A picture of our tree, fresh out of the box and ready to be set up, perhaps?
No, try a picture of our tree after it fell over. Twice. I couldn't even blame the cats for this one. We put the tree up and decorated it on Thursday, and on Saturday afternoon while reading to Amy before naptime I heard a very unremarkable clank-thunk. Like the sound of a table-top picture frame being knocked over. I thought for sure it was Mr. Knocks-Off-Everything-That-Weighs-Less-Than-Himself (that would be the small orange one in the foreground), but both he and Juliett were sleeping innocently on the bed at the time.
I had forgotten to look around after Amy went to sleep, and it was only as I scurried downstairs to grab something necessary for the project I was working on upstairs that I realized the tree was down. At first it looked like one of the feet hadn't been in the right position, and therefore popped out of the base. So I pushed the sucker back up and thought I had fixed it. As I'm crawling around straightening the skirt the whole thing falls over again. On top of me.
I just about broke down in tears at this point. I had been working so hard for several days, desperately trying to get up to speed with the whole Christmas-thing (see previous post) and felt that I was finally getting somewhere, and then my Christmas tree gave me the middle finger.
As it turns out, it wasn't the tree's fault, exactly... looks like that stupid plastic foot simply split through the stupid plastic slot where it attaches to the stupid plastic base. That's what I get for only spending $40. And the thing is, until last year I have never been a fake-tree person. But last year we had a freshly minted toddler, minimal extra space, and a holiday season we were going to be away for most of, so it simply made sense to not get a real tree. Add an extra cat and the same is more or less is true for this year (though the toddler has gotten a good deal more trustworthy).
Anyway, I tearfully took off every single ornament (only one broke), unwrapped all the lights, left the tree in pieces on the floor and wondered what to tell Amy who I knew would wake up asking to put candy canes on the tree, as I had just promised her she could.
Thankfully my knight in shining armor came home from work a few hours later, ignored my pleads to just go get a real tree, and promptly went to work sawing up some scraps of wood and zip-tying them to the tree base so that it could fit in the regular tree stand. I really didn't think it would work, but should have known that my boatswain's mate husband would come through for me.
So, a happy ending. Amy and I redecorated the whole thing (because really, who doesn't want to string Christmas lights twice in the same year?- oh wait, me!). It has a bit of a lean to it... but I can overlook that for now. All that matters is that the tree is up, the halls are decked, and I'm back on track.
And lastly, here's a closeup of Amy's decorating... this collection of non-breakables comes on and off the lower branches several times a day. My little helper!
PS - Don wanted me to give him due credit for saving all the random bits of wood that he does. I contend that I have never really objected to this, but when one moves frequently it becomes slightly awkward to ask movers to yes, please pack up and label this box of quasi-garbage and bring it to our nice new home. That's all. I love having extra pieces of wood around, Don, really I do! ;)