Bored Housewives Network

Getting through the day, one bonbon at a time.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas tree 101

1. During the heat of summer, buy a flashy new tree-topper at a yard sale for a quarter. Make the nice lady plug it into an outlet because you’re not going to be taken for twenty-five cents. Congratulate yourself on your bargain-hunting savvy.

2. At the end of November call a family meeting and fret about the best time to purchase a tree. Really work yourself into a lather. Try not to feel hurt when the rest of the family wanders away through lack of interest.

3. Two weeks later, suddenly announce the perfect date as though anyone else was interested in getting this scheduled. Beam at them with goofy grin.

4. Morning of “the day” realize that $0.25 tree-topper’s main feature is amazingly ugly coloured lights which will not work with your existing (somewhat tasteful) collection of white miniature lights. Realize you will need to purchase, at full retail price, tacky coloured lights. Try not to have despairing flashbacks to the tables and tables of tacky coloured lights for rock-bottom prices at every garage sale throughout the summer.

5. Swing by giant retail outlet with family in tow. Purchase two boxes of coloured lights for nearly nine bucks a box. Rationalize that when electric Christmas lights were introduced in North America, they cost the equivalent of an average month’s salary and were more often rented than purchased outright.

6. Give into the demands of children and stop off to purchase cocoa powder at bulk food store. Also purchase candy treats for children who are still working through their Halloween candy.

7. Finally get to tree lot. Find tree. Express concern that it looks really, really big. Accept scoffing from partner that the ceilings in the apartment are ten feet high [they’re nine]. Make tree lot guy hack off most of the trunk due to fears that tree will have to bend at the ceiling.

8. Haul tree home and get out boxes of decorations. Set tree in stand with help of partner. Throw some water in there. Realize that removing most of the trunk has made watering almost impossible. Nod approvingly when partner puts on appropriate Elvis Presley Christmas Album.

9. Set partner to work fixing the gloriously ugly tree-topper which now refuses to light up. Begin stringing lights. Realize tree was ‘deal’ because of sharp, stabbing needles.

10. Place tree-topper on tree. At jaunty angle. Because it will not sit straight. Discuss with partner trees propensity to ‘loom’. Wonder aloud if looming strikes the right Christmassy note. Listen to smallest child scream in pain as she attempts to penetrate branches of ‘razor-needles’. Laugh at her because you are a bad, bad parent.

11. Hang million glass ball ornaments and glance at other million ornaments you didn’t get to. Wonder why you spend most summers picking up yet more glass ornaments (that you obviously have plenty of) and never think to pick up those stupid little wire hooks (that you never have enough of).

12. Warn youngest child to be careful with the glass balls because they’re fragile. Drop one and watch shatter on floor. Say “fuck!” because you are a bad, bad parent.

13. Stand back and admire the looming tree. Make hot chocolate with patented “special cocoa sludge” at bottom of every glass.

14. Declare this Christmas tree expedition an immeasurable success! Vacuum broken glass.


  • At 11:34 PM, Blogger Cataclysm said…


    Were you following me this weekend?!?!

    Oh man, yep, y'know, we're a family now so Christmas has like, a whole new meaning. Its one thing to just do xmas with your partner, get in a couldn't nice bottles of wine and frozen turkey dinners, but a TOTALLY different thing when you are forging MEMORIES for your off-spring.

    Real tree?? Fake tree??? Its taken me WEEKS of agonizing and now we've done it, bought the full price $20 tree holder and factory farmed, environment-be-damned $20 Douglas Fir because, in a last minute change of heart at Home Depot, I just couldn't do it! Couldn't buy the bits of wire and green plastic twisted to look like a tree! And then I was tempted today to buy a $60 tree skirt - I kid you not - a silk tree skirt because, lets be honest, the $20 tree holder looks a little plastic.

    And its all because I'm creating a LEGACY, setting the bar to which every other Christmas Rian has ever will be measured and judged. Ok, ok, he's only 8 months old but there will be pictures, oh yes, and video!

    I wish I could have your sense of humour about it! Maybe all this will seem funnier on the 26th... right now its all pressure!

  • At 1:28 PM, Blogger queen of the harpies said…

    Heh. I know this feeling. Actually I don’t really ‘know’ it – more like ‘distantly remember it’ because nine years after my son’s first Christmas (and six years after my daughter’s, three years after the divorce, etc.) my goals have come down from the lofty LEGACY area and now reside somewhere along the “fifteen years from now, will my kid be mentioning the 2005 holiday season in therapy?”

    Often, the answer is “probably”.

    Ah, but will it be funny? Will we look back on this and laugh at ourselves? Because, you know, that’s about the best you can hope for.

    Sniff! Now I’m all verklempt!

  • At 11:09 PM, Blogger Tammy said…

    Mmm... special cocoa sludge. I used to think that this deserved to be a beverage in its own right until Starbucks debuted its own version about a year ago. Remember that? I drank one once and spent the next three hours hallucinating from my sugar coma. And I have the highest sugar tolerance of anyone I know.

    I'm so happy to hear you got your tree up! We just got ours this past weekend, too, and for all that we have to tolerate needles in our socks and yell at the dog to watch his damn tail with the ornaments on the lower branches, I love coming in the house and being knocked over by that fresh piney smell.


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