We finally made the trek out to the garage and dug up the old Christmas tree, which is looking pretty ragged to me. Caleb declared it "Beautiful."
We put 3/4 of it up on a low table against a wall--that way it stays flush against the wall and takes less space. Nobody was going to look at the back anyway. Caleb said, "It's an evergreen." Anda added, "It's a dark green."
We pulled out our lights and found a box that we'd never opened. It had this warning on it: "Handling the wires on this string of lights exposes you to lead, a substance known to the state of California to cause birth defects. Wash hands after exposure." Who knew Christmas lights were deadly?
And then we decorated. I decided I'm not a good decorater of trees. At least, it didn't come out exactly how I envisioned it. For one thing, the silver balls kind of disappear in a green tree with white lights. And then the problem came because Dan decided to have a nap in the middle of the festivities--so I couldn't teach the kids how to decorate in a hands-on kind of way. I guess that's okay. The tree is for the kids, anyway. So now we have invisible silver balls all over, and ratty gold and silver ribbons that the kids literally tossed up onto the tree (the fun way to decorate, they say). There's a band of equally -spaced marshmallow snowmen the kids made with Mary a couple of years ago in a nice even line as high as Anda can reach, and another as high as Caleb can reach (I told them not to put the snowmen where Dan can reach and eat them). I moved a few of the decorations that were touching each other up to the completely naked top of the tree (with the kid's permission) after Dan woke up.
Finally awake, Daniel took one look at the tree and began happily ripping almost-invisible-except-to-him silver balls off the branches and started banging them together and throwing them joyfully around the room. I was instantly glad that I had replaced all the glass balls with plastic last year when I found them for 10 cents a box at the dollar store after Christmas. So now we have a tree that is naked around the bottom (or, at best, sparsely and unevenly decorated), heavily snowmanned around the middle, and sort of evenly decorated around the top. And it's only been up for about 15 minutes.
Caleb declared it "done" and "beautiful."
I guess he's right.