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December 8, 2010

No Husbands Were Harmed...

2007 Christmas Tree by Laurel

For the past 12 years my husband and his sister have decorated two Christmas Trees in our home. They make a day of it and spend the time laughing and discussing placement of ornaments and ribbons. I stay out of their way but I have noticed that a lot of hubby's contribution is passing specific items to his sister, or reaching to the top section of our 10 foot tree (he's 6'4" tall)

This year, my sister in law could not decorate for us so the job fell to me. I knew at the start that there was no way I could ever create a Christmas Tree as beautiful as the trees my sister in law decorates. Hers look like something out of Martha Stewart or Better Homes & Gardens! But I figured I'd give it a try and do my best.

Decorating with hubby was out of the question. I know we'd end up fighting. Decorating two trees is beyond my patience and physical endurance. So I asked hubby to bring up the smaller tree (6 ft) from the basement. That's when the groaning and moaning started.... He made a face and described how much work that would be. First he had to move all the computer monitors and computers from in front of the storage area for the trees. Hmmmm... didn't he just PUT those computer items there when he cleaned out his "man cave"? Wasn't the jumbled mess his own doing? Didn't I ask him repeatedly to clean it out of MY area of the basement? Hmmm....

After several attempts to talk me out of having a tree this year, hubby gave up and moved the mess to get to the tree. Then began the complaints about how many trips up and down the basement stairs it was going to take to bring the tree sections up. I ignored the complaining and assigned Sunday as "The Day"! On that day hubby was expected to bring the tree up, put it together, put up the lights and move the couch so I could get all the tubs of ornaments out. I didn't think that was asking a lot. Apparently it was!

The Couch Called Everest
Next I heard about how much work it was going to be to move that couch. Move it out, pull out the tubs from the lower closet behind it, put the couch back then woe is me - pull the couch OUT again when Christmas was over so that the ornaments could be put away! Climbing Mt Everest sounded easier than hubby's description of the amount of work and effort the couch moving would take...

Now, in fairness, I have a lot of ornaments. I like to change my colours or theme each year, so I have hundreds of ornaments in different colour schemes. I have dozens of plastic tubs full of these ornaments. But all hubby had to do was move the couch and pull the tubs out so I could get to the colours I wanted for this year (green and gold). All my tubs of Christmas ornaments are in one place - the cupboard I had put under the landing to our sunroom. It's about 4 ft by 8 ft by 3 ft high and is full. Full to the top with plastic tubs of ornaments and lights.

Hubby pulls out the tubs. I ask him if he has everything out. Yep, he reassures me, there is nothing left in the cupboard. I think I saw him roll his eyes when I asked if that was everything.

I start. I am an organized decorator. First on the tree are the ribbons (gold), then the strings of gold beads, then the largest green ornaments. I work my way down in size, only putting on green decorations until my entire tub of green items is empty. I stand back. I'm ready for the accent colours - gold decorations.

Hmmm.... I can't find my tub of gold ornaments. Come to think of it where are my birds and dragonflies? I ask hubby if he has seen them. He shrugs his shoulders. I look at every tub again. Nope, no gold and no birds or dragonfiles. In fact, I seem to be missing what I call my neutrals - gold, silver and ivory ornaments. Where the heck are they? I am now pestering hubby repeatedly - are you sure you got all the tubs out? Are you sure you have not seen them?

Hubby makes a huge mistake at this point, and suggests that perhaps I "tossed them into another tub" after last Christmas. He suggests I look through the contents of every single tub of ornaments because I probably just put them wherever I had room.

I am aghast. Does he know who he's married to? Has he not seen my Christmas decoration organization each year when he and his sister get the ornaments out?

I wrap every ornament in paper towels. I put matching sets either back in their orginal box or in a ziplock plastic bag. I label those "set of 6 hanging green" or "4 green pears" or "10 green balls, medium" You get the idea.

Then I put all ornaments of one colour into a huge plastic tub which I also label (If you read my post I Love My Labeller you know I am obsessed with labelling things!) with a description such as "Green ornaments"

I also label by theme. I have one small plastic tub labelled "Winged creatures" This is the tub for my birds, dragonflies and anything else I have with - you guessed it - wings!

So I end up with separate labelled tubs for each of: green, purple, red/burgundy, assorted colours, kids' favourites, must use, winged creatures, neutrals: gold, silver, ivory, ribbons for tree, bows.... yes I said I was obsessive about this organization. And every package inside every tub is also labelled. It saves me time!

Thus my disbelief at hubby's suggestion that I nonchalantly tossed my gold and neutral ornaments into some other tub!

