Husband was working, so the kids and I had some plans for the day.
1. Do School (mostly, this was my plan)
2. Clean House for Jules (mostly my plan too)
3. Decorate House for Christmas (kids were on board with this one)
We packed in math and vocab and spelling and literature while I ran around moving furniture and cleaning behind the television and big comfy chair (perhaps the first time in a year). No judgments, please. This is not a blog about cleaning.
Anyhoo, after I found 30 odd socks and 45 pencils--but no money, sad face--I was ready to enlist the troops to carry up the Christmas stuff from the basement. This is where having a bunch of kids is REALLY useful. Man oh man, do those kids work fast! Nate, the eldest, is like one of those Egyptian taskmasters (think Ten Commandments where Moses and company are slaving away and the powerful Egyptian guy is lording over them with a whip). I exaggerate slightly. We don't own whips. However, he is highly motivated and keeps everyone else on task. I literally made cookies while they carried up the various parts of our artificial tree and the boxes of lights and ornaments.
Then, they proceeded to put the ENTIRE TREE TOGETHER in 20 minutes. Without assistance. I helped when it came time for lights, but after that, the children decorated the tree in another 20 minutes. It was the fastest tree decorating I've ever witnessed.
A brief note about the tree. We DO use an artificial tree, and I've never had a real one. I grew up with fake trees, so I think it is in my comfort zone. I know many people are passionate about real trees, but I don't know any better. Plus, I admit, I admire the perfect conical shape of the artificial tree. The real trees I've seen in others' homes are always weird shaped and scrawny--which I guess is "natural" --but I like neat cones. And I don't want to go out in the cold and search for a tree. So, that makes me either a perfectionist or really lazy. You decide.
We did have one Christmas mishap. Gabe (2) reached up and pulled at a stocking hanging on the mantle and the heavy ceramic holder beaned him on the head. There was some blood and a bump-- and an ice pack with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to soothe him. No lasting damage.
I still have a bunch left to clean, but I know that my mom and Jules won't really care. Especially because it is only ever clean for that 15 seconds when I greet them at the door. Then the 10 cousins will be together, having a raucous old time.
Good luck with your Christmas decorating, everyone! And if any of you need assistance, I will lease my kids out for a minimal fee. And by that I mean I will pay YOU. Just kidding, children!!
Easy Rule #1073: The more the merrier, and the lighter the load!