Between the fact that we've spent every free minute of Sucktember fixing stuff and the fact that we have no money leftover from any of our home or physical repairs to do much of anything else, we're planning for a bit of a lean Christmas this year. In fact, I didn't really want to do anything for Christmas this year. We hadn't been able to find the time to hunt and kill a tree of our very own and as such, hadn't even pulled down the boxes of decorations from the attic. There just wasn't a weekend that wasn't filled with doctor's orders, rehearsals, or other things we I had stupidly committed to do back when I thought this month would be smooth sailing. When you're an adult and you're not really feelin' the holidays, you get a pass to ignore them as much as you want. You don't have to put up a tree. You don't have to decorate. When you're an adult with children in the house, you may take no such liberties. So while I would have been happy to just skip it all this year, The Children had other ideas.

I finally accepted the fact that we weren't going to make it a couple of states over to the Christmas tree farm this year to cut down out own tree and on Monday night, we packed up the kids in the car and headed out to our little local farm where they sell pre-cut Christmas trees late in the season. It was just as well too, because our little adventure went something like this:

  • Bundle up children like Ralphie's brother.
  • Drive around corner.
  • Get children out of car.
  • Gasp at unusual cold and ridiculously strong monkey fighting winds.
  • Look around; see no one.
  • Finally find human-type person huddled inside barn; ask if they're open.
  • His response, "Sure we're open, it's just too damn cold to be standing out there. You just let me know when you've found a tree and I'll come on out and help."
  • Mutter acquiescence and waddle back into wind, because somehow the ministry of silly walks makes you feel warmer.
  • Glance at rows of trees. Point to first one you see and suggest, "That one?"
  • Husband says, "Uh... sure."
  • Children too cold and anxious to get back into car to argue.
  • Pay for tree while nice lady in the barn lets your children stand by her heating lamp, which, to tell you the truth, isn't fooling anyone. It's still colder than a witch's... elbow in there.
  • Put children back in car and head home with no complaints.
  • Did I mention it was cold?

The whole adventure lasted less than six minutes. It's also probably the prettiest tree we've ever managed to acquire. Sometimes it pays not to over think it.

Anyway, this is all to say that we finally decorated our tree and have admitted that Christmas is coming after all. And because the one wagon I actually got on top of early this year was the traditional ornament wagon, (last year, one of them didn't actually have her ornament to hang on the tree until after Christmas) the girls even have their 2010 Christmas ornament with which to adorn said tree. (For a retrospective on our Christmas ornament tradition, see 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.)

For The Dormouse, who has spent the better part of the year obsessed with fairies:

And for The Caterpillar, who finally discovered princesses this year thanks to some people:

I'm super happy with their ornaments this year. In other years, I've tried harder to find something adorable that's less breakable, but I happened to stumble across these early on and they were so perfect, I just couldn't look any further. Besides, I theorized, while the glass ball could certainly break, the dolls themselves aren't made of glass. This actually ended up being prophetic because I learned after our postman got a bit rough with the packages in transit and broke both of them, that a) the lovely woman at Petalbelles' shop on Etsy will do whatever she can to help make it right and b) if you want and are very very careful, you can purchase clear glass ornaments at the craft store and replace broken ones. (This bodes well for repairs in the future.) I think these are some of the most creative and adorable ornaments I've managed to acquire yet and I just keep staring at them because I can't imagine having the patience and dexterity to make these tiny little dolls. Each one is handmade and unique and I was even able to make a special request to get the dolls' hair colors to more closely match the girls'.

We do have other plans for Christmas. I'm playing music somewhere pretty much every Sunday until the 26th and it looks like The Dormouse will be singing a solo in church this year so sometime soon I should start helping her with that. But for the most part, I'm trying to avoid commitments and just stay home as much as possible. Any advice on how to accomplish that short of lying and telling people I'm out of town or faking my own death would be greatly appreciated.