I explained to hubby that I was missing a big tub labelled NEUTRALS, another smaller tub labelled WINGED CREATURES and a small tub labelled BOWS FOR TREE. He shrugged his shoulders and went back to watching tv. I asked for the third time if he had pulled all the tubs out from behind the couch. He furrowed his brow and said "I dunno, it was dark in there, maybe I left some at the back that I didn't see"

Sweat is now running from my own brow. I'm exhausted. I've hunted through tubs, in the basement, in our bedroom closet, under the stairs, and in the furnace room for those missing ornaments. I've asked several times if he got all the tubs and been reassured each time "YES" Now I am told "Well, maybe not..."

I bite my tongue. I swallow hard. As pleasantly as I can, I ask him to move the couch and look in the cupboard. I hear a sigh. It's not me. It's coming from hubby who complains that he has already moved the couch twice. I ask him to move it a third time. He says he will do it in the morning.

Morning comes. I remind hubby about the couch. He sighs. He moves the couch with a great deal of complaining. He looks inside the landing cupboard. "Yea there's something way back there" he says. I wait. He looks at me. I continue waiting. He continues looking at me. Finally I say "I'd like to have those tubs" He responds "I can't reach them" I wait. Nothing happens.

I repeat "I'd like to have those tubs" He looks at me and says "How do you expect me to get them?" I fight the urge to scream. "How about crawling in on your belly and reaching them" I suggest. He isn't pleased at my suggestion but he does as I ask, grumbling the entire time. "I'm getting dirty" he says. "There's dust in here" "My sweater is getting covered in sawdust from the reno" I hear cursing and thumping. The dogs run and hide. Hubby is clearly not happy so that makes two of us. Four if we count the dogs.

Finally he pushes out the tubs and rather dramatically begins brushing at his pants and sweater. I listen to more grumbling about how hard he has been working to get this "*#$$%%@@ tree decorated" (his words, not mine).

And there indeed were my missing tubs. I finish the tree and then for the final touch - the gold bows. But they are nowhere to be found! I hunt through every tub even though I know they are in their own small one - clearly labelled BOWS FOR THE TREE. Dare I ask hubby if he has seen them?

I casually mention that I seem to be missing my big gold bows and I need them to finish the tree. He shrugs his shoulders. "Haven't seen 'em" he says "Maybe you tossed them in to another tub last Christmas" ARRGHHH!!

2010 Christmas Tree by Lorine (& Brian?)
And so the tree sits, bow-less. Hubby tells me it looks nice and wasn't it fun decorating it together this year.....

Well, he did put up the lights and the Santa on top......

As hard as it might be to believe - no husbands were harmed in the decorating of the Christmas Tree at our house.


Nora said...

its early in the morning here... but I am laughing sooooo hard !!!!
But whats funny is... I could see my own hubby and I in this situation.... thanks for the smile this morning x x :)

Mary said...

This is too funny...a good morning wake up read! Would you like to come and organize my Christmas stuff? Wait, while you're doing that maybe you could organize my whole house?!?!?!

Carol said...

Your tree is beautiful, you have a lucky husband, a wife with humor, camera, organized beyond belief, storage areas deeper than the Grand Canyon and one who decorates a mean tree!

Merry Christmas.

Genealogy Blogger said...

@Carol - I'm only organized in some areas! I'm chaotic in my clothes, my genealogy and my work. But I do LOVE labelling things!

Genealogy Blogger said...

@Mary - As mentioned to Carol, I'm only organized in things like storage. Oh and my spices and herbs... I label everything. I label what goes on each shelf in the basement extra storage area. I label the tubs on those shelves... if hubby would let me I would label the kitchen cupboards! But my bedroom is a disaster as is my office. However I do love sorting and labelling things... weird, eh? I'd love to sort your xmas stuff, that's FUN to do!

Becky Higgins said...

Loved your post! From what I can see you decorated the tree beautifully even without the bows.
After reading this, I'm thinking I really need to get a labeler. At least you knew what you were missing:)

Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski said...

I need a labeller .... wonderful post! With 38+ Christmas trees with my husband, I can so relate to this! Thanks so much for sharing!

GeneBugGrams said...

I loved reading this. It is hard to believe that your hubby is my cousin and not you as you and I are alike in so many ways. My decorations are also sorted by theme (snowmen/santas/angels/etc.), color (burgandy/gold/green/blue/silver/etc.), and type; labeled and reside most of the year in LABELED storage boxes. I have a large collection of special ornaments that have been gifts from friends over the years. Many are handcrafted, but look professional, and a few are the professional collectors sets. I would be highly distressed if these boxes "went missing" as some of your almost did. Tell hubby/cousin I am glad he wasn't harmed in this years decorating event. :)

Homestead Mommy said...

Oh my I just loved your post, it gave me quite a giggle!
And your tree is beautiful!