I had to talk Dennis into it, because since I am the official "Christmas tree puter-upper", I am the only one that seems to know how much of a pain it is.
First, we drag the heavy Christmas tree box up the stairs.
Then we divide all the tree branches into groups. They are supposed to be color-coded but a lot of those tag-things fell off so it takes a lot of time to figure out what branch goes where.
Then we try to assemble the tree. It takes forever and is a pain. You have to sort of wiggle the branches into their slot and some of them don't fit right. Pretty soon kids are complaining and I end up doing the entire tree myself.
Then, once the tree is finally assembled, the kids start bugging me about putting on the lights as they sit in wadded up balls.
Usually, the "putting up the tree" is a two day event. Last year, I swore to myself we would go get ourselves a real tree, even if it meant going out and chopping one down myself and I intended to keep that promise.
So this year, we went to get a tree.
I thought it would be fun to surprise the kids when they got home from school. I thought they would be excited and happy, but instead, I got a lot of whining and moaning.
I will admit, that maybe doing this right after a full day of school was a little much. But, I thought that this would be a *fun* thing to do--not a chore. (They also got a snack in the car!)
So we loaded all the complaining kids into the car and drove a half hour out of our way to the Christmas tree lot. (There were some others nearby but we had a coupon from a church.)
Granted, Luke was the only one that seemed fairly excited about going. He wanted me to make note of that.
Anyway, we kept getting lost. Dennis kept handing me the GPS over to me like he expected me to navigate us or something but every time I took it, I just got more confused by the map. All I saw was a bunch of red lines (meaning that was where we had traveled so far) but no direction as to how to get there. So he was getting frustrated with me and I was getting frustrated with him. Finally, he took my advice to pull over in a parking lot and look at the GPS himself. In the meantime, Anna was complaining of feeling sick.
We finally found the Christmas tree lot, and I expected everyone to pile out of the car and claim their tree. Instead, the kids reluctantly climbed out. Some even asked if they could wait in the car!!
The person who surprised me most was Henry. He is usually the first one out and you have to beat him to the punch before he jumps into the parking lot and gets hit by a car. But he began to cry, saying he was scared.
I looked around the Christmas tree lot, full of happy and cheerful decoration and Christmas lights. Scared of what???
I made him get out of the car anyway, but he began to cry. So I promised I would carry him, even though he's getting way too big to be carried. I have a back injury to prove it.
So I took the whining and sighing children out and carried Henry to the trees. Henry began to cough and cough, and then he began to hack and gag. I had no idea where this was coming from. He was fine all that time, but he suddenly was acting like he was going to throw up.
Back to the car he went.
|That Storm Trooper mask is handy for more than one thing. And yes, he did throw up in it.|
Anna and Lucy were whining and crying about being cold, and I sent them back to the car to sit with Henry. Apparently, I was going to be the one to pick out the tree.
I was happy though--Luke was there to help pick out the trees, even though he chose ones that were way too big to fit in our house. And Max eventually did get into it too.
|Even though she was in the middle of a big pout, Anna did stop to give me a quick "say cheese" smile.|
Since the other kids bailed out on me for pictures, Luke was my "picture poser".
We got the tree loaded on the car, which I thought would be a fun event for the kids to watch.
See, in Christmases past, the kids would see all these other cars with trees roped to the top of them and they would say, "Why can't we get a real tree like that?" And I would be thinking to myself how much fun that must have been to pick out the "perfect" tree and bring it home.
So I coaxed them out of the car (all except for Henry, who still was feeling sick and wanted to stay in) to watch the "great tying down of the tree" moment. Instead, Lucy burst into tears about wanting to go home with Anna following suit.
So we went home, me feeling a little downcast. It had not turned out how I thought it would.
But all the way home, I could hear a "squeak" sound until I finally asked Dennis what that sound was. He said that it was the sound of the branches scraping against the top of the car. (Likely making scratches, he said.)
Somehow, that little "squeak" was just enough to give me a little satisfaction of knowing that we too, had the "perfect" Christmas tree on top of our car to bring home.