Oh, Christmas tree, you're finally up

The joys of setting up the old tree are complicated by a troublemaking 1-year-old.

  • Palm Coast Observer
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Our Christmas tree is one of those fake trees where you have to install each branch separately. It takes what feels like several hours to put up, and then you have to add the lights and the ornaments. This year, we have the added complication of a 1-year-old. 

At one point during this family project, Kennedy crawled over and started yanking on a low-hanging branch, threatening to topple the whole endeavor.

“Kennedy, what part of ‘You’re in the way’ do you not understand?” my wife, Hailey, said, as she moved the baby to the other end of the room for the sixteenth time. Kennedy looked up at her with a quizzical look, as if to say, “Is that a rhetorical quesion, or do you really want me to answer?”

The kids wanted Kennedy to join in, but Hailey shook her head, saying, “We have to keep Kennedy away because otherwise she’ll tear up the presents.”

Grant, my 9-year-old, thought about that and said, “But then we can find out what we get sooner.”

My role in the decorating is to suggest cost control measures.

“Are you sure we need that fifth strand of lights?” I asked.

“Are you sure we need that fifth strand of lights?” I asked.

“I already bought them, so we might as well use them,” Hailey said, winding tiny lights around the tree.

“But if you return that box, we can save $2,”I said. 

She kept winding.

“Two bucks is two bucks, after all,” I said.

She kept winding. She was almost to the top of the tree.

“You know, to reduce our carbon footprint,” I said, “and reduce our power bill.”

“There,” she said, admiring our shining tree.

After a few more ornament fights between the kids, and another fight about the name of our Elf on the Shelf, we were ready to officially declare that Christmas season had begun. 

Then I found another garbage bag. 

This one contained a second tree, about two feet tall, with lights already around the branches, creating a pleasant golden glow when plugged in.

“Maybe we can put this one in our bedroom,” I said. “You know, for romantic effect.”

But Hailey didn’t respond. She must not have heard me because she was vacuuming up all the fake needles.


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