My Christmas tree is up and the lights are on it. But only the lights.
This year is my family’s second Christmas with our cat Timber, and we learned very quickly last year that you can have a cat, or you can have a decorated Christmas tree but under no circumstances are you able to have both. Not at the same time anyway.
I’ve stopped just short of gluing, taping, or tying the tree to the wall this time around but I did purposely nestle it in the corner of the room between a toy shelf, the TV cabinet and an oversized chair so that when my cat decides to knock it down, there’s only one way he’ll be successful in toppling it over completely. For those counting, he’s already done it twice.
Luckily, my children don’t seem to mind that our little fake tree only has lights and a couple of random unbreakable ornaments on it. We may add more, we may not. It’s not a priority for any of us because there is really no need to add more stress to our lives.
Like me, the kids are in a constant state of readiness for when the cat inevitably pushes his tiny little head under the tree skirt and his giant body follows, sending fake pine needles scattering everywhere. He pushes his chunky body up the trunk and grabs onto the branches with his claws, pulling them down and into his mouth to chew on.
“Grab a toy!” we shout! “Distract him!”
We’ve learned he just wants to play and if we aren’t willing to play with him he’s happy to play alone with whatever we’d rather he not play with: like the Christmas tree.
So, we now keep one of his favourite toys on a string nearby and without fail, he’s willing to ditch the tree and play with us if given the opportunity. I’m convinced he knows full well the way to be given the opportunity is by mauling the Christmas tree.
Speaking of Christmas trees, a little extra holiday spirit can be seen outside the Duncan United Church these days. A member of the congregation was clearing their back forest and had a bunch of real Charlie Brown-style Christmas trees they wanted to donate to the church to give the church a fundraising opportunity.
The church offered them up for a donation and some were sold off in that way.
There were five left, however, so the church’s outreach member Jeff Leggat went to work buying some tree stands and lights and then erecting the trees on the church lawns for all to enjoy.
“The trees are a little straggly but smell wonderful,” he said. “We didn’t want to see them go to waste. I didn’t want to throw them away so I thought, let’