Friday, January 13, 2012

It Was All Very Non-Traditional

I'm not sure -- even at this juncture -- if it grew from laziness or a desire to embrace some heritage, but our family left the tree up until Knut Day this year. We did it. Which is to say, we didn't do anything at all. It just sat there taking up all the space in the sitting room (te he he, I just said sitting room). We refused to touch it in the name of Knut. But today is Knut Day and I'm predicting the tree will stay right where it is until Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. But damn it, it better be gone by Abraham Lincoln's birthday.

"Why," you might ask did we leave the tree in its spot for so long. First and foremost, we are procrastinators. In this house, some more so than others, and all equally in denial.

Next, the basement is finally under construction. If I wanted to put the tree away, there is no away for it to rest. This situation is only going to get worse before it gets better.

Lastly, I really have wanted to have a Knut Day celebration of my own for a few years, now.

I'm quite sick of talking about my procrastination. So let's just skip to the basement nonsense, shall we? I cannot even describe to you the disaster this phase of construction has written on the wall. It's all there, time constraints, space constraints, patience constraints. People, this will be a true test of going-through-hell-to-get-what-you-really-want.

Did I mention the unfinished basement is the former home of aforementioned Christmas tree? Oh yes. It's current home is temporary -- though my neighbors will question my grasp of the meaning of "temporary" by the time all this is finished. It's future and mostly permanent home is yet to be determined. This is the main reason I hesitate to disassemble it. Is it better to let an assembled -- though not decorated -- tree stand in your living room; opposed to an undecorated, disassembled heap of tree parts stand in your living room? Yeah, I'm not sure about that. Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.

I'm feeling terribly lost in my current predicament because I had such a strong plan up until 6:30 p.m. today. Until today I was resting easy in the luxury of knowing I was -- on some level -- a little bit Swedish and could tell people I was observing Knut Day this year. (This is also a total misnomer. You don't observe it so much as mark it as the day the season of festivity is over with one last festivity.)

We invited a few friends over for a crafternoon and smorgasbord. It was a delightful plan. Now it has unfurled and I have to have a new plan to get that tree out of the house.

But let's look past my panic and talk about what a hit the photobooth at the Knut Day celebration was. Magic. In the grand scheme of my Pinterest fueled thoughts I thought the crafts would be the big hit. But the photobooth was clearly the one thing that every kid wanted to try out. Well, every kid except Mason and another guest who is a) Mason's age and b) a lot like Mason.

The photobooth was assembled half-heartedly and consisted of a cast-off piece of banana yellow broadcloth thrown in front of the T.V. to create a fearfully unironed backdrop. Then I plucked a few props from our prodigious costume closet and provided the kids with a few guidelines. Pick a prop, pose, and take a picture. Hysterical. I will have a photobooth at my next party. I will have a photobooth at the next classroom party. I will have a photobooth at the next fundraiser. Hell, I'd have a photobooth at a funeral. It is a scream. Enjoy the pictures.

We munched on Swedish meatballs from IKEA, veggies, fruits, lemon cakes, and golden raisins in boxes wrapped to look like Swedish flags. I also filled my Christmas card tree with goldfish bags and notes that proclaimed the holiday season to be o-fish-ally over. I served glogg to the adults. I decorated with undecorated smaller Christmas trees, candles shaped like Christmas trees, and even a miniature battery operated Christmas tree meant to adorn one of those creepy miniature towns (it's amazing what you can find on clearance).

The theme was really less about Swedes (because I don't know or remember much about Swedish traditions) and more about blue and yellow. I had the kids create a goat mask, a foam smores snowman, and a goody bag for the tree plundering. Once all the crafts had been crafted or had an upturned nose presented to them, and the photobooth exhausted, pandemonium broke loose. I actually had to use a whistle to get things back to order. A whistle.

Once I got over the shame of using a whistle in the house I got the kids engaged in a good 'ol fashioned game of who can do the most push ups. Then we had a pretty good face off for the most sit ups. Then, and only then, did I encourage them to plunder the tree of its gingerbread cookie ornaments and bags of popcorn.

Here's a short list of the things I was determined to do, but did not:
1. Take a picture of all the Swedish flag adorned raisin boxes.
2. Take a picture of the smorgasbord.
3. Take a picture of the Christmas tree with its edible ornaments.
4. Take a group picture of all the kids.
5. Dress like a scary goat and perform mischievous acts.


Christmas has come to an end,
And the tree must go.
But next year once again
We shall see our dear old friend,
For he has promised us so.


Connie said...

Don't worry about your tree being up and undecorated . . . you can make hearts for Valentine's Day, Shamrocks for St. Patty's day and the list goes on with each new holiday! Just enjoy it until your new basement is finished and you can tuck it away

Angenette said...

What a fun tradition! I'm part swedish, too!

Glenda said...

I think any excuse for a party, eve old Knut, whoever that is, is a great thing. The kids must have had a wonderful time!

laurel said...

Looks like fun.

I just read a book called the Elegance of the Hedgehog. I think you would like it. It is not what you would expect me to read. You could try it.

Ryan and Andrea said...

A photobooth is such a cool idea! Looks like you had fun. No wonder you are so busy!!