular about it HAS to be a real tree. Pretty sure that the last time I suggested getting an artificial tree he said that I didn’t love America. To let you in on a little secret, I’m not the only one with a flair for the dramatic.
Thankfully, this shopping adventure wasn’t much of an adventure and we were in and out in under 30 minutes. At the Hardware store they had the adorable DIY decorations wherein you end up with a large “hanging ornament” but it’s made out of a child’s ball, a plastic container, spray paint, and glue. Squeak LOVED them and was quite miffed that I was too short to let her reach them. I guess this is a fun DIY Christmas decoration that we can make together later.
Real Christmas Tree
Not going to lie that I am biased here, but real trees are gorgeous. They are pleasing to the senses. They look nice, smell nice, feel nice, and probably taste nice too though I’m not in the habit of licking trees. There again, it has always been part of the tradition to go and pick out a tree and bring it home, trim it up, and have fun all the while. Would like to note that the fun part is optional due to the fact that it occasionally starts arguments, or at least it does in our family.
I’m sure everyone has struggled with trying to string lights on a tree in a somewhat orderly fashion. It is often a two or three person job because I am a perfectionist. Squeak however isn’t the best at letting us know when things get a bit squirrely so it was just the two of us. Then comes the fun part of trying to adequately space and alternate the ornaments. My OCD is in overdrive right now especially since I have about 15 ornaments on the kitchen counter from taking them away from the kids. There are so many blank spaces in the tree and it is driving me nuts.
Our trees stay present in our home until after the New Year (it’s bad luck otherwise). So for 3-4 weeks a year I get to ponder whether or not they are worth the effort and debate whether or not there is a better option.
Artificial Christmas Tree
What is not to like about artificial trees? Sure, they aren’t real and some of them look very not real, but there are some amazing choices nowadays. You pull it out of the box, fluff it up, if it’s pre-lit you go straight to the ornaments. Stored well they can last for years which essentially works out the cost versus a real tree if it is kept for a few years.
There are even more perks for those that have allergies to real trees. So unless you’re allergic to certain types of plastics or PVC, you’re in the clear. Best of all, you don’t dump it on the side of the road when you’re done. That speaks to me on my non-wasteful side. There is no loading up a cranky Squeak to go and wander around rows full of trees. But is it all gravy?
I’ll openly admit that as I am getting older I’m becoming more of a hippy. Being such I am beginning to care about things like wastefulness, carbon footprints, and being energy conscious. I get that these aren’t just hippy issues, but responsible adult issues and I would like to say that I was late to the party. But I’m here now and I’ve got snacks.
So are trees from tree farms really all that wasteful? I had to do some research and found a large amount of information on this topic. Specifically, here, here, and here. I was actually surprised to find that the greener option may actually be a “greener” option. Honestly, I didn’t even consider tree farms serving any purpose beyond growing trees. But they do, they often serve as habitats to the native wildlife PLUS because they are a tree farm, more trees are always planted after the harvest. As we all learned in Earth Science, trees pull out carbon dioxide from there air and produce oxygen for us.
Even with all of the hassle of wrangling down a real tree, I think I’ve decided that we will keep with the tradition. Plus, I love the idea of planting another tree in the front yard and having an outdoor Christmas tree every year. There are plenty of baby Cedar trees that are only 2-3 feet tall that could be easily transplanted. We may have to do this soon!
Unrelated to Christmas but Happy
Can I just say that I am thoroughly enjoying Squeak being young right now. We had to take some time and go shopping earlier this week and let the little Miss pick out some toys that she wants for Christmas. Of course, I know that she has no concept of Christmas, but it makes it super easy to buy when she shows such interest. Best of all, she has seen her presents repeatedly at home and still shows interest in them. I am going to wrap them up soon and pray that she keeps up with her disinterest of the wrapped presents under the tree.
Unrelated to Christmas but Unhappy
To those of you who may not know, my husband is in law enforcement. While I am very proud of him for doing his job it is super easy to get over quick. For example, after we had gotten our tree and strung the lights (then straightened the lights), put the skirt on, and vacuumed the needles, Hubs gets a phone call. He comes back fully dressed and heads out the door. Yes, I get it that this is his profession and he is subject to call out at any given time, but that does not negate the fact that we are prepping for Christmas and he had to leave. I am allowed to grumble about it. It wasn’t that someone was in trouble it was that someone was being dumb. That is always slightly more irksome.
With all of that said, how is everyone else doing? Are you ready or even nearly ready for Christmas because I am most certainly not! Happy Thursday!