'Tis the holiday season

By Published On: December 7th, 2015

After Hurricane Tom Turkey blew through (hosting 17 people is […]

After Hurricane Tom Turkey blew through (hosting 17 people is not for the faint of heart), we cleaned the house and were ready to move on to the next holiday—Christmas. Fortunately, we don’t have a ton of Thanksgiving decor to put away (does anyone, really?) so that part only took a few minutes. Cleaning the china and fancy silverware (both of which we use but once a year), disposing leftover containers into the trash and vacuuming took up the bulk of Friday’s daylight hours … but that’s what the day after is for, right?
Sunday was the day we were back to being a family of four, soon to be five, and we took advantage of it. We started out at Cedar Ledge Tree Farm in Mansfield Center for a tractor ride and a cut-your-own Christmas tree, our annual tradition. They give you the saw to cut your tree (one guy cheated and brought his own electric sawzall). After you chop and bring in the tree for baling, they give the kids coloring books and everyone gets a hot chocolate. It’s piping hot and worth the wait—because it’s not that watered-down junk. It’s actually pretty good. It’s an awesome place that also does pick-your-own pumpkins, which we’ve yet to try.
Next, I needed to get the Christmas lights up on the house, which N was anticipating. He said, “Daddy, if they fall on you, you’ll say bad words, and we’ll laugh together. After they fall on you,” as he proceeded to laugh incessantly. To his credit, despite me saying some bad words on other occasions, he very, very rarely repeats any of them.
1130151454He played on the hill in the front yard while G caught a much-needed nap, and I climbed the 20-something-foot ladder to the gutters and hung our new C9 LED lights. Is it me (rhetoric, because I know it’s not just me), or do Christmas lights seem to have a shelf-life of maybe a year? I plugged in the lights for the tree to see if they worked, and two of the three strands lit up. L now strings up the tree lights, since last year I took four failed attempts before giving her the go-ahead to spearhead that job.
Decorating the tree with ornaments is a family job. N plays with all of them, G throws most of them, I try to help unpack them, and L positions them on the tree. The only issue is that, thanks to a 1-and-a-half-year-old who grabs everything, the bottom two feet of our tree never has ornaments on it.
And despite saying every year that I’m going to start my holiday shopping earlier, it never happens. We have plenty of things for N but aren’t quite sure what G would enjoy. I mean, this is a kid who would rather climb on chairs and trust-fall onto the couch than play with actual toys. A nice pair of snow boots, some clothes, maybe a pair of sneakers … that’s all he really needs. Because we definitely don’t need any more toys. N … well, let’s just say he’s into office supplies lately. Highlighters, Post-It notes and binder clips. I thought it was a fad, but it looks like it’s here to stay.