Let's not even talk about stringing the lights. Stringing the lights is pretty much a medieval IQ test for self-flagellating monks. The whole thing is a diabolical exercise in patience and good humor, and I generally fail at both. Here's why I completely love every second of it.
At their worst, LED Christmas lights exude every bit of the warmth of a fluorescent-lit morgue. At their best, they're on par with strip club neon lighting. The problem is that the older incandescent Christmas bulbs, which cast a much warmer light, are huge energy hogs.
Take a family picture with the tree before it's bailed and strapped to the minivan roof. Promise the kids that you will decorate the tree tonight. When you arrive home, ask your husband to put the tree in a bucket in the backyard. Forget to check to see if he has put water in the bucket.
Thankfully, the Mayans were wrong and as we gracefully approach 2013, we will face many new beginnings to talk and write about. In addition, holiday time is a natural time to reflect on our past and what brought us to where we are now.
Our children are brave. They take in horrific news, and like us, they try to cope with grief and to seek solutions. They are aware of the world that awaits them as adults and yet they keep moving towards light. Here at midlife, they bring me comfort and give me hope.
It is one thing to wish someone a "happy holidays" in reference to the multitude of secular and religious winter holidays. It is quite another to declare that an evergreen tree is a universal holiday symbol.
In theory, one would think buying a Christmas tree consists of simply driving to a tree sale, choosing a tree, paying for it and then heading home with the tree to set it up. Once you toss two young kids into that equation, you'll need to add a minimum of 97 steps to that theory.
Hunting for the ideal tree can often feel more like a chore than a pleasure, but with a little organization and these helpful tips, your family will be able to enjoy the perfect tree over the holidays.