Sunday, November 30, 2008

Trimming the tree (with OCD)

Tonight I realized that we had so many things to do this week that if we didn't get the Christmas tree put up now, it would be a while before we could get to it. (and if we wait too long, we run the risk of "Why bother putting it up now, we'll just need to take it down in a week")

The first thing we had to do was to get the tree upstairs. I went to the closet under the stairs in the basement to get the large box with the tree along with all the boxes full of Christmas decorations.
What I found was all of the kids Halloween costumes for the last two years, tossed in the closet on top of all of the Christmas stuff.
The costumes are supposed to be put away nicely on the top shelves of the kids closets, not dumped conveniently in the storage closet under the stairs.

I yelled politely called to the children to have them put the costumes in their proper places.
Eventually this was done and we were able to reach all of the Christmas decorations. CJ and Aaron carried the heavy box with the tree in it up the stairs arguing humming Christmas tunes as they went.

DH got the tree out of the box and put it together. I bent the tree branches causing them to return back into their previously not smooshed state as they were before the tree was stuffed into the box last February 11December 31.

The children helped me fix the branches because I forced them to they like the tree to look nice and uniform too.
Next we put on the lights. I explained to the children that they were not to mess with the little box on the lights that controls the speed of the blinking. I like the slow glow setting. It calms me.
Every year, without fail, one of the kids will set that puppy to the tracer lights and it makes me dizzy and nauseous.

Next, we started to decorate the tree.

Now the single most important thing that everyone must remember is;


Evenly. Spaced. Ornaments.

One thing that drives me batty is when there are a bunch of ornaments on the same branch, or worse than that, three of the same ornament within inches of each other.


Evenly spaced, people. Evenly spaced.

I let the kids put all of the ornaments on the tree themselves. CJ is now taller than me, so he can reach all of the higher branches.
I sat on the couch and watched as they completely ignored the ESO rule merrily decorated the tree.
I kept telling them EVENLY SPACED! REMEMBER THEY NEED TO BE EVENLY SPACED!! offered suggestions of where to put the ornaments, and the children basically ignored me did a great job of decorating the tree.
It was then that I got a stabbing pain in my eye. Someone had sped up the blinking of the lights. I growled inquired as to who might have adjusted the lights, after I had made it known to everyone in the room that I would have a coniption if they touched the light control box kindly requested that they leave it alone.
One of my darling children apparently didn't listen to me the first time explained that they had misunderstood and just thought that I didn't want them moving the control box from it's original spot.
We got the lights fixed, and redistributed the 12 ornaments that Max had put on a single branch on the backside of the tree where I couldn't see it.
It was finally finished, and it was lovely!

OK, seriously, they really did do a great job!

We even got the outside lights put up yesterday.

Yay us!

This concludes my last post for NaBloPoMo, or as I prefer to call it "NaBloPowhatwasIthinkingwhenIdecidedtodothisMo"

I'll be back tomorrow.
Or not.
I might take a week off.
Or not.
Or I might just wait until I actually have something interesting to write about.


LisAway said...

This was so funny. I am ALL ABOUT the E.S.O. Man. Few things are more important than that. I only let my kids do the balls and they are amazing about good spacing, but I would never let them do the less noticeable ornaments that would take me forever to fix.

I sometimes feel a tinge of guilt when I see someone's tree that is covered in child-made "ornaments" that are very obviously child-hung as well. How cute that they let their kids take such an important part in their Christmas! But mostly I try to leave the room as soon as possible because of the E.S.O. OCD that makes me absolutely crazy when I see a tree that doesn't follow the rules.

Alison Wonderland said...

I'm also and ESOer but at the moment my Os are ES on the top half of the tree only as I have a one year old who's decided to walk and hey look at all that shiny stuff. Surprisingly, it's not driving me crazy and luckily Lisa lives on another continent so I don't have to worrk about her Christmas rage.

BTW this post cracked me up.

PS my WV is resso and I really want to make that into something cleverly ESO related but I got nothing.

Mum-me said...

Luckily for me, my ESO sickness has been fading over the years. I do insist that we unburden and redistribute the one branch which Kitcat has loaded with 5000 ornaments, but as long as everything is hanging on the tree, instead of lying on the floor, I'm happy these days.

Kristina P. said...

Too funny! Adam's job is to get the tree out of storage, put it up, help me with the lights, and then to slowly back away.

The tree looks great!

ramsam said...

ou could serously write an instruction manual for the rest of us...and it would be so hilarious! I agree with your comments, as well....and you know, if you want a tree up until Feb , why not?

