Thursday, December 22, 2016

Oh Christmas Tree

As any parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt, neighbor knows, September is fund raiser month - it should be declared an actual thing, then maybe we could face it head-on, be done and enjoy the school year. This September saw me ordering magazines, donating to various charities, and ordering Christmas greenery. Yes, I bought my tree in September, sight unseen as it wouldn't be cut for 2 months. 

Beautiful trees are cut, packed, shipped, and delivered right to our high school and then delivered to the customers. Previous customers (from another organization) rave about the beautiful trees and how they last. A great way to earn money for the kids. 

It arrived okay, Boy and I helped unload the truck and picked up or orders for delivery before Thanksgiving. And it was a gorgeous tree. Not too fat, not too scrawny, a perfect height. My husband commented more than once that it was perfectly symmetrical. It decorated our home until the 19th of December.

Yup - the 19th.

The drooping, browning, break-in-your-hands evergreen boughs were doing nothing for the holiday ambiance by then, let alone the fire hazard it posed, and it had to go. So it was that Monday saw me and the kids undecking the halls and Boy wrestling the tree to the backyard.

Tween and I hopped into the car to buy another at a local store. We arrived and wondered at the sight of the closed tent; it was quickly determined that there were no trees left. Do not panic. There are lots of stores was my inner chant as we headed out again. A second store - about 5 trees - as tall as Youngest and she isn't even tall enough to ride the carousel alone. It was at this point that I began to question my thinking, and to silently curse myself for forgetting my cell at home. Driving by an overpriced tree stand - in the midst of packing itself up - no trees here - annoyance turned to dread. At this point, empathetic Tween began to voice options - we could get a palm tree, a small plant to top a table, borrow a fake tree from Aunt C who has a couple in her garage. We headed home to call around. 

After a couple of calls we are able to locate a store that did, indeed, have some trees, and we were off. Tween is a stickler for looking at the options before choosing - even when it's tree #2 of the season. I held up, turned, and twisted tree after tree thank goodness they only had a few dozen left until the Goldilocks of trees was found.

It is a cute tree, full and wild looking, but sporting proportions that required yet another room rearrangement. We set it up, the kids wondering if their dad would notice - I voted a strong yes, and now we are on tree 2.0. The girls are happy to tell you this one sports enough room to add a toy train, something each one of my kids have wanted and to which I finally relented I must be getting soft in my old age or they are just wearing me down.

*disclaimer - My sister also got a tree through Boy, and  has no issues. I think we got a bad one, the trunk was rotting in the water when we took it out.*

Monday, December 19, 2016

Avoidance Accepted

Sunnyville is a hectic place from August through May, but there are moments of respite from the running and juggling that make the school year a test of endurance - and my favorite is Christmas break. The cookies will be baked, there will be time to walk through the woods and along the beach, we will drive around to see the lights - all in all a great time of year - once the chores are done.

Getting the holiday cleaning done weighs heavily on my mind, so it was with visions of dust cloths that I woke much too early for my first official day off and offered Youngest a choice. Part of her aftercare program provides camp for non-school days that occur throughout the year, but I figured she could use a break and I was filled with guilt for wanting her to go to camp, so I left it up to her. She chose to stay home.

I warned her that we would be doing chores today, the clean under your bed and dust while your down there kind of work, to which she assured me she could do it. Okay, home it would be, and we settled in to relax and wait for the siblings to wake. As breakfast came and went, I began to straighten, plan, and warn tell Boy what we would be doing today. At some point in this litany, Youngest walked up to me and said, "I changed my mind. I want to go the the Y today."

So, we hustled to pack a lunch, and headed to the car. Was it the reality of hours spent cleaning, or just the draw of hanging out with friends all day that motivated her to go? I don't know - but if it was chore avoidance, who can blame her? I want to go to the Y too!