Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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The Sexy Tree (aka I Hate Decorating For Christmas)

I freaking hate decorating for Christmas.

Oops, my bah humbug is showing. **adjusts skirt** I meant to say, "Hooray, the Non-Denominational General Unnamed Winter Holiday Season is here!"
The fragrant aromas of gingerbread and pine needles dance on the crisp air.
Cozy scenes of family togetherness glow through frosty window panes.
Children throw snowballs, then warm their rosy cheeks by sipping hot chocolate from over-sized mugs grasped eagerly in their mittened hands.
And let's not forget the porches and lawns and rooftops, all resplendent in shining, twinkling, flashing, spinning, sometimes inflatable displays of an ominously cheerful Santa Claus looming over neon nativity scenes while Frosty the Snowman rides a mechanical bull wrapped in tinsel.


Don't get me wrong, it's not the garish displays that bother me. I anticipate these borderline schizophrenic lawn-splosions each year with a kind of secret giddiness usually reserved for new episodes of Hoarding: Buried Alive.  I fully encourage other people to decorate until every outlet in their home has at least twenty extension cords snaking out of it, like a serpentine beast threatening to crush their house in a multicolor, blinking, Hark, The Herald Rudolphs Sing electric holiday embrace.

Notice I said "other people."

Even putting up the tree is, in my book, way too much effort, and we all know how I feel about effort. But my husband loves the tree. Which makes things much, much worse, and is one of the many reasons I think I hate decorating for the holidays more than most normal people. Here's why.

Long after the holidays are behind us, after we've rung in the new year and traded our weight-loss resolutions for elastic-waist pants, he still wants to leave the tree up. He loves it. He says he likes the quality of warm light the tree gives off in the evening, but I suspect the issue is at least partly that he hates Phase 2 of holiday decorating as much as I do: repacking everything and lugging it back to the basement.

As if setting it up in the first place wasn't enough hassle.

That's why the tree was still blazing forth in its full glory by mid-February last year (hey, I'm not proud of this, people). I was trying to make the best of it (and perhaps make a subtle point at the same time), so while he was at work I turned it into a Valentine's Day Tree.

I kept only red and silver ornaments, and added paper hearts all over the tree bearing sweet, Valentiney messages such as, "You make me happy," and "I love you more than chocolate."
I'll pause here while you throw up in your mouth a little.
It made good use of the tree, and he appreciated the romantic gesture, especially since I didn't get him a gift.

You know you don't have a lot of friends
when you can block the front door with
the Christmas tree and leave it there
for three months.
After we celebrated Valentine's Day, I took down all the paper hearts and stripped the tree of the remaining ornaments, hoping its plain, drab ugliness would inspire a trip down the basement stairs. Unfortunately, the lights are built in, so I couldn't remove the main feature that my husband liked about the stupid thing.

Curse you, prewired trees and your blasted convenience!

Eventually my mom came over and helped me wrestle it to the ground. I was, as you might expect, grumbling about the Great Annual Holiday Injustice of constructing a tree and  dismantling it just so that my kids' Christmas gifts could sit in the shade.

As I was deciding which ornaments needed to be wrapped carefully in tissue and which ones I kind of hoped would break in storage, my mom came in the room.

"I don't think you need to save this and use it next year, do you?" she questioned, holding out something she'd pulled from the hidden depths of the tree near its aluminum trunk.

Oh good, my mother found a sexytime note in my Christmas tree.

As if I needed another reason to freaking hate  decorating for Christmas.

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TNMom said...

WOW! Another way we are just alike!! I hate decorating for Christmas, hate hate hate! I hate taking it down even more! But I can't wait - that present shade tree gets on my nerves, this is gonna sound harsh but we take it all down Christmas DAY! It's the way we did it when I was a kid and we have always done it this way in my home, so it doesn't seem psycho. It is all they know. 2 weeks of a tree in my home is all I can take, seriously!
Your V Day tree looked cute! You could have done a different theme each month! ::shudders::
Oh, Merry Christmas! :) Devan

Unknown said...

I don't think there is anything that could make me a bigger fan of you than knowing you have a sexy tree parked in front of your front door through February. Perfect, Robyn!

yourfriendrobin said...

I have definitely left the tree up until the weekend before Valentines Day before. It's the downside to an artificial tree.... if it was real it would be dry and needle-droppy and a fire hazard. When it's real like that, it's so easy to leave it up. Valentine's tree.... Easter tree.... Fourth of July tree.... it just keeps going.

