Tree retrieved from garage rafters by long-armed Child balancing precariously on chair and resting said tree on head of its sibling helper
Decorations finally run to earth in bin (after Children insisted they were nowhere to be found - bin had been misleadingly labeled "Christmas")
Egg nog poured into festive martini glasses and drunk
Crackers pulled, Male Child mocked for finding a lipstick case in its cracker, stupid jokes read and appreciated, paper crowns donned
Child 1 ensconced on couch due to exhaustion and allowed to dole out decorations to the decorators
Ornaments held up and admired, stories told about places of acquisition, favorites chosen and extolled for their virtues (I still love our moose snowflake and the white heron that bobbles its head)
Usual ponderance on why we keep: 1 scrunched paper ball with red and green dots drawn on (creation of Child 1), 1 key chain with cheap aluminium soccer ball on, one clay representation of a dog, missing two limbs and carefully painted with red fingernail polish. Said "ornaments" are then placed on the tree anyway
This year's ornament, small pottery blue bird in honor of the dozens of jays we see on our hikes, carefully hung to best effect.
Irritating tin "icicle" tinsel thingies retrieved from box and hung on tree where they will only stay for fifteen minutes before leaping off and spreading over the entire house
Effort to decipher pre-lit light plug system which results in bottom tier of lights working beautifully while rest of tree remains firmly dark. Looks a little like the tree is wearing a lace petticoat. Pre-lit lights abandoned.
Multi-colored light strand artistically arranged by Child 3 to wind up tree like a garland. Effect is remarkably attractive and Child 3 is lauded for its efforts. Child 3 will spend next three days un-winding and re-winding lights
Decorators, still adorned with paper crowns, collapse on soft surfaces to lap up more egg nog and bask in the beauty of their efforts. Dr Who episodes put on to provide ambiance (because nothing says tree-decorating-day like two hours of creepy little kids in gas masks cooing, "are you my mummy?")
Okay holidays, I think we're ready for you.