First, we talked about the possibilities and the inevitable and finally elicited his help - and amazingly (two weeks after Christmas) he agreed to help de-decorate the tree. He happily handed down ornaments and helped clip branches. He even dragged some boughs to the curb - all with a smile. We vacuumed the area and once all remnants of the tree were gone, I let out my breath and thought we were home free. Then, during nap, I started on the mantel. I removed the figurines, ornaments and lights leaving behind a bare, mostly dead garland. Monkey stumbled downstairs, still a bit sleepy, and his breath caught as he spied my handiwork. "Mommy!" he gulped. "It's *sob* Not *sob* BEAUTIFUL *gasp* Any *sob* Mooore . . ." and my heart broke for my little boy (and his mom who tried so hard to ease this transition - and had thought we were over the hurdle).
I'm still a four-year-old at heart. Change is tough - I say no before I say yes most of the time. I have not evolved. But I'm happy to have a supportive (and patient) family and friends to hold me when I think things will never be "beautiful" again. And those who can see around the corner to the onslaught of hearts that will soon be upon us to beautify us all. I'm pretty sure we'll leave the Valentine's decorations up till Halloween. I wonder what's in store for Santa Spider . . .
Here are some photos of our BEAUTIFUL (Monkey's emphasis) decorations this year - I've never decorated so much but Monkey was so INTO it this year. I even got him his own mini-tree (that is still up - he says he'll take it down next week - we'll see). He loved every minute of it (until it was over). But he now tells me that, "You know mommy, you can't have things up forever or they won't be special." so seriously - as if he's not just parroting my words. I love the little bugger.
Mini Tree - partially decorated (he was SO excited) I put it up during nap so he woke up to it and then we decorated it.
Cute wall stickers that Monkey adores (and still adorn his room)
Some close-ups of the mantel. First year we haven't had to hang the stockings on the bannister - thanks Mark!