I love this time of year. It doesn't matter which holiday you celebrate, or even none at all, there's something about November and December that just permeates through you. Unless you're feeling miserly, in which case, bah humbug to you as well.
WH and I got our Christmas tree today. Last year, the tiny hellcats decided it was AWESOME of us to provide them such a complicated toy and proceeded to destroy our faithful fake tree between its raising shortly after Thanksgiving, and actual Christmas day. And by destroy, I mean that they bent ALL the branches, so the tree looked like a giant version of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, pulled all of the ornaments off, and stripped the fake plastic needles from the branches with an efficiency I'm sure would make us millions if we could refine and find an application for it.
This made me sad. In fact, a couple days before last Christmas I tried to convince WH to replace the fake tree with a real one. "They can't bend those branches," I argued. I even went to a lot and looked around, deciding on a Douglas Fir because they have really dense, thin branches that I was convinced our cats couldn't climb up into because their weight wouldn't be supported. But WH firmly brought me back to earth, saying that with such a short time to go until Christmas, we'd be better off just waiting until next (this) year.
So I waited. And waited. I may or may not have forgotten about the tree with the whole engagement-wedding thing that happened this year, but you KNOW I remembered as soon as I started seeing Christmas decorations out in the stores.
I started pestering WH to get this year's tree a few weeks ago, still convinced we could handle getting it earlier this year because the cats wouldn't be able to achieve the level of destruction they did last year. He staunchly believes that Christmas anything before Thanksgiving is wrong, so I tried to be patient. My patience failed on Thanksgiving morning. I decided we would go get the tree on Sunday, but that was as long as I was going to wait.
This morning arrived, and we picked out our tree at the local Home Depot. We got it home, and set it up, and poured water in the stand. I went and got the tree skirt I'd been saving for a few weeks and after we swept up needles four or five times, laid it out around the base of the tree.
The cats so far seemed respectful, but that was a lie. As soon as we stopped immediately touching the tree, they moved in. Sniffing, at first, then batting at the branches and watching the resulting swaying, then chewing on the needles, then chasing each other around the base and dislodging the tree skirt, and then-- oh, then-- the dreaded jumping.
I was in the kitchen, making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, when I saw the tree shaking in a velociraptor-enclosure-in-Jurassic-Park kind of way. A quick search through the branches doing the most shaking revealed a familiar gray, stripey face peering out at me from about my waist level. I wish I'd gotten a picture of this, but I know I'm not the first person ever to have a cat crawl in a Christmas tree, so please use your imaginations.
It's only been a few hours, but the tree is still standing tall, if leaning ever-so-slightly. We are holding off on the decorations, though, until the novelty wears off, which it hopefully will. Soon. I've also given up on the tree skirt as it's a pain to put on and they just keep ripping it off every five minutes.
At least they've tired themselves out somewhat. Maybe we won't wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of the tree crashing to the floor? Maybe? Ah well. I can hope, right?
Here's a picture of the tree climber, taking his much-earned rest after a hard day's destruction. Don't let the soft innocence and adorable stripes fool you.
Merry happy holiday season everyone. It has officially begun!