Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Holiday distraction

I’m not quite sure when my husband and I started the tradition of putting our Christmas tree up on Thanksgiving, but it’s become the annual kickoff date for holiday decorating. What started as one small tree has grown over the years to two trees – one of them a towering eight feet – and a variety of ceramic, glittery, inflatable and illuminated decorations inside and out. We’ve accumulated so much Christmas stuff from post-holiday sales every year that our acquisitions literally line an entire wall – top to bottom – of our shed.

As we hauled box after box inside after Ladybug had gone to bed Thanksgiving Day, an out-of-place container accidentally found its way into the pile. It was packed with close to two dozen stuffed animals that I can’t bring myself to part with. I put the box on the side to take back to the shed the next morning, but as I pondered how we were going to keep Ladybug from pulling the ornaments and garland off the tree I had an idea: Distraction.

I figured if she had enough other stuff around the trees to distract her, she wouldn’t be so interested in what was hanging on the trees. So I propped stuffed animals under the branches, tucked a couple empty wrapped boxes beside them, and scattered the glitter-covered pinecones Ladybug made in between. Then I lined the back of the sofa with all the remaining stuffed animals.

When Ladybug saw the tree for the first time the next morning, she examined it with scientific curiosity, peeking behind it, trying to determine where the lights connected and how the balls hung seemingly without attachment. And then she spotted the stuffed animals – the “babies” as she calls them. It looked like my plan of distraction might just work.

Here it is almost a week later, and so far we’re down only two ornaments. The garland on the lower branches is a little disheveled from all the activity under the tree. The ceramic animal ornaments prove to be too much of a temptation for Ladybug at times, and the glimmering bells beg to be touched. But overall, we might make it through Christmas with the trees intact.


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