I don't think there is there anything more controversial in our house than the annual trimming of the Christmas tree. After six years of marriage, we almost have it all worked out, but decorating the tree without at least a little tension would be like forgetting to put the star on top. We can remodel a house together, agree on cabinets or new tile, travel together for two weeks straight without fighting, but give us a Christmas tree and all hell breaks loose.
When you think about it, there's plenty to cause strife: different traditions, sentimentality, a complete lack of sentimentality, bossiness, bullheadedness and tree ettiquette. Just in case your tree trimming is a smooth, peaceful affair and you have no idea what I am talking about, I'll give you a few examples. Maybe this year you can even have a few fights of your own!
Do we hang every last ornament or do we stop when the tree gets full? Is it allowable to move an ornament someone has already placed in a really stupid spot? Should we spend 30 minutes pruning some branches to make the tree more shapely or does that make the ends of the branches look unnatural and icky? Do we keep working till both parties are finished, or is one person allowed to go do whatever they want once they personally think the tree is done? Do we have to listen to christmas music, or can we stick in some Radiohead?
It should be even more jolly fun once Saben is old enough to get in on the action. Secretly, we are both grooming him to take our side. I show him how to gingerly hang each ornament in the perfect spot, giving him the oral history of each one, while Kyle demonstrates how funny it is to hurl the ornaments at the tree hoping they stick in the branches. "See mommy's face turning red! Let's do it again!"
Actually, I am happy to say that I am getting quite good at ignoring (maybe enjoying?) these shennanigans, but we always find at least one new thing to fret about each year and Christmas wouldn't be the same without it.