When you have a large family, I'm noticing, everything pretty much runs in a state of barely-controlled chaos. Several years ago, I laughed when I watched the movie "Yours, Mine, and Ours". In case you aren't familiar with the film, it is about a couple that finds each other midlife and falls in love, but they don't know that they each already have like 6 kids apiece. They get married and blend their households, and because it is a romantic comedy of sorts, much drama and hilarity ensues. Now that I'm living a mini-version of that, it doesn't seem quite so hilarious. I find myself thinking of certain scenes, and nodding sympathetically to myself.
However, with a little (by that I mean, a LOT) of organization, and some planning...you can keep things running smoothly. Most of the time. There are days, especially lately, with the master planner in an advanced state of pregnancy, that things get a little crazy.
Sometimes you just have to let things go a little, and let kids be kids. One such occasion was the tinseling of the downstairs Christmas tree. This year we have two Christmas trees. Since we combined our households this year, we ended up with two of them. My husband asked which one we were going to get rid of, back in September. I looked at him and said, "We can't get rid of either one of them yet.." He paused, and carefully asked, "Why not?" I said, "Because, I don't know which one I like better. What if I throw the nicer one out? We have to wait, and put them both up, so I can decide which one I like the best." My husband is an intelligent man, and said, "oo-kay," and we went on with our sorting.
Another situation that came up with the blending of our households was the mingling of various holiday traditions. In my husband's family, they love to cover the tree with enough tinsel to bury it. The thought of this sets my anxieties off for several reasons. One, when you are OCD neurotic like me, tinsel is a very threatening item. It falls off the tree, ends up everywhere, and gradually works its way into every corner of your house. Two, when I grew up, my mother choked the tree with tinsel and garland, to the point that you couldn't see any green. My father really didn't care for this, so I grew up with the idea that tinsel was "too much".
I am willing to compromise though, so we just put a 'little' tinsel on the upstairs tree. The upstairs tree was my tree formerly, and we decorated it with blue, white, silver, shimmery decorations for the most part. It is beautiful, I think. The kids were THRILLED to decorate the tree. I told my husband that I had more than enough ornaments to decorate two trees, and I was right. The kids helped me bring up all the shoe boxes of ornaments I have collected over my life. Many are childhood ornaments my mother sent to me when I was an adult. Many others are ones I bought myself or as gifts for my son as he has grown.
I am usually a more active participant in the tree decorating, but I was content this year to sit and rest in a chair, and hand ornaments to all the kids. My son was really excited to show off his personal ornaments to the other kids. I know in the next year or so, we will add a lot of new ones...because next Christmas we will have an almost 1-year old. Even though baby will be almost 1, it will still be 'Baby's First Christmas'.
So, the downstairs tree was my husband's tree formerly, and he wanted to have colored lights on that tree. My Christmas light selection is not that great, a lot of the strings I have are really old, and not in a good way. I did find some funky pastel-colored lights with white strings though, and decided to try them on his already white prelit tree.
A couple bulbs were out, and we replaced them with flasher bulbs, which made certain sections of the tree flash spastically. My husband and his kids then commenced putting tinsel on the tree in big silvery handfuls. They ran out of tinsel before they would have been done, I think. The effect was rather retro though. It had a certain 1950s look to it by the time we finished.
My husband wanted to take this picture of me, to document how big my belly has become. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have officially crossed over into 'ginormus'. This is the only picture I could stand, out of all the ones he took. We still have about a month and a half to go, according to the doctor, though I know I don't look it.
This is how the two trees ended up...icy blue and silver....
and retro colored lights. What do you think...which one do you like better?