Jillene said...

I too am an E.S.O. person. With little kids it makes it hard. I try and move the ornaments around when they are not home and hopefully no one notices!!

The Boob Nazi said...

Cute! We had my 4-year-old nephew help this year because he loves it so much.... And then we redid it after he left haha.

utmomof5 said...

I finally just left the room while my kids decortated and then fixed it that night after they went to bed. ESO must be something kids just can't comprehend.

Jo said...

You are funny and you remind me of my mother who insisted we put the tinsel on the tree ONE BY ONE! I hate tinsel now, and grout, but that is another story.
wv butift, what my butt is not.

Bonnie the Boss said...

The tree looks great! We have in the past few years cut a tree ourselves, so there is no way to ESO. It is a nice thought but not possible since Heavenly Father didn't ESO the branches.

Maraiya said...

ESO - brilliant rule. Unfortunately we still have a kitten/cat and all our ornaments end up on top of each other with a naked bottom half of the tree.

Whew - I've finally got up with all of your posts. I appreciate that it was exhausting but I loved always having something from you to read.

Maraiya said...

mendea: like diarrhea - when you have so much mending to do it feels like....just carry out the analogy yourself.

Jessica G. said...

Can you send them over to my house next? We've got the tree up and lights on it (non-blinking) but no ornaments and really, I just don't have the energy to do it.

Threeundertwo said...

Hilarious. I am also a fanatic about E. S. O.

My solution? After the darling children decorate the tree. I fix it. Every. single. ornament.

OCD? Where?

MamaHenClucks said...

ESO will take the joy out of decorating faster than anything. My hubby won't even make himself known when I'm / I mean we're decorating. Seriously. He hides. This year I bought the kids their very own tree to decorate, for the basement. I couldn't stand it. I hoverd. I redistributed. I changed things. WHY? would a person need twelve pink ornaments on the same branch??

JustRandi said...

Don't tell anyone but I usually redecorate the tree after the kids go to bed. Sad, I know.

Yours looks great!

the letter Bee said...

That is so funny. I wonder if I'll get my tree up before Dec 20th this year...

mommeeof9 said...

I don't care how they put the tree together or hang the lights and ornaments, as long as hubby and the kids do all the work. Oh, and they must leave the breakable ornaments in the attic, as I have had enough broken ornaments and glass slivers in peolles/pets feet that I keep those ornaments in the attic. Maybe in 10 years when #10 will be 9, we can get them out. That is, assuming we can find where I hid them in the mess, er attic. :)

Damama T said...

My favorite ornaments are the ones the kids made and/or picked out over the years. My tree is a huge mishmash of memories that would probably drive all of you ESO devotees up a wall. But then, maybe not because there are so few that are alike that it doesn't much matter where they go.

However it works out in your house, the main thing is that your kids know, beyond any doubt, that you love them to pieces. It shines in every word you write - even the ones crossed out. In the end, isn't that what it's really all about anyway?

Melissa said...

Your tree looks great! I usually move ornaments around after the kids are in bed. Maybe that's terrible, but I too suffer from CDO (that's like OCD except it's in alphabetical order...)

Busty LaRue said...

Your tree looks great! Your story almost made me want to go buy a tree that we can decorate for our house. Almost. :)

NG said...

Awesome post. If I hadn't read it here, I'd swear I could have written it.

Anonymous said...

I know this was supposed to be funny, but it just made me sad. My mother is like this only worse, and I hate Christmas now. Not only did she 1) harp on me for putting the ornaments on wrong, 2) make me "fix" it, 3) then "fix" it herself RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME when I didn't "fix" it right, but, she would not allow me to NOT take part in decorating the #$*& tree. I was forced to go "help" even though I knew full well I was going to do it "wrong" and be made miserable. This same phenomenon contined even after I had a home of my own when I went to her house one year and was harassed/shamed/guilted into helping her set up her little ceramic village. I knew full well it would turn out "wrong" for her and I resisted to the point of tears but I still did it. Sure enough, next time I went over there, she had changed it all around. Did I mention I HATE Christmas?? My darling husband swears I will never go through that again and so even though he loves Christmas, he is completely OK with the fact that there is not one single solitary Christmas decoration in our home, with the exception of our little glass manger scene that is up all year long.

Word verification: PROVE. I am not making this up. But I no longer have to PROVE anything to my mother!!!!

P.S. I wish you and all the other commenters on here a Merry Christmas. Just because I am the Grinch doesn't mean I begrudge anyone else their fun. :-) (As long as they don't inflict it on me directly LOL.)