12/09/2014 02:37 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

75 Easy Steps to Creating Holiday Memories With Your Kids

I love the span of time between Halloween and New Years Day. The first year my husband and I were married, we lived in a two-story condo and had an 11-foot Christmas tree. We probably slept eight hours straight the day we picked it out. It was holiday Heaven.

It's funny to think how easy things used to be. What did we have going on? All we had to do was:

  1. Find a tree.
  2. Decorate it.
  3. Enjoy.

Oh, how life has changed. Not in a bad way, but definitely in a different way. If you're in the market for a Christmas tree, here are my 75 easy steps to creating holiday memories with your kids:

  1. Schedule a time to get the tree when parents and children are well-rested, fed and in good moods.
  2. Reschedule several times until this happens.
  3. Drive to the lot, park and try to keep children holding your hands so they don't get hit by a car running in the parking lot towards the Christmas trees.
  4. Walk around lot, where every tree is exclaimed to be the perfect tree. The shortest tree, the tallest tree, the fattest tree, the skinniest tree, the most-expensive tree and Charlie Brown's tree.
  5. Pick one that looks great to you and the kids, but the husband hates.
  6. Pick a tree that is acceptable to you and the kids and the husband sort-of approves.
  7. Try to find tree salesman.
  8. Abandon search for tree salesman for missing child.
  9. Find child and tree salesman together.
  10. Show tree guy THE TREE.
  11. Realize one child is running off one way, and the other child is running after tree and salesman.
  12. Husband runs off one way, you run the other way.
  13. Realize one wants Dad, the other wants Mom. You each have the wrong child.
  14. Run to switch places before either kid gets too far away.
  15. 2014-11-30-IMG_0959.jpg

  16. Take youngest inside, where she discovers free cookies.
  17. Cookie break.
  18. Look longingly at the expensive, indoor Christmas decorations, but you've brought a bull to a china shop.
  19. Bribe bull with cookie to get her to checkout line.
  20. Realize coupon is for tomorrow.
  21. Sweet talk salesperson into another discount.
  22. Realize child is running back to cookies.
  23. Bring her back.
  24. Buy tree as fast as possible.
  25. Bring ticket out to husband and son.
  26. Realize you have the wrong ticket, but tree salesman takes pity.
  27. Finally get tree, kids loaded in car and drive home.
  28. Remove tree off top of the car and set it aside where it stays for 24 hours until parents and children are well-rested, fed and in good moods again.
  29. Bring tree inside.
  30. Get it into a stand and set it up.
  31. Top 10 inches drag the ceiling.
  32. Bring it back down and trim the top.
  33. Set it back up, bring it back down because it's still too tall.
  34. Decapitate tree.
  35. Set back up. Perfect. Cut open tree net and let it fall out.
  36. Wait until parents and children are well-rested, fed and in good moods.
  37. Allow insistent child to fill tree stand with water, one sippy-cup-size at a time. (20 minutes.)
  38. Allow insistent child to string each light strand in all the Christmas boxes together to test.
  39. Explain why only adults are allowed to stand on the top of the ladder to hang the lights.
  40. Prove your child right when Mommy falls off ladder.
  41. Daddy laughs and makes fun of Mommy. (Who is ok.)
  42. Finish lights with chin held high.
  43. Move onto ornaments.
  44. Ooh and aah over each memory.
  45. Ask husband if he wants a third child. He doesn't.
  46. Sweep up broken ball. It's okay, it happens.
  47. Continue hanging ornaments.
  48. Give in and let kids use ladder.
  49. Become ladder referee.
  50. Explain the importance of sharing.
  51. Take a snack break.
  52. Sweep up another broken ornament. Guys, you have to be careful.
  53. Relocate ornaments from the bottom to the top when kids aren't looking.
  54. Sweep up another broken ornament. Take your time and get a good branch!
  55. Express the importance of being kind to your siblings.
  56. Get someone a drink.
  57. Get someone else a drink.
  58. Sweep an ornament. Sigh.
  59. Pour Mommy a glass of wine.
  60. Let dog out for potty.
  61. Drag him out of the water under the tree.
  62. Refill water under the tree.
  63. Find a forgotten box of ornaments.
  64. Wonder if you're Christmas hoarders.
  65. Send Daddy for take-out, because cooking dinner isn't happening.
  66. Finish glass of wine.
  67. Take a quick picture of kids while they're smiling.
  68. 2014-11-30-DSC_0594.JPG

  69. Put ladder away. It's now off-limits. Well, you should have shared.
  70. Finish last of ornaments.
  71. Let dog back in, drag him out of water.
  72. Turn out lights, stand back and admire tree.
  73. Feel proud of providing magical, Christmas memories for your family.
  74. Step on broken glass. Be glad it's your foot and not a child's.
  75. Make sure there's not anymore hidden glass.
  76. Stand back and admire again.
  77. Hug and kiss kid when he says this is just going to be the best Christmas. Because you totally agree.