Seven golden rules for keeping your family intact whilst putting up the Christmas decorations!
It happens every year in our house, and probably yours as well, the Christmas decorations go up, or not, as the case may be! It was decided that yesterday was the designated day for ‘decking the halls’ but, as always, the task was never going to be as easy as putting the tree up and adding a few fairy lights.
To begin with, Kacie had very efficiently put the tree ‘et al’ in the loft at the beginning of the year, a good move as they were safe, dry and out of the way, I have to assume however that getting them up there was a whole lot easier than getting the wretched things down.
I should have known better!
It actually didn’t start there though, I was the culprit who started the whole mess earlier in the day by deciding that we should utilise a Christmas light I had bought from Ikea a few years earlier, but had been consigned to the barn and never used. In my infinite wisdom I decided that it would be a great idea to take a trip down the barn and seek out the light and a couple of other things that I had been wanting to look for for a while. Osborn and I duly trekked down the muddy field and ventured into the gloom that is the disaster area we fondly call ‘The Barn’.
Said light was found relatively easily and I also located the whereabouts of a couple of other things I had been pondering the location of for a long time, and, whilst inaccessible, at least I now know where they are. My artwork from way back in my art school days was less easy to locate, and once we did, they were buried under numerous heavy objects. The Shanks family don’t give up easily and, as they were deteriorating further daily in the damp conditions, Osborn and I were not going to be defeated. Sitting in a roulette wheel wasn’t ideal and Osborn precariously squished under a pile of heavy tables definitely would have constituted an ‘elf and safety’ issue for any self respecting ‘elf and safety officer, but we were not going to be deterred and no officer was available to tell us not to take our lives into our own hands…..enter the Shanks Family ‘Dunkirk Spirit’.
We finally freed the artwork without too much further damage to it and returned to the house brandishing our spoils! The box the light was in had disintegrated but having let the light dry out so we didn’t blow the house up, it actually worked, trouble was, it was a lot bigger than I remembered! And so it began, where to put the enormous light…..and the tree….and the lights…..and, well, everything?
….and so to the loft!
So, the next step was get everything out of the loft, huge light having been abandoned on the dining room floor for future, further perusal. No-one was tall enough to lift the loft hatch and the steps in the house weren’t any help either, much the same as watching Pippa precariously perched on Lorie’s shoulders at the top of the stairs did nothing to aid my mental health. Everyone reconvened in the sitting room until the relative peace was disturbed by worrying noises coming from the roof above. Further inspection outside showed Osborn on the roof with the old swimming pool ladder that he had deemed tall enough to solve the challenge, the fact that it was soaking wet and filthy hadn’t factored into his logic one iota.
After several other failed attempts it was grudgingly decided that maybe Osborn had a point and that the ladder should be brought into use, and, after all, Osborn was halfway up the stairs with the damned thing anyway! Eventually the decorations were freed from their murky, cobwebby confines and brought downstairs, then the fun really began!
There should be rules pertaining to Christmas decorations that have been passed in Parliament and are enforceable by the Police as far as I’m concerned, in fact, there should be an armed force dedicated to the Christmas season and rescuing family members whose lives are at risk due to the whole process.
First off, tree parts removed from box and peered at with great bemusement by the assembled throng, how did the damn thing go together? We had a pole with a few twigs at the top and numerous twigs that appeared to have no rhyme or reason with regard to size and shape. Pippa eventually discovered a few letters stuck to miscellaneous bits and they finally deduced that maybe these were clues to enable them to construct something that vaguely resembled a Christmas tree.
Then, the lights, the sodding lights…..you know the ones, they were carefully put away fully working only a few months previously but by the time they’re due to go up the following Christmas they no longer work and have managed to weave themselves into the type of intricate knots that no man could ever accomplish unaided. Then colours! White lights on the tree or multi-coloured? How many baubles, how much tinsel….if any……and as I watch my sanity sail out of the window, the final conundrum, how to fix the lights to the wall all around the room, knowing, that whatever fixture is used will still be there the next Christmas even though the lights themselves will have required putting up again repeatedly!
Strops, stomps, arguments, hysteria, Aspie modes, tears and many more ‘elf and safety issues later and the house actually looks quite good, even though many lives were put at risk throughout the entire endeavour, murder having felt perfectly reasonable at times.
So, I have compiled my own list of Christmas decorating rules that I strongly suggest everyone adheres to in coming years so that we all have the opportunity of welcoming another New Year!
Seven Rules that may save your life whilst putting up the Christmas Decorations:-
1. DO NOT, under any circumstances, have seven children. Eight people making decisions about Christmas decorations is seven too many and highly dangerous!
2. Have as many strings of lights as you want, but, make sure they are all the same colour and thereby avoid any risk of discussion about what colour to put where.
3. Keep the same decorations for every year and if you MUST change them, go alone to buy them in the dead of the night and dispose of the old ones immediately. Failure to comply with this rule will endanger many lives.
4. Store your Christmas decorations out of the way but in an easily accessible location, especial if you have an ‘Osborn’.
5. If you have children over a certain age, don’t enter into any discussions and you might just come out of the other side unscathed.
6. Ensure you have copious quantities of alcohol secreted around the house for emergencies (your own!)
7. Finally, if at all possible, vacate the premises whilst said decorations are assembled and only return once you have received absolute confirmation that everything is well and truly finished.
If you’ve already put your decorations up and you’re reading this you deserve a medal! If you still have to do it, please abide by the above list and I wish you all the best…..safe journey!!