Operation Christmas (with Cats) – It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time…

It’s been a busy week. I’m juggling a job, a show, a family (though to their credit they are all self-sufficient), dogs, cats, and a parrot who have let me know today is theirs and as far as they are concerned, I am not allowed to leave the house.

Which is fine with me. I have been out of the house for 4 work days, 3 rehearsal nights, plus another night of prayer service plus Christmas choir rehearsal at the church. I am ready to be home.

So I looked at my horribly neglected to-do list and thought “There has to be a way to make it feel less daunting and yet still get something done. I know! Let’s decorate the big Christmas tree! That’ll be fun!”

Step 1 – Find the tree. I knew it was in the garage. Our garage is roughly the size of Texas. Last year I didn’t even try. I pulled out the little tree and called it done. This year I could at least spot the tree box on the far side of the garage. That gave me hope.

Step 2 – Retrieve the tree. The good news is, in opening up a walkway (sort of) I unearthed boxes of decorations I had forgotten we had, a box of some of my favorite ornaments I thought had gone to live with Santa, Christmas stockings, and enough wrapping paper to wrap the world. Twice.

Step 3 – Realize that in reorganizing the Christmas corner, the tree and I are now boxed in. On all sides.

Step 4 – Flashback to Air Force basic training – all that training in scaling walls and rapelling down the other side came in handy as the tree and I made our escape from our Christmas prison. Trust me, it was easier than reorganizing all those boxes again.

Step 5 – Unpack the tree. This entailed spreading all 8,957 branches – shedding branches – all over my freshly swept and mopped floor. The tree stand was on the bottom. More accurately, 2/3 of the tree stand was on the bottom.

It was neat a minute ago

It was neat a minute ago

Step 6 – Operation Christmas has hit a snag – no tree stand left behind. Back to the war zone to rescue the last 1/3 of the tree stand. I knew it was a suicide mission, but hope springs eternal…and is dashed.

Step 7 – Improvise. I am a librarian’s daughter. I learned early on if something is uneven, stick a book under it. In this case, two books.



Step 8 – Evict cat from tree box.


“This is my box. Get your own.”

Step 9 – Repeat Step 8 with different cat.

While I removed Tigger, Petey jumped in

“Wrong! This is MY box!”

Step 10 – Attempt to ignore both annoyed cats.



Step 11 – Insert branches in tree stand – only to discover that there aren’t enough red-tagged branches and they look like the pink-tagged branches because we’ve had the tree a while and the tags are faded. But all is not lost – the three untagged branches fit the red row! Hurrah!

Step 12 – Yell “Look out!” to Cat #3, who is passing beneath the tree as it falls over.



Step 13 – Apologize to Cat #3.

"I ran for my life!"

“I ran for my life!”

Step 14 – Seriously consider accepting the dog’s offer to finish decorating the tree.

"I can do it!"

“I can do it!”

Step 15 – Realize that while my back was turned, Cats 1 and 2 have launched Operation Tree Box Takeover

Operation Tree Box Takeover

Mission Accomplished!

Step 16 – Take heart in the fact that the dining room was perfectly organized for Thanksgiving and we now know where all the liquor is.

Oasis of Order

Oasis of Order

Step 17 – Evict both cats (again)

Step 18 – Box up the big tree, haul out the little tree and rejoice in the fact that half of it still has ornaments on it from last year. It also has lights still on it, but God only knows where the cord is (and He isn’t telling).

I should've just done this in the first place

I should’ve just done this in the first place

Step 18 – Make to-do list for tomorrow. “Buy fully decorated new tree and have it delivered.”

Merry Christmas, y’all!