Last year I had moments where I swore that we’d never have a Christmas tree again.
After sober reflection, though, I decided that my expectations were simply off. We did get a tree, of course — how could I really resist? I was simply smarter about the decorations.
Here’s my new theory: two strands of lights, a handful of non-breakable ornaments, and a box. The box is for ornaments that get taken off the tree and found at some random place in the house. Rather than trying to constantly put them back up, or get on the kids too hard to please not take them down, we just put them in the box. Slowly the ornament content of the tree will dwindle to its natural equilibrium.
That’s my theory, anyway. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Nathan this year — he was very helpful with decorating the tree. And other than a few instances of running up and whacking the branches, he seems to understand that it’s really just a decoration, and not so much for playing with. Apparently five is old enough for this concept.
Ryan… not so much. He did help with decorating, but he likes taking things off so much that I think his net contribution was negative. And he’s the main culprit who gets caught running through the house with a plastic icicle in his hand.
But overall the system is working — i.e., overall we’re all still enjoying the tree. Which is, of course, the point.