I am hesitant to post pictures of non-family members, so I have nothing to show of our tree decorating. The neighbor kids were over; I made our traditional Tangerine Scones; Ryan, Mica and I procured the tree from the same place as last year; and decorating happened. Actually it all happened very quickly and efficiently. We’ve passed some barrier, and now hanging ornaments on a tree is suddenly no big deal. Not a single breakage or injury occurred.
Next year, when Mica is walking, will no doubt be another story. She likes the lights on the tree and, while she hasn’t quite stopped testing the tree with her mouth (the universal baby sensory organ), she’s learned to be gentle and careful, because pine needles are really quite prickly.
Nathan even wants us to put presents under the tree, but I’m of two minds about that. Last week a box of gifts arrived from Dad while we were at dinner. Both boys were suitably fascinated, but it was Ryan who disappeared shortly after dinner for a suspiciously long and silent time. It turned out that he was sneaking away to do a little early gift opening, which he knew full well he wasn’t supposed to do — but impulse control is not that boy’s strongest gift. (Neither is guile. He had to come out to show us the gift in delight afterwards. He was quite sad afterwards when we told him he couldn’t play with it until Christmas.) So now I’m debating: do I put out the gifts and let them both work on developing resistance to their own package-ripping desires? Or do I keep them hidden away and make my life easier?