This past weekend we launched our family into the holiday season. The kick-off event was Wifey’s work Christmas Party. Yes, a workplace Christmas Party. I never thought I’d actually get to attend one of those as they’re virtually obsolescent in a time where Christmas is getting kicked out of our schools and offices as we supposedly become more culturally competent.
I’m all for recognizing a multitude of celebrations of various faiths and cultures such as Eid, Kwanzaa and Chanukah, I’m not so sure that the Christmas that predominates Canada from the closing of Halloween to December 25 is all that Christian. What does tacky garland, reindeer, pine trees, Santa Claus and neatly wrapped presents have to do with baby Jesus being born in a stable?
Christmas in my mind is two distinct celebrations sharing the same name. One of modern consumerist culture and the other of historical biblical Christianity. Somewhere over the course of history these have blended together and you get this mishmash that now makes December 25 a Christian misnomer. The Christmas that I see celebrated more often than not has no room for Christ in it. As a culturally diverse society, I think we should be exposed to as many cultural festivities and faith celebrations that differ from ours as possible.
[End Christmas tirade.]
On Saturday morning, Wifey left at the crack of dawn to help set up her company’s Christmas party. Events are now part of her portfolio and this one was centred around bringing joy to the employees’ little kids – face painting, balloon guy, magician, Santa Claus, toys and breakfast. Aside from being held at the ungodly hour of 9:00 am, Bella and Bubaloo decided that the event was a bit too juvenile for them and opted to stay home. I decked Baby A. out in her party dress and we headed off to meet Wifey.
It was a fabulous event and best of all was that I got to snap a picture of Baby A. on Santa’s lap. I thought that given her recent bout of intense separation anxiety that she may have a minor meltdown when meeting this strange man for the first time. She was enthralled with his white beard and cracked a huge smile as her chubby baby fingers yanked on those lovely white strands of faux hair.
After the party wrapped up, Wifey and I headed home and loaded up the car with all three kids. I’ve always wanted to cut down my own christmas tree and I convinced everyone that this would be a great adventure. We headed out to spend the afternoon at Thomas Tree Farm.
When we arrived we hopped onto a tractor that took us out to a field to scout our tree. After much lively debate as to the merits of a spruce, scotch pine or balsam fir, we settled on a scotch pine. It smelled great and wouldn’t lose its needles too fast.
Then we had to find the perfect tree. If you thought the debate on tree variety was lively, the debate on the merits of the perfect tree was heated. It took some wrangling, but we finally were able to get all family members to agree on the same tree.
Bella and Bubaloo were keen to get their hands on the hacksaw and even worked together to perform the tree cutting task once they realized that it was easier to work together. They lied on opposite sides of the tree to push and pull the hacksaw back and forth. Wifey and I weren’t sure they were making any progress until the tree tipped over and landed on Bella. It took us a few seconds before we got the tree off of her – I snapped a few pics while Wifey loudly questioned Bubaloo in an accusatory voice about whether or not he intentionally pushed the tree on his sister.
With our perfect tree in hand, we headed back to the tractor stop to hitch a ride back in from the field. Wifey took a brief “I’m-zen-and-not-in-the-least-bit-frustrated-with-my-kids-who-are-trying-my-patience” break. This is a break that parents with an ADHD kid have to take to cope with the constant re-directing.
As part of the experience, you’re provided free hot chocolate and cookies as you sit around a campfire to warm up. I stayed back with Baby A. while I sent Bubaloo to assist Wifey in putting the tree on the car. As he ran by me to the bathroom, I asked if Wifey needed help and he told me it was okay. So I sent Bella to check-in with her. She didn’t come back, so I assumed everything was okay.
Eventually the whole family made it back to the fire pit and it was only then after the kids told me that the tip of the tree was broken and Wifey related how she was a little bit deserted in securing the goods to the roof of the vehicle, that I realized I was the one in trouble for not helping out. I thought that with the tree needle shaker, the packing guys, and the kids, that getting the tree on the roof of the car would be the easy part. Ahhh, family fun!
We got home as the sun set and lugged the tree to the basement. We were too tired to fiddle with the tree in the stand to get it perfectly balanced, so we opted to secure it to the stairs with some rope. Only when we checked it later on that evening it had an incredible tilt to it. We put off decorating it until we could fix the tilt. Three days later we haven’t got around to it. So now we have a big naked tree in our basement that’s shedding needles on the floor.