Monday, November 26, 2012

control freak

We got our Christmas tree yesterday-- yaaay! 

Here's what I discovered about myself as a result of yesterday's Operation: Get Tree and Decorate the House: I am a control freak. Maybe about everything. Definitely about Christmas decorating.

 My apologies to the innocent bystanders who fell victim to my controlling ways: Husband. Housemates. Innocent Five-Year-Old Who Just Really Wanted to Help.

Apparently Matt's figured this out over the past few years. He's even developed coping strategies! His technique for dealing with me? Lay low; do what you're asked; take no initiative. Apparently I don't respond well to other people's initiatives. 

Maybe because they're doing it wrong?

Even though this is totally blurry, I like how the lights look. Ha.
And then I complain because my arms hurt from doing ALL the lights and beads by myself. But then if someone tries to help, I snatch it back away because...yup, they're not quite doing it exactly right... 

But the great thing is, even though I'm evidently a huge witchy jerkface about the whole thing, my darling husband hasn't quit on me yet. He stuck by my side, bringing chairs to and from the dining room at least 80 times, fetching various tools from the garage, and telling me "yep, it looks great!" every time I needed reassurance that things were looking okay. And acquiescing when I asked him to take a picture of me decorating. Which upon later inspection, I realized looks like a very lonely picture-- me decorating a tree by myself. But at least it's accurate, right? Ha. And I wasn't lonely-- there were lots of people near me. Singing along to the Christmas music. Happily sharing Christmas memories.

Just not interfering with the actual decorating. I'm not much good at sharing that.

And it makes me a little sad!!-- this lack of ability to share the Christmas decorating. Because I have great visions of the whole family-- you know, me, Matt, the millions of kids-- decorating together...putting ornaments on the tree, tchotchkes on the mantel as we sip hot chocolate and listen to Mariah Carey's Christmas album...but then I start feeling panicky as I picture all the ornaments unevenly dispersed on the tree; the beads or tinsel not draping just-so; my grandmother's nativity set being dropped; my hand-crafted ornaments breaking. And I realize I'll probably be the jerk mom who decorates the house while the kids are at school. Or makes the kids sit on the couch and TOUCH NOTHING!!! while she does all the work in front of them.


Anyway. Just goes to show you're never too old for some new self-realization, right? Maybe next year I'll work on loosening up a bit. 


And maybe someday soon I'll take pictures of the finished tree and rest of the decorations! I'm just feeling too lazy right now. There are a lot of similarities to last year's decor, but I changed a few things up here and there. Ya know. Gotta keep things fresh, right?

Anyways. Anyone else a control-freak decorator? Is this something I should try to work on, or is it just a personality quirk I (and everyone else) should just embrace? Help a sister out...


  1. I'm shamefully raising my hand as a Christmas tree decorating control freak. I think J and I managed to decorate one apartment-sized tree together when we were dating. Now he leaves the house. For the whole day. Oops!

  2. I feel ya! Sam gets to help decorate the tree; my weakness is the pretty factor. I HATE ugly ornaments. Sentimental value has zero pool with me. If we are ever lucky enough to have a kid, I will have to have a separate tree for all the ornaments they make. I'll love my kid like crazy, but there's no way the popsicle stick snowflakes are going on my tree. I'm awful I know!

  3. Oops that was really Lisa, not Ben :)

  4. I am for sure a control freak, but thankfully not so much when it comes to decorating the Christmas tree! I would MUCH rather have Wade do some of the manual labor (ie: all of the lights, because I hate stringing lights) and save me the trouble! I love Christmas and I love Christmas decorations, but I am realizing more and more each year that setting them up and taking them down is a pain in the butt when you are the only one in charge!

  5. Maybe you will be the mom that decorates the tree with the family and then redecorates it when they are at school. That's what my mom did for years.

    I think I will always do the mantle type decorations, but I share the tree with my husband. He says I force him to help. Whatever.

  6. You have several options for the future: do the lights and such yourself but work on relaxing when it comes to ornaments; let people "help" you and then re-do it while they're in bed (my mom used this technique for years); have separate trees - the fancy tree that no one is allowed to touch, and the kid/messy tree that you expect to be un-pretty (and maybe put it in a room where you don't have to see it very often).

    We are already doing the 2-tree thing, although I still include some sentimental ornaments on the main tree since the other one is so small. H is only allowed to touch the little one.

  7. Ditto to Allison's comment (as usual), except we are geniuses and have a pre-lit tree so the lights are already evenly distributed! We do have a system, though, where Brian pulls out the ornaments and hands them to me to hang, because clearly I am the best judge of where to put them all!

  8. I just go back and redo everything. For now, Adoration doesn't know the difference. It's a Win-win.

  9. Same here, Kristina! We just decorated ours tonight but I have yet to go back and re-decorate. It kind of looks cute with all the ornaments on the bottom haha!

  10. You are not alone! One year, my mom let me and my brother decorate. Pretty sure it was her worst decision ever, hence she brings it up a lot.

    Check out this tute:

    We got some super cute pictures of Hartley with the tree light "bokeh" that you like. :)

  11. Erika, my mom never allowed us to help with the tree either. And this year my sister and I volunteered to help my grandmother with her Christmas tree only to realize neither of us knew how to put lights on a tree (mine at home is pre-lit and my mom never let us help put lights on the one when I was at home). Therefore, I beg of you, don't make your children useless like my sister and I. We had to call my dad to come rescue us and put the lights on the tree. hahaha

  12. -embrace-
    Some decoration are cringe worthy . . . I wish it wasn't so but . . . it is.
    If need be get two trees. The Christmas tree and the small sentimental one.
    You have a good husband, he understands.

  13. totally there with you. i am a control freak of the highest degree when it comes to christmas decorating. if i had known, we would have left the house to go drink hot chocolate somewhere, and spare you the hassle of a five year old who wants to help with EVERYTHING.

  14. I've never actually decorated a Christmas tree on my own (gasp!) because I/we have always been at my parents. This year they are coming here and oh! The Pressure! And Dave is Jewish so not AT ALL helpful since he has no decorating experience whatsoever. Ahhhhh!!!

    So I will have to let you know what I am once the tree decorating is done. But it will be a few weeks yet since we will have a live tree and so don't want to get it too early.

    (My guess is that I will be a super control freak though because I am about everything else when it comes to house decorating! And dressing the kids. And housecleaning. And... Hmmm, no wonder I'm so tired all the time. Self-realization sucks.)

  15. Yep. It's all me in our house. Ryan tries to help, bless him, but I just kind of smile and nod--and go "fix" whatever he's done later.

  16. I think I am you. I just didn't know it! Michael gets all the stuff from the shed but he totally sits in the chair and stays out of the way after that!! My girls are old enough to want to help this year... so I bought them little 2 foot trees and minature ornaments for their room... and they do those all by themselves. They did want to help with the big tree so they get "their" ornaments to hang and to sweeten the deal so they aren't all on the bottom we let them climb the step stool with daddy's help!

    and, I mean, I might come by and do some tweaking when I'm inspired! :)

  17. You could always teach your kids how to decorate the tree evenly. :) Some of my fondest Christmas memories are putting on Bing Crosby's Christmas Album, drinking hot chocolate, and our whole family decorating the tree. We each put on our own ornaments.

  18. Next year you should go out and chop down your own tree if you can. Everyone should get a chance to experience that, even if its just once. No pine trees, a cedar tree will do just fine.


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