How To Dress The Christmas Tree Without Losing Your Sanity First

One piece of advice I will be eternally grateful to my mother for is ‘don’t take life too seriously,’ and I have been forced to live by this approach each year as I dress the Christmas Tree. 23915791_1546298868783446_2538083681710659730_n

 

Because…kids.

 

And it has very nearly killed me.

 

Every year I think that this will be the year we grow up as a family and I will be allowed to create those trees you see in home magazines, where they don’t have kids or animals and they do have loads of money,  and every year it’s the same. Either: a) I’m disappointed with the result, because it looks boring rather than sophisticated and so and I start to slap all the crappy ornaments and tinsel back onto it, or b) Kurt redesigns he thinks I’m not looking.

 

I know that Christmas is about bringing joy to the family and it’s probably about time that I accepted that my family likes a bit of kitsch at Christmas, but…

 

This year I decided to grasp my first opportunity to decorate the tree myself – although the kids don’t know that yet. I’d meticulously planned the day for a while – it’s called taking advantage while the kids are out earning money (not for rent, I hasten to add, but for their weekly supply of avocado on toast and party drugs). ‘It just happened that way,’ I’m going to say when their disappointed faces walk through the door later this evening and they realize that they can’t destroy my Christmas tree, nay my Christmas, for the first time in, like, forever.

 

And I have made some style improvements this year. I have decided that as the kids still live at home on the basis of our goodwill, I get to say what goes on MY fucking tree. Which means I’ve erased all memory of those dreadful kindy homemade decorations which for the past fifteen years I’ve stuck around the back of the tree and the minute I turn my back, Kurt replaces at the front; and I’ve also attempted a color theme, so any ornament that hasn’t met the stringent demands of my design brief has copped it.

 

In light of my new experience today, here are my tips for a perfect tree:

 

Do not let the children anywhere near it.

A bottle of festive wine will be required before attempting to unravel the lights/tinsel/fake snowballs on a string because some selfish fucker just shoved them in the box last year. This is a mindfuck of a test in the early stages of the process that (if you’re not careful/drunk enough) can completely ruin your festive cheer before you’ve really started.

Use a dodgy adapter for the lights so that any children that do touch the tree will be shocked into not touching it again.

Lather the branches in as much tinsel as they will hold for superior kitschiness.

The more naff animal ornaments, the naffer your tree will be.

Destroy any baubles that do not tie in with your color theme – don’t get all emotional about the fugly bauble that your grandmother left you – your creativity is under public scrutiny here, and the glass ball wrapped in a doily could fuck that up. It is with sadness that I must report that the pink bauble that NC made in her first year at school (barf!) didn’t coordinate with the organic effect that I hoped to achieve with my white/red/aqua/tropical/Hamptons/beach themed tree – as such, it has been laid to rest this year.

Theming is difficult with OCD. Try to remind yourself that the tree is a natural thing (mine happens to be artificially natural) and therefore not perfect. If that doesn’t work, take everything off and start again.

Book cats into the cattery for the duration of the holidays or use as an alternative to turkey for Christmas lunch.

 

10 thoughts on “How To Dress The Christmas Tree Without Losing Your Sanity First

  1. My 18 year old is decorating as I write. I do the lights (toughest job) and she does the rest. I spend the next week slowly altering things that aren’t right, so she doesn’t notice. If she does, Oh the cat knocked it off!

    Like

  2. Hi Louisa

    Love this post. I finally got to ‘dress’ my tree
    this year but half a dozen naff extras
    appeared from somewhere. I gritted my
    teeth as had a mini back up upstairs with simple white lilies, ivy and white lights which
    soothed the nerves.
    Tried to comment but kept getting taken into
    an annoying loop saying I’d won an Apple
    IPhone.
    Just letting you know in case it’s happening to your other subscribers and know you
    want to grow/move them with you when you
    swap over.
    Looking forward to 17th. Let me know if you
    fancy another aqua. Friday’s is in the outdoor
    pool with Amanda- more fun than beneficial
    but always a laugh. I’ll go Tues and Fri next
    week.
    Hope all is well chez vous.
    Louise xxx

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t have kids, but… why can’t you have a “Mum Tree” and a “Family Tree?

    I always wanted one of those beautiful, themed trees, but I’m too damn cheap to buy all the stuff to go on it!

    My cat eats the tinsel, so I have to go without *grumble* I’m considering your suggestion of replacing the turkey this year… 😉

    Like

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