The perfect tree is not going to happen at our place

December 7, 2013 8:12 PM

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IT'S almost time to do one of my most favourite things of the year - get the Christmas tree out and put it up.

Well actually, we should have done it last weekend but we haven't worked out where it's going to go for its first Christmas in the new house.

And given past logistical nightmares with trees, believe me we need to work out where it's going well before it goes up.

In one house we lived in, we put it together not in its final location. Let's just say that Modern Dad carrying a Christmas tree and a moving ceiling fan were not a good combination.

The end result was a bleeding and slightly concussed Modern Dad and a tree that resembled the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Over the years though, I've come to realise that my tree is not like other trees.

It's not a pretty tree with a colour scheme and evenly spaced baubles. It doesn't even always look the same from day to day.

I've often said that my tree looks a bit like we just picked up the box of decorations and threw it at the tree to see what stuck.

There are Star Wars and Dora decorations, a random Tinkerbell here and there, 17 different coloured baubles, and my favourites - the home-made decorations.

I have paper stars from when the Child Genius was little, bells made out of washing powder scoops from long ago playgroups, others made out of paddle pop sticks, and, of course, a collection of paper chains.

There's no rhyme or reason to my tree, the kids get the box out and go for it.

It's their creation; sometimes they'll refine their artwork a few thousand times over the course of December.

Some days Darth Vader goes for a bit of a wander. Some days all the tinsel is on one side of the tree and all the baubles are on the other.

Some days all the baubles are on the floor. Trust me, Better Homes and Gardens will not be knocking on my door for a Christmas special any time soon.

In those moments when my tree looks particularly artistic, I sometimes look at my friends' trees photographed for everyone to see in all their Facebook and Pinterest glory.

And I do sometimes yearningly wonder what it would be like to have a tree that looks like the one in the shops rather one that looks like it was decorated by a group of rabid monkeys.

That, together with the memories and conversations that come from digging through the box, is worth more to me than any pretty tree.

I love my tree, in all its wonky mismatched glory. Because our tree is the story of us as a family.

We're a bit wonky and mismatched ourselves, but like our tree, somehow it works.

Every year, I think I'm going to be much more organised this year, I'll get it all done early.

And every year I get to the middle of December and hit absolute panic stations.

Modern Dad refuses to go to a shopping centre after December 1, which is helpful.

I have promised myself that I will get armed with a list this year of exactly what I need to get rather than running in in a blind panic and coming home with three rubber chickens in some feeble attempt to make sure the kids all have an even number of gifts.

We've decided on a very low-key Christmas this year, as we're saving for a holiday, so that should hopefully stop me getting too carried away.

I don't know why I do it to myself, but this is very definitely, most certainly the last year I am leaving my Christmas shopping till the last minute.


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