My husband is a funny kind of person. Most people who know him, or think they do, would never imagine that hiding under that cool, redneck, “I-don’t-give-a-f***” exterior is a meticulous, OCD, control freak. But if you’ve seen him decorate a Christmas tree… or *gulp* tried to HELP him decorate a tree?? Oh, you know.
I guess it was Christmas of 2001, when Damon was just under a year old, and Nick and I moved into our very own trailer paradise in Laurel, Delaware, that we found ourselves broke as a joke, with no Christmas “stuff.” So, we found a tree on sale for $19.99 at Rite Aid and stocked up on $1 ornaments/trimmings from the Dollar Store… and I got my first glimpse of his OCD when it came to putting up that tree. (Luckily for him/us, I’m perfectly happy to sit back let him work his magic when the OCD surfaces! It might be one of the only reasons we’re still married today.) But, the end result was pretty amazing… especially for a $20 tree and cheap, plastic $1 ornaments!!
Fast forward several years, to when we now have two young children and a couple of destructive dogs… and suddenly, the beautiful Christmas tree was really not that important to me. For the last many Christmases, I’ve set the tree up (which became much easier a few years ago when we finally bought a bigger, pre-lit tree!) and then let the kids have their way with it. They throw the ornaments on there, randomly, usually lumped together in one or two places… and we call it done. It’s “their” Christmas, after all, right?
So my plan this year was pretty much the same… set it up, let the kids decorate it while I sit back and watch The Grinch. But yesterday evening, while this was happening, I was sitting on the couch looking at what our tree was becoming… and I was getting more and more depressed. (Blame it on hormones… they’re powerful, annoying things for a mom skating dangerously close to a mid-life crisis!) Nick came upstairs from the garage, where he’d been working on his truck all evening, covered in grease and grime and muck… and I was pouting and said, “I want a pretty tree.” *pout* Nick said, “Okay… let’s go to the store. We need beads and bows and…” So off we went in search of more tree trimmings.
Then we came home and the Tree Magician went to work. I wish I had taken video… he was screaming and hollering at the kids for not placing the ornaments EXACTLY where they should go (you know, there’s a science to this… smallest ornaments at the top, progressively getting larger as you move DOWN the tree… I had no idea that this was a thing, prior to Christmas 2001).
I did, however, snap a picture in the middle of one of his more exasperated moments… poor Avery! lol
Make sure you put that candy cane in the PERFECT spot, Witschey!
Damon even helped out some… before exhaustion won out and he took to his bed, at around 1am.
And once the ornaments are hung, then it’s time for the beads. Oh, those darn beads. Avery was Daddy’s helper, following behind him as he walked circles around the tree, placing the beads.
After the beads, we have bows and bells and pinecones… to fill in the “holes.” Oh, and the tree skirt! Can’t forget the tree skirt. I had to dig through the mountain of dirty laundry downstairs to FIND said tree skirt… because last year, when we were taking the tree down and packing it up for the year, I left it out to wash it. And, ummm, just got around to doing that last night. But finally, the CLEAN tree skirt made its way under the tree. My mom made this skirt for us in 2001, when there were only three names, and then added Avery to it a few years later. It’s a little small for our tree now (because our first tree was much skinnier at the base), but I still love it!
Oh, and at some point, even Avery had had enough. She and the dogs were looking like this by 2am…
Finally, at 2:30am, the Tree Master deemed it done. Well, almost done… we forgot to buy the candy canes (can’t have a tree without candy canes!!). So we’ll be adding those one of these days, I’m sure. But it’s mostly done. And it’s gorgeous… just like I knew it would be.
In fact, I think it’s our best tree yet! (Even though Nick is still not happy with it. He was sitting on the couch this morning, shaking his head, pointing out “holes” and noting where he went wrong with the bead placement. OCD. Seriously OCD, people.)
Mostly, aside from loving our beautiful tree, I’m grateful that my husband knows me and respects my hormonal mood swings well enough to humor me, at any time of the night. Mid-life crisis postponed at least one more day.