Sunday, December 5, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

I put my Christmas Tree up Wednesday afternoon and before I launch into the details of this story, I must tell you that I have been struggling with the decision on whether or not to put the tree up since November. I didn't put the tree up last year, or even the year before and I had this odd mixture of guilt for not putting the tree up and relief for the same reason. I like Christmas and the decorations that accompany the holiday. It's just that truth be told, I'm kind of lazy in the housekeeping department. I don't dust or vacuum as nearly as often as I should, the dishes stay in the sink a little longer than they should and I'm embarrassed to let my friends see the clutter that has accumulated on nearly every surface of the house. Putting a tree up means that is one more thing I have to put away.

Then there's the size of the tree and the volume of ornaments. My mom worked for a large department store chain for a while and at least twice a year they would have a "Sample Sale" where employees got dibbs on the merchandise before the public did. Anything that could fit in a large shopping bag was $5. You can fit a LOT of stuff in a bag for 5 bucks. So at least once a year (sometimes more often than once a year) my mom would bring me 2-3 bags filled with ornaments. It got to the point that I needed to buy a bigger Christmas tree. The last time I put the tree up, (which is a 7 footer) I had so many ornaments that I almost ran out of room on the tree. I think at that point I snapped and didn't put the tree up for 2 years.

This year I decided to only put up one box worth of ornaments (as opposed to the 4 boxes of various sizes) and rotate the boxes in the future. The first thing was lugging that huge tree upstairs. I swear that box gets heavier each year. Putting the tree up itself wasn't so bad because the tree is divided into 3 sections with the branches already attached. You just connect the sections, the branches fall into place and viola, you have yourself a tree. The only thing you need to do is fluff the branches and move them around.

The next biggest chore is putting up the lights. This is the part I hate the most because I'm somewhat of a perfectionist and can't just put the lights ANYWHERE on the tree. It took me an hour-and-a-half to string the lights. After putting up the tree and lights, I stopped for the day.

Thursday was ornament day. This is a big production. Each ornament is carefully wrapped in tissue or wrapping paper and must be unwrapped before being placed on the tree. But again, placing ornaments on the tree is no simple endeavor. The tree is divided into sections and each ornament is assigned to a section. The ugly ornaments are relegated to the back section (the one that faces the window to the world outside) of the tree while the iffy ones are in that tiny spot located next to the back of the tree. My prized ornaments, the ornaments that are beautiful or hold great sentimental value go on the front of the tree, that section that is easily seen from a seated position while those that come in a close second are off to the side. For simplicity's sake, I won't go into which ornaments go towards the top, middle or bottom. But yes, I am that neurotic. This took another hour-and-a-half, but I was finished.

So the tree is up and every evening at dusk, I turn the tree lights on and open the window blinds so everyone driving or walking can admire my beautiful tree.

Let's just hope I can get motivated enough to take the dang thing down before spring.