Vanessa said...

Love the idea of turning it into a Valentines tree. My mom used to watch my kids during Christmas vacation and usually took it down for me. Even now that sucker is out of here before New Years.

Unknown said...

I love everything about this post. I strongly suspect we may have a sexy Valentine's Day tree up in here come February.

The Third Partier said...

Don't think I didn't suggest the theme-a-month thing. It was shot down quicker than you can say "In-tree-pendence Day."

Or "Fir-th of July." :/

The Third Partier said...

That tree is a royal pain in the buns to put up/take down. But you making it into a Valentine Tree did not help your cause. It was super sexy, sweet, and charming rolled into one, and if the tree hadn't still been up I would never have gotten that experience.

Also, you would've had to come up with a different post today. Just sayin'. ;)

LA Botchar said...

darn it stupid real scotch pine that I formerly loved until presented with the idea of a sexy Valentine's tree.

the tree is my favourite part. I'll drag boxes from storage across town just to have it. I even drag my family out into the wilderness to chop one down ourselves. I take better care of my tree, with daily wateringS - better than my own child.

help me.

Kimberly said...

Why don't you buy a real tree and watch it shrivel and die. That way you're forced to haul it outside to die a little bit more until you can haul it to the side of the road...which would be too late for pick up.
Then you can reuse it as a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
I'm a god damned genius.

RobynHTV said...


Okay, it was pretty funny. ;)

Devan, we always had to have our tree down quickly, too, because my brother's birthday came so soon after Christmas. Unfortunately, that restriction no longer applies... unless I invite my brother to come live with us...

RobynHTV said...

That way, if anyone DOES manage to get in the house, they immediately want to flee in horror. #IHateGuests

RobynHTV said...

It suuuuuure does. I might start plucking our artificial needles, if I thought it would help. ;)

RobynHTV said...

Can I come and live with you?

RobynHTV said...

It does add a certain amount of Valentine-y flair to the house that would otherwise require MORE DECORATIONS. ;)

RobynHTV said...

Too true! Maybe we should leave all the birthday decorations up that're currently all over the house - then I'll write about it in a year. ;)

RobynHTV said...

Hahahaha! That sounds so festive - I wish I could get into it, but I'm such a scrooge. I do enjoy the tree once it's up - just maybe not until June. I would love to see my fam trudging through the wilderness in the snow, though - that's entertainment, right there. :)

RobynHTV said...

You seriously are! That has all my favorite Christmas themes - Charlie Brown-style recycling, shriveling, and death. ;)

Jackie said...

I feel the same way about hauling up all the holiday crap and having to haul it all back down after the it's all said and done. If I didn't have kids I wouldn't decorate at all!

Shannon said...

I tried leaving our tree in front of the patio door but the funny thing about teenagers is that they really don't see anything, seriously, it's like they're vision impaired, and they just blundered into it so often I made them help pack it up...your sexy tree was so dorktastic and sweet, you almost made me have feelings ;)

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

The simple solution here is to change every holiday so that it is celebrated with a tree. That way you can leave it up year around and all you have to do is swap out the ornaments. My work here is done.

Vanessa said...

Before you do that - I didn't mention how long it sits on the deck looking pitiful and abandoned before I drag it to the road for garbage pick up.

RobynHTV said...

Me either - so maybe the key is getting rid of the kids!?!

Kidding, obviously (in case CPS is reading this).

RobynHTV said...

Then maybe we should all live at my house - it would blend right in with my yard.

RobynHTV said...

Dorktastic = my new favorite word. :)

RobynHTV said...

If we could get everyone everywhere on board, and we could agree that the tree would be no more than 6" tall instead of so big it takes up half my living room, then count me in!

CelloMom said...

My first Christmas with CelloDad (before cellos and parenthood were in our lives), we got this little tree in his apartment. We adored that tree. Decorated it with home-made ornaments. Admired it (allright: got busy with school) until June, when we woke up and realised it really had to go. It thanked us for the extended hospitality by shedding every last one of its sharp needles on the carpeted stairs.

RobynHTV said...

After all you did for it??? What an ungrateful jerk. If I let somebody crash in my living room for several months until I finally had to drag them down the stairs to get them to leave, the last thing I'd expect is for them to repay me with foot pain. ;)

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