We put up our Christmas tree earlier then usual this year due to pressure from our five year old and many parents who asked her if we had the tree up yet. When she told them no they would give her a sad face and say something like, “well you better get those Humbug parents of yours to put it up”. Thank you for that by the way. So it was up December 4th, much sooner than the 1-2 weeks before Christmas we usually put our tree up. As a result of putting up the tree, opening our activity advent calendar, plus attending countless social activities our three kids have been on full-on Christmas anticipation mode for well over two weeks now. This includes too much candy, treats, glimpses of Santa, and special outings that has made the build up for Christmas a bit much. We still have over a week to go. Somehow this got out of control this year far more than in previous years and I think we will have to be more proactive next year to bring it back to the low key and casual Christmas we want.
One of the issues of having the tree up so early is that every time I turn around the Christmas tree is missing ornaments or they are all being put on the same branches all clumped together. Since our kids are all under the age of six they are having a hard time leaving the tree and ornaments alone. I asked myself what could be done to stop them from completely destroying our nicely decorated tree? Now I know that it will not look like it has in the past, and that is great, but I still want our tree to look somewhat nice. In frustration of constantly decorating the tree I decided to make a rule, if an ornament is removed from the tree to be played with I will take it and put it in a box on top of the fridge. My logic was that they would see the tree slowly getting more and more bare and decide if they want to have anything left they should really leave it alone. Bryce at first thought it was a game. He started removing balls to give to me. Oh great, I thought, this hasn’t worked at all. I was picturing a tree with only ornaments at the very top and nothing on the lower three and a half feet. He did stop after about eight balls were confiscated. We are now a week later and I think it has worked (or they have just lost interest). The tree is looking a little bare but I think I will leave it for Santa to decorate on Christmas Eve.
I like Christmas, I really do, but maintaining the excitement of the season for the whole month of December does get a bit much. Martin was calling me a Grinch for worrying about the tree and the kids Christmas induced behaviour but the last few days he seemed to have come over to my side. We have looked at our schedule for the next week and have rearranged it to be more relaxed. Let’s see if we can take a little break so we are in a good enough mood when Christmas Day naturally explodes in excitement. If well rested this should be enough to convert this Grinch.