Sunday, November 30, 2008

Miss Christmas 2008

Nutmeg is Christmas crazy. So far, in a good way, but we'll see how it wears over the next four weeks.

One thing I love about my 4-year-old is that she does not focus on the goods in her holiday mania. She does not obsess about the candy on Halloween, nor show much interest in it once she has it (to wit, she's completely forgotten about the bag of her candy sitting on top of the fridge, long since robbed of its Reese's and KitKat's by the long arm of the parents). And she hasn't been prattling on and on about the presents she's going to get come Christmas.

Instead, she's really into decorating and listening to Christmas carols. We had a tentative plan to get a Christmas tree this weekend, preferably a potted one that could later be planted outdoors. I did a little reading online and found out that the potted tree is probably not going to happen because you are only supposed to keep one indoors for 7 to 10 days. Otherwise, the warm environment will stimulate the tree to bud, and then you've got to either keep it inside all winter or risk its untimely death when it's put outside.

Also, I read that you should really not keep a cut tree in your house for longer than four weeks. Since we like to keep ours up until New Year's, a good 5 weeks from this weekend, we decided to hold off. Instead, yesterday we loaded up a big queue of version after version of "Deck the Halls" on and put out our modest collection of non-tree-related ornaments. Epu hung the outdoor snowflake lights. And a light-up garland for the bannister, and the Christmas stockings.

Nutmeg enjoyed this but wasn't satisfied. She obviously thought long and hard about it even as she slept, because this morning she had a suggestion for us.

"Mom," she said, "we should buy a fake tree."

I expressed shock and dismay at this idea. I love live trees -- the smell, the tradition, the feeling that we have not joined the masses in sacrificing authenticity for convenience.

"But," Nutmeg pressed, "if we got a fake tree, we could put it up TODAY."

Later I confronted Epu, suspicious that he had planted the notion in her head. He denied it. But then he started to warm to the idea, thinking about the money to be saved over the years and the lack of needle cleanup.

So far, I have not given in. Fortunately, Nutmeg's thoughts turned to other Christmassy things, like making paper snowflakes and like the gingerbread house she tore out of a catalog because she wants us to make one just like it. That, I can work on.

But not until next week or so. This week, I have to bake EIGHT DOZEN cookies for the preschool holiday fundraiser. Actually, it won't be so much baking as goo-wrangling, since we're planning to make star-shaped, dipped and jimmied Rice Krispies Treats. Well, I plan to make as many of those as I can -- I don't think I'll make it all the way to 96 of them, so I'll probably have to whip up an auxilliary batch of those peanut butter cookies with the Hershey's kisses. Which wouldn't exactly fit the committee's demand for "pretty, decorated" cookies, but if my other treats look extra fancy, maybe they'll have mercy.


True Mama said...

I haven't really researched this, since I love live trees, too, but I've heard that fake trees have lead in them. Something to look into if Epu and Nutmeg start pushing the issue. ;)

margaret said...

If those cookies aren't up to the committee's standards, just send 'em over here and we'll take the bullet.

BTW, some environmentalists argue the fake tree (lead-free, presumably) is the greenest way to go.

Anonymous said...

Don't give in to the fake tree!