Death to the Christmas Tree

When it comes to getting the kids ready for the start of the new school year tomorrow, I only had one goal.

That was to get rid of the Christmas tree.

Anything else would be a bonus. I could send the kids to school in their pyjamas or even without any lunch. The school would sort that out…particularly when Mum is having chemo. However, no one else could save us from the dreaded Christmas Tree Curse. Only we could save ourselves!

No doubt you’ve heard about the Christmas Tree Curse, although if you are anything like me at all, you can’t remember how many days after Christmas you are supposed to pull your Christmas tree down either. That’s right. There’s a particular day you’re supposed to pull your Christmas tree down or you’ll have a bad year or experience what I have coined “The Christmas Tree Curse.”

Now, I’m not superstitious or anything silly like that but when your luck has been down, turned around and is currently behaving its self, are you prepared to take a chance? That Christmas tree might have looked all sweetness and light at Christmas time all decked out with baby Jesus, Santas, stars, angels, tinsel and flashing lights but all that might well change if you don’t watch out. That innocent looking Christmas tree  could well be out to get you!

However, the Christmas tree curse wasn’t why I was rushing to get my Christmas tree down before school goes back. Well, considering it’s almost February, you’d be right in thinking that I haven’t been rushing to get our Christmas tree down at all. Indeed, it is now more than a month after Christmas and at the rate I’m going, perhaps I should just leave the tree up for next Christmas. I’m sure Santa and his elves along with many kids are already counting down. However, our Christmas tree won’t be hanging around. We have a real tree each year and while it’s always been technically dead, now that it’s turned brown and the needles are crunchy, its more than official.

We’ve been away and as Geoff not so subtly pointed out, you can’t take your Christmas tree down if you’re not home.

That’s very true but we still need to be ready for the new school year…organised!

The start of the new school year is just like the start of the year itself although instead of being called “resolutions”, these good intentions are set in a bit more concrete and are actually called goals. This makes them feel much more real almost like places on a map than castles in the air.

This year, I’m particularly keen to start off on something of a high note because I know it’s a rapid slippery slide down hill. Instead of falling srig and perhaps if you start further up the hill this year, you might not end up face down in the mud at the very bottom of the hill by the end of term. Knowing that I’ll be having chemo fortnightly throughout first term, I’ve actually felt more motivated to get my act together and perhaps be anally organised just to have a hope of getting my kids to and from school on time and their basic homework done. I’m not talking about becoming a Supermum or anything that radical. I’m just looking for a pass…your standard C.

That leaves me with one rather desiccated Christmas tree to get down.  Those decorations need to be packed up and Christmas needs to go to bed. Good night.

However, I’m not sure if I can get the Christmas tree down or should get it down. Ever since the kids were babies, we have elevated our Christmas tree and set it up on top of our combustion heater about a metre above the floor. At this point, I’ll just remind you that I have muscle weakness, poor coordination and I am currently on chemo. This is not the sort of body that’s in any fit state to go climbing Christmas trees. I need to keep my dodgy feet on terra firma. Behave myself. Look after number 1 and apparently that means me. I don’t know if you have ever read any of the Hairy McLairy Series of books but there is a delightful Christmas book where Slinky Malinky the svelte black cat climbs up the Christmas tree. Well, you can be sure that I am no Slinky Malinky. I am Mummy McClunky who goes bang and bumpy. I trip over the smallest crack in the footpath with sometimes disastrous consequences. I shouldn’t even be thinking about climbing up that Christmas tree but I want that tree gone and I want this family organised for the new school year whatever it takes. I mean whatever it takes!

That means getting rid of that tree this very instant!

Now, it’s time to put my thinking cap on top of my battling chemo brain. Can I find a way?

Is there some way, I could get that tree down without climbing anything? I have two more than capable assistants. So as much as maybe we should wait for Geoff to get home, you always knew we were going tackle this tree and get it down and out. I must admit that it’s this cavalier type of thinking that keeps Geoff very busy sorting our Rowie-made disasters! There’s always some small detail which I manage to overlook. However, it’s usually not such a small detail after all. More like a huge gaping hole and I’ve inflicted major damage as a result.

I am off to survey the damage now. Plan our attack. It’s going to be a bit like felling a tree inside our house…timber! I can see that tree falling down….falling down with our violin angel still sitting at the top and I have to make sure she comes down safely. Doesn’t break. She’s very, very precious. Need to do this carefully and think like Geoff instead of my usual impetuous self. Plan ahead, look out for the risks.

Perhaps, I should’ve checked the tree out before I went all psycho and catastrophosed the whole thing. Now, that I’ve assessed the tree, the jolly thing has shrunk considerably. I don’t need to climb anything. I can just reach out and snip the string and grab the tree. Way too easy peasy for a chronic catastrophiser like myself.

So once again, I have managed to inflate a surmountable problem into a huge inflatable monster. You know like one of those advertising inflatables which you see on top of car yards and the like. They’re so big that you can see them a suburb away. Well, I’ve done that again and I’ve gone through this whole drama about how I can’t do things because of my muscles disease and that I shouldn’t take the risk of climbing up the tree when I didn’t need to climb anything at all. I could handle the situation without all that need for drama and self-doubt. I could do it.

What I do need to do is beat myself up with a stick because I can do it. I really can do it and I’m going to get rid of that tree right now as soon as I’ve photographed it for posterity….the biggest Christmas tree in history.

Several hours later, I think we’re all ready for school. The kids made pizza again for dinner tonight and their skills are improving and I just need to stop myself from taking over. I’ve even made them some somewhat healthy biscuits for morning tea and they’re taking left over pizza for lunch. We’ve had no luck betting them to eat their sandwiches so hopefully this will work.

Anyway, what I really needed tonight was what always eludes me…an early night!!

Goodnight.

Xx Ro

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