Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Decorating

Every year after Thanksgiving people start decorating their houses for Christmas, well, unless that is a holiday your family doesn't observe or you are insane and start after Halloween. Facebook has allowed me to peek into the lives of others who's status say things like "I'm so excited to start decorating for Christmas" or "only 5 more trees to put up now" or from a relative by marriage of mine, who I adore, "I'm taking a break from decorating to paint my laundry room". Yes, you heard me right.

This has made me feel even more guilt than usual, because, while I LOVE how my home looks when it is completely decorated for the holidays I really really hate doing it. Really hate doing it. One of my Facebook status's read on the Sunday after Thanksgiving something like, "I am in the place of knowing I have to start decorating but really don't want to start, because if I start then I have to finish and I don't want to start". There were a few kind soles who felt my pain. But mostly everyone is jolly and (at least making us think) they are merrily singing Christmas songs while hanging the mistletoe.

I am not a total Scrooge. I put on the best face that I can for my children. I don't want them to see me muttering about the damn lights on my "prelit" tree that is 4 years old and only 1/32 of the them still light. It is maddening to me. I am choking down my complaining and smiling and turning on the Christmas music on the tv music channel. Most of this is all self inflicted, I know that. Which is why I am dealing with it myself. Todd even said he doesn't want to hear me complain. Which he hasn't. So I'm complaining to all of YOU. Of course he hasn't helped with anything, except carrying boxes for me. I don't blame him on this either, because you see as I was starting to explain, I'm nuts and I self inflict holiday pain. It starts because of my perfectionism. I don't WANT to be that way, but I am and Todd knows that whatever he does, I'll probably just redo because it's not "right". So he (smartly) stays out of my way. Of course I then start to resent him for not helping, but I know deep down if he was helping I'd probably tell him to stop. It's a lose/lose for him.

If there is a dark spot in the tree, I'll redo all the lights that just took me an hour to do. If the kids hang all the ornaments in one spot, I can't stand it and try, try, try, as nicely as I can to explain how they need to be spread out and evenly placed. Because if they aren't I CAN NOT FUNCTION. This is partially what led me to getting the second tree I referenced. The prelit tree that is no longer prelit. This is the "kids" tree. MY tree is the "big" tree in the formal living room. It is entirely decorated with only gold, and clear glass and white. It has approximately 8 million clear lights on it with a lighted star (Daniel for some reason insists on only a star at the top of a tree, no angels). And it's amazing. The kids kept wanting to put their adorable ornaments on it, which I could not do because it doesn't "go" together. (As I mentioned I'm nuts). So I got a second tree for all of their stuff. It is appropriately in the family room and covered in Peanuts ornaments, homemade things, trains, superheros etc. It's adorable, because these things go together. Keep them far away from my masterpiece in the living room!
Daniel comes into play here because I know that once I start with the decorations he wants them finished RIGHT AWAY. Hmmmmm, I don't know where he gets this from?? ahem... Anyway, he pesters me, constantly. As soon as I proudly finish one thing he says, "that looks great! When are you doing to start _____ ?"(fill in the blank) It's never ending.

Yesterday I started putting up my Department 56 houses. The kids love these houses. I USED to love them, but am really loving them no more. I now have 27 of them plus many of the small characters and set ups that go around them, like "The Town Tinker" and "Puppet Theater" That doesn't sound like a whole lot, but if you have ever put them up you know what a pain it is.

If you throw in my insanity and it is just ridiculous. I don't want to be this way, but when it's wrong, it honestly hurts me and I can't stand it. I clear off all of the books from my shelves along with the clay projects from school. This takes about 4,000 trips up and down my basement stairs to accomplish. Then I have to dust those shelves (eek). Then I start bringing up all of the boxes for these houses. It makes a mess. Which makes me crazy. ESPECIALLY when you start opening them and little pieces of Styrofoam are EVERYWHERE. I was arranging and rearranging yesterday because I have North Pole houses and the Dickens Village and they can't be intermingled and you can't have Dickens, Dickens, North Pole, Dickens. That just wouldn't be right. Then I have to get them to fit, then I have to clean it all up and put it all away. I finished cleaning up after hours and hours yesterday, sat down on the couch. Ok I laid down. Daniel came in from school, and still in his coat looked at me and said, "are you just laying on the couch?" I said, "look what I did Daniel"

Daniel GASPS and says, "oh mom it looks beautiful! That is a lot of hard work"
Me- Yes it is Daniel, it took me a long time to do.

Daniel-"the family room looks GREAT!"

He is so happy. It makes me happy that he is so happy, and you know what I realized last night? He didn't ask me about the living room. He accepted what I did happily and didn't start riding me about the other tree! What progress! I guess I need to take some lessons from Daniel, don't I!?


mama edge said...

I'm half-arsed about Christmas decorating, but then again I'm Jewish so I think it's expected. If you saw my lame excuse for a tree, you would probably need CPR.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

"you can't have Dickens, Dickens, North Pole, Dickens" - I totally get this, but it was just so funny to read that I can't stop laughing!

Kudos to Daniel for recognizing your hard work!