Our Christmas Adventure

December 6, 2010 § 4 Comments

Well, technically, it’s not Christmas day yet…but we still have had an adventurous Christmas. But, before I get to the adventure part, allow me to whisk you away on the journey to the adventure.

Before doing anything else, we laid out our Christmas tree trash bag to help us transport the tree to its final resting place after the holidays. (Its final resting place is “the land” on which my father-in-law hunts with his friends. We take our tree there so that it can provide housing for birds, chipmunks, squirrels, and other critters.) Apparently we didn’t do a very good job because Beatrice decided to help us spread it out better.

Beatrice is certain this is the way to help me open up and spread out the Christmas tree bag.

Realizing that we could only stand to receive more “help” from our furry little ones, we decided to close all four of them in our bedroom. This way, we could put the tree into its stand outside and take our time hauling it into the living room, while also leaving the back door open until we were finished. After we set the tree up, we decided it was time to release the animals–they were beginning to scratch the door and caterwaul (Callie and Annie are particularly good at this–you’d think they were dying). Before we take the time to decorate the tree, of course, I had to snap a picture of Annie and Milton posing in front of the tree! I didn’t like the lighting of this particular shot, but I love how Callie is sneaking a sniff from the couch.

Milton and Annie attempt to pose in front of the tree. Callie sneakily sniffs the branches.

Because I was unhappy with that particular shot, I employ Robert’s help (as well as a couple of cookies) in order to get the shot below. I think Annie would have sat for the rest of the day, just for the promise of the cookie that dangled over my head.

Much better portrait of Milton and Annie! Look at his smile!

After our impromptu photo shoot, we decided to get started decorating. Of course, lights go on first–and putting those on the tree can really be a time-consuming process. Milton will attest to that–he was pooped watching us Robert put the lights up around the tree!

Milt nearly passes out from the excitement.

We finished decorating our tree (of which I have absolutely no good pictures), and then ran out of the house to meet our friends for dinner and a high school football game. Christmas decorating was over. Or so I thought.

And now begins our real adventure….

The next morning started normally enough: I fed the dogs and cats, took the dogs out to go potty, went to wash my hands…and then I heard an ominous crash! When I walked into the living room, our beautifully decorated tree was laying across the coffee table. I told Robert to come quickly while I shut all the animals in our bedroom again–not knowing whether or not there was glass anywhere. Here’s what I think happened: Annie, my curious little monkey, managed to get around the back of the tree, stood up to sniff it better, and ended up pushing it over onto the coffee table. I know it wasn’t Milton because 1. he’s much too large to get behind the tree and 2. he was in the bedroom waiting for Robert to get up. I know it wasn’t the cats because, although they can fit behind the tree, they aren’t strong enough to push it over. Plus…Annie had a guilty expression on her face. Fortunately, the only ornament to bite it was a non-sentimental ornament, and I think I might actually have a few other ones exactly like it. (It was a hand-made [by my sweet cousin] favor for my sister’s bridal shower that my cousin and I co-hosted. For that reason alone, it’s sentimental. But I do think I have a couple of the extras, so I take relief in that.)

Anyway, after about an hour of trying to straighten the tree and set it back to rights, we realized that our “economical” (read: cheap) plastic tree stand had broken. The force of the fall must have stripped the plastic so that the bolt would only spin and spin. Then, whenever we thought Robert had managed to get some purchase on it to actually screw it into the stand toward the tree, the weight of the tree would only push the bolt back out again, and the tree would fall again. Sigh. So, we knew we had to get a new stand, but in the meantime we left it leaning against the wall. (Oh yes, after we removed the more precious ornaments that had miraculously not smashed to smithereens in the fall.)

...sad...

Meet our new tree stand: “Santa’s Last Stand.” It’s metal, sturdy, and the stand itself has a large base. It also has a metal spike in the center, which is a bit tricky to secure the tree to, but we eventually got it.

Santa's Last Stand to the rescue! I see you back there, Annie.

We decided to remove all ornaments and lights because everything was just a complete mess. I helped Robert get the tree into the new stand, and then we redressed our tree from top to bottom (including lights). This time, three of the four animals were secured in our bedroom; Callie was granted permission to wander around because she is the least likely to bother us while we’re working. She watched from a safe distance and probably wondered exactly what in the hell we were doing, but at least she wasn’t stuck in the room with the dogs.

Finally, after long last, Christmas is officially set up in our house. I really believe that this tree stand is The One. We’ll probably get better at securing the tree on the metal spike as the years go by.

I know it looks a little crooked, but it's standing up straight. I was at an odd angle on the floor.

Merry Christmas, everyone! 🙂

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§ 4 Responses to Our Christmas Adventure

  • Tim says:

    lol…we have no dogs, but we go through the same kind of thing each year. We’ve taken to simply locking the kitties up every night (or whenever we go out) for the entire month of December. Using a fake tree means that usually the worst that happens if we forget is a couple of branches and/or ornaments getting knocked off, but the cats have actually managed to knock over the tree before. Fortunately, we haven’t had any breakable ornaments on the tree in several years, since Zen destroyed most of our glass ornaments the first year we had her (nothing sentimental, just Wal-Mart glass orbs).

    • Mrs. H. says:

      I actually have a beautiful fake tree, but we’ve really taken to getting trees from a farm. My only complaint, of course, is that the real trees make me really really itchy and bumpy, but the fake trees don’t, lol. Oh well. It’s a tradition in the making, right?

      I guess we’re lucky that the girls leave the tree alone, and the dogs are locked up in our bedroom with us at night. So that helps to reduce surprises. And Annie has lost “wandering around the house alone” privileges. I’ll either lock her in the bedroom with me while I shower or will put her in the guest bathroom if I need to run around and not worry about her. So far, though, we haven’t had any repeats, lol. We’re lucky we don’t have tile or wooden floors!

  • Tonia says:

    Wow! I’m glad nothing major broke!

    We’ve been lucky so far, too. Chief K managed to break one ball (a cheapy from Wal Mart) but only when we were decorating. Seamus has no interest in the tree, and Mr. JoJo is content to stare. Chief has actually decided that the skirt is his new favorite bed. I’m going to have to remember to get a picture 🙂

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Aw, so sweet! Cal hides under the tree on the tree skirt, too. Last year, it was safe from Milt because he couldn’t fit behind the tree. But Annie has no trouble getting back there, so Callie tends to only sleep under the tree when Annie’s not around, haha. It’s so cute, though! You should absolutely get a picture of Chief K snuggled under the tree like a present! 🙂

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