Christmas Trees and Family Traditions

Today is Putting Up Christmas Tree Day.

A day that occurs once a year, once I can get my head around Monkey Boy’s birthday and find room for Christmas related things, and once Grumpy Pants can lower his Grinchiness enough to obtain tree.

He left for work and I was left alone, aside from my three offspring. No basketball game was scheduled for the morning, so I needed to find time to adequately entertain said offspring that wasn’t also going to make me want to stab myself in the eye with a LEGO Lightsabre or book that I have read some 948 times since last week.

Or DVD I’ve watched/listened to as background noise for a similar number of times.

Instead, I was able to finally give into Monkey Boy’s “Can I get a haircut today?” request. One that has sprung up often over the last two or three months or so.

A walk to the local, oversized-and-getting-bigger shopping centre, where several hairdressers were located, was the goal. It saw a good twenty minute screaming tantrum by Chippie along the way because Godzilla got tired and would not longer be chased.

A tragedy!

Inexplicably, we found ourselves in Big W, then the extremely long line to the checkouts to purchase two, low priced items. I’m still not sure how we got there, or how it all happened, but it did.

Next, to the outlet for a haircut for Monkey Boy, whilst Godzilla and Chippie entertained themselves by annoying each other, albeit relatively quietly and without disturbing other patrons.

Meanwhile, I was enviously eyeing off the cut of the woman seated next to Monkey Boy. A style I like and have attempted to host on my head for years was in progress and I pondered whether I was able to get one for myself whilst we were there. Leaving it could mean it wouldn’t be seen to for quite some time. Months, if not verging on years.

So desperate was I for a haircut, I sent the kids to look at toys in Target whilst I took the opportunity in front of me. I’d like to say ‘treated myself’ but that would be a big, fat lie. It was beyond a treat and more a necessity.

They returned before it was done and Godzilla proceeded to prevent Chippie from looking at something. I was forced to Count To Three and, for the first time in a long time, I made it to ‘two’. Usually, I just have to say “ONE!” in a firm voice and things go my way.

Not impressed.

We walk home, Chippie suddenly incapacitated, Godzilla apparently an amputee and Monkey Boy bouncing around like he was on speed and jabbering at me.

Collapse in door just as Grumpy pulls up. He walks inside, makes himself lunch, insists on knowing why I didn’t get Chippie’s hair cut and demands I move the car so he can bring the trailer in.

To say I was pissed off would be an understatement. I let him know.

In fairness to him, he hadn’t realised we’d only just walked in. So I made sure he knew that as well.

To make up for it, he made me lunch.

Chippie then sat and ate my lunch before I could get to it.

Grumpy, grumpy as all fuck, dragged the tree in and decided he was going to do it himself, because I was pissed off. Or something.

So commenced our Annual Family Tradition … although usually it is I that is helping to align the tree appropriately, whilst it looks like we have a grumpy old man slumbering underneath it.

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Finally straight, we extracted the box of Christmas decorations from the shed, grabbed the step ladder, separated the lights and set about decorating the tree.

A set of lights was strung before we decided to test them. Inevitably, they did not work.

The lights were removed and it was determined that a good idea might be to test the rest of the lights to see which were working and which weren’t, before we added them to the naked tree. Grumpy had buggered off so was not able to be delegated the task of Making The Lights Work.

I don’t blame him.

Lights tested and sorted according to working and not working we were ready to re-commence.

After, of course, I untangled the lights which only moments before testing had been perfectly untangled and usable.

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Up the ladder I go, child holding the plug so we knew it would reach when the lights were secured, and I fling the string over the tree and arrange them as best my tolerance would allow me under the circumstances.

Perched atop the step-ladder, I put my hands on my hips to check out my work once the festive lighting was plugged in.

It worked! It looked magnificent, and really needed about three more sets, which we didn’t have, but it was a start.

I then watched, hands still on hips, and me still on the top step of the ladder, as the tree slowly toppled away from me. I reacted as best I could, and found myself hanging onto a single pine needle as the tree scraped the side of the wall unit and my array of crystal vases.

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During these events, Chippie was working his way through the Christmas decoration box, asking a billionty questions and deciding everything was him.

Monkey Boy experienced a moment of teenage arseheadedness, and decided it was not only essential the he extract whatever it was Chippie was holding, but also to do it in a dictatory, arseheady kind of way, including, but not limited to being extremely rude and demanding, and hurting.

Standing in a puddle of water as I righted the tree, yelling at Godzilla to find a towel, I was slowly losing my will to live.

The lights were re-plugged in and – why, oh, why was I surprised – they had stopped working.

Chippie was screaming, Godzilla was in tears and Monkey Boy was continuing to be an arse and … well, I lost it.

Godzilla was sent to bed to rest, as was Chippie and Monkey Boy was told to bugger off to his room till he could stop being an arse.

He attempted to resist, clocked how close I was to stabbing someone with the tree and wandered off.

The tree followed his progress, almost cleaning out my vases again.

Tossing a towel onto the wet spot, I threw my hands up and went to my own room.

Godzilla started his “Can I get a Minecraft account?” incessant ramblings until Monkey Boy calmly approached him, said “Trust me, you’re not gonna get it now” and wandered back to his room.

I think I fell asleep at some point.

I got up to shower, find we are out of shampoo and wash my hair with some sort of berry blast or strawberry squish or something aimed squarely at children of pre-school age or younger and proudly proclaiming to deter tears.

It didn’t work.

Off to a friend’s farewell bbq, where the overtired kids ran around, had water fights and forgot to eat. Grumpy and I caught up with friends, had lovely chats and just a nice time out.

We had to go early, because I couldn’t handle another day of overtired kids,

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