I love Christmas.
In our house growing up Mom always had the house decorated to the nines. The holiday countdown would begin in early December with advent calendar opening, tree trimming, and a host of other merry goings-on. I'd spend the entire month in an excited frenzy singing carols under my breath at school and shaking presents under the tree in an attempt to discern their contents. It was, you might say, the most wonderful time of the year.
As an adult and a mother I was determined to make Christmas an equally exciting and meaningful time for my own children. I longed to give my own offspring the same gift my parents gave to me by introducing them to the magic of the season.
The problem, of course being that MY CHILDREN ARE BENT ON DESTROYING ANYTHING NICE INCLUDING CHRISTMAS AT ALL COSTS!!!
Allow me to present you with a brief tour of my Christmas Wonderland themed home:
A few Saturdays ago we put up our Christmas tree. We lovingly decorated it with ornaments, many of them treasured keepsakes from our childhood homes.
Approximately six minutes later the children set about on their epic campaign of devastation.
The ornament below was one of the first to go. During its brief life upon our noble tannenbaum it had whimsical arms that bounced jauntily.
Then this happened...
The poor guy's face kind of sums up his brief experience in our home.
WHY??? Why did you have to let the two-year-old get me!!!!!!!
The boys quickly moved on to the delightful hobby horse that has been in my husband's family since the early seventies.
My older son exclaimed, "A bridge!!!" before he snapped the bottom off and began using it as a jump for his matchbox cars. His brother took this as his cue to begin snapping the horses legs off.
Now it waits in a long line of limbless and massacred ornaments waiting patiently for a date with my hot glue gun.
No such luck for my Christmas Santa mug (not pictured) which my younger son removed from the dining table one afternoon and threw onto the ground without warning. When I asked him what could have possibly inspired him to do such a thing he responded jauntily:
"I wanted to broked the Santa!"
The delightful novelties that had once decorated each surface of my home were disappearing at an alarming rate.
I used to be a Santa themed candle snuffer.
Then I was used as a sword and broken over the head of an unsuspecting baby.
The advent calendar has been another bone of holiday contention. Meant to be a day-by-day representation of the coming of the Lord, in our house the ritual has become less than reverent.
Do you remember the part of the Christmas story where
the angels dive-bomb the wise men? I didn't think so.
At this point I've pretty much given up. I've put scores of decorative tchotchkes back in storage and I've moved all the ornaments to the uppermost branches of the tree.
Bottom of tree with bare branches.
Dozens of ornaments crammed in unsightly manner on uppermost branches.
But even these measures haven't helped. Yesterday the kids seemed to have tired of wrecking Christmas in favor of playing several rousing rounds of "lock each other in the closet" in my bedroom. I used the downtime to rearrange some of the displaced decor and felt a moment's peace in my Christmas-tastic home.
When the sounds of inter-sibling closet-based fun quieted down I became concerned and went in to check on the boys. I opened the door to discover that the kids had moved on to the "tear the sheets on Mom and Dad's bed to pieces" game.
Unfamiliar with the game? It involves ripping our bedsheets to shreds while laughing hysterically.
At least I know their destruction is not personal to Christmas. It's a year-round urge. Perhaps we can consider this the good news and the bad news....