December 13, 2012

Tree Decorated!

The tree is decorated! The tree is decorated!



Does it look a BIT as if someone stood back six to ten feet and FLUNG ornaments at the tree? This is because I crossed "Christmas will not be good unless the ornaments are pleasingly arranged" off this year's list right after I crossed off "Christmas will not be good unless all seven names are signed on the Christmas cards."

After writing yesterday about how I was overwhelmed and trying to fix it by reducing unnecessary perfectionism, I employed my "Well, what CAN you do?" tactic to get myself to do the next thing I really did want to get done: decorating the tree. I couldn't seem to make myself decorate the tree, but I COULD bring up the box of ornaments from the basement and put it in the living room.

From there, nature took its course: children came home from school and descended upon the box. The ornaments were applied two, three, even five to the tip of a single drooping branch. But the ornaments were ON THE TREE.

And, bonus: the children felt as if they had participated in a happy holiday activity. I can picture them later in life reflecting on my awesome laid-back mothering: "She let US do it, however we wanted! She didn't get all uptight about things that didn't matter!" Yeah. That's how it happened.

32 comments:

el-e-e said...

Excellent!! I have been repeating and repeating, "No one really cares" after yesterday's post.

THANK YOU for being SO laid back. :)

Sarah said...

That's great! And if it makes you feel any better, I decorated the tree when I was a kid and now my kids decorate the tree. I know not everyone does it, but it's a fun family tradition in our family. We put on Christmas music and throw everything up.

Nowheymama said...

I love all your fruit ornaments!

StephLove said...

We travel to each set of grandparents on alternating Christmases so we've never had a tree. My daughter really wants one. Now that one set of grandparents is retiring and moving all the way across the country she may get her wish, but not this year. I feel as if it's late in life (us in our mid-40s, oldest kid 11) to be starting the process of accumulating ornaments, a tree stand, etc.

Amanda said...

This is fantastic!

I grew up with a friend who was not allowed to touch or really go near the family tree. Each year her mother purchased a completely new set of ornaments based on whatever her theme was and then decorated the tree perfectly assymetrically and looked like it belonged in a department store. I hated it. It didn't feel like a special family collection, it seemed clinical and ick.

Holly said...

I loved yesterday's post, especially the end, which made me laugh because for once, I DO feel like I'm getting stuff done for Christmas and I'd hate to think no one cares! Ha. Our tree has been an adventure this year. First, we came home to find it had fallen over. Then we had a puzzling few days when it was making weird popping noises, which I was convinced were critters and/or faulty lights, but turned out to be pinecones expanding/opening from the heat. Who knew?

Laura Lou said...

"Well, what CAN you do?" is going to be my new question for myself. Thank you.

d e v a n said...

Love it! Less stress + happy childhood memories = successful combination!

Anonymous said...

Swistle I am loving the Christmas posts. I'm glad you got your tree up, with 'bonus' points for laid back mothering, haha. I always enjoy your blog and just wanted to let you know! Hope you're enjoying the season.

Shelly said...

Your Christmas posts are talking me down off the ledge.

I love you!

Aimee @ Smiling Mama said...

Love this! We also decorated last night in a very not perfect manner. It started off nicely but did end with someone *ahem* yelling: DO NOT THROW THE BABY JESUS!

Ah, well, the tree is lovely (though listing to the right in terms of the number of decorations on that side and actually physically leaning!)

MomQueenBee said...

Gorgeous! Your children obviously are gifted tree decorators and it would be very wrong of you to deny them this privilege in the future. (They also obviously are gifted ornament-bin-toters, so next year be sure to add that to their privileges.)

liz said...

Beautiful.

heidi davis said...

Usually I put on the lights and any really fragile ornaments that go on the top of the tree. The kids do the rest. This grew out of laziness. Also, the ornaments don't go on until Christmas eve. My children have called it TRADITION. I say one year I was even lazier than usual.

Alice said...

HEE: "Yeah. That's how it happened."

I think this is an EXCELLENT two-birds-with-one-stone event! Everyone wins!

Saly said...

This is the first year I basically said "screw it" and let the kids do whatever they wanted to the tree. usually I am ridiculous about the exact placement of the ornaments, but this time, I just let them go. And it only took being exhausted from twin pregnancy to do it.

Leslie said...

It looks lovely! The kids decorated our tree. Most years, I go back after they're asleep and spread the ornaments out and make everything look balanced, but this year, it is what it is.

Having said that, there's a cluster of paper snowflakes they taped all over one corner of the living room that is driving me nuts!

Anonymous said...

The only problem is, what happens when the kids (now 13 and 15) get as lazy as mom and can't be bothered to put up ornaments, either? That's my issue now..I guess it's back to doing it on my own :(

KeraLinnea said...

Yay, the candy cane harvest can begin!

Three years ago, after setting up the tree, my husband handed the box of ornaments to my daughter and said, "Here you go. Have fun." We haven't decorated a tree since. It's the only way to go!

Susan said...

Aww... Laid back Christmas is the best! My mom used to pour a big glass of boxed wine, sit on the couch and watch us attack/decorate the tree. And I do have really great memories of that! We also used to wrap our own presents ad of course more tape would end up on us than the package!

Nicole said...

You know what? I think that's great. That's what it's all about, and the kids will remember it as being super fun.

brzeski said...

I'm so sad that I sometimes can't see your pictures. I would like to see the tree and I bet it's BEE-YOOTS.

I also wanted to tell you that if you had a nickel for every time I personally have said "It's a drop, but it's IN THE BUCKET" you would have a nice supplement for your Target habit. So thanks for the good ideas you put out there for us to use.

CARRIE said...

There is that fine line between being a laid-back awesome mom and just not giving a shit anymore.

Swistle said...

brzeski- Sometimes can't see the pictures? I haven't heard of this before! Just on my blog particularly, or is it something about the type of picture, or is it something on your end?

Sarah said...

This was the first year I did the exact same thing. My kids are admittedly a LITTLE young for such responsibility (five and seven, the youngest two were napping during the ornament extravaganza.) But I just set up little step stools for them and sat back and watched. Sometimes I didn't even watch! I was THAT chill slash totally ambivalent about it. And it looks fine. Every so often when I walk by I rearrange a thing or too if it's glaringly unbalanced, but overall I was impressed at what a good job they did, and glad that I delegated it to someone who would get joy out of it rather than someone who, after unpacking the tree, stringing the lights and rearranging the furniture to FIT the tree, was really just kind of over the whole thing.
Christmas really is so much more fun when you're little. This is a sad truth for me. I had no idea the fun could be SO outweighed by the stress as an adult, at least if you let it and sometimes even when you try NOT to let it.

artemisia said...

WHOOOOOOO!

H said...

It looks lovely!

Gigi said...

I've always done our tree; when mine was small he'd "help" and as he grew that fell by the wayside. But these past few years it's been such a chore. This year, I forced myself to do it. Mentioned it to Man-Child last weekend and he was shocked. He thought I'd wait until he came home from school to do it so he could help. *sigh*

Magpie said...

oh how i hear you. i let the girl help me - it was in some ways a fiasco, but in most ways it was just perfect.

Bibliomama said...

I always feel completely overwhelmed by the thought of christmas decorating, so every year I move the boxes from storage to the bottom of the stairs one day, then upstairs the next day, then eventually unpack them and decorate. Last year I shared this strategy with my friend, a single mom who was feeling overwhelmed about decorating and she said it made things so much easier. I WAS SWISTLE-LIKE! *happy dance*

Katie said...

I about died, at this. Also, you have a lot of healthfoods on your tree. To counterbalance the candy canes?

Frondly said...

I just spent a moment looking for a "like" button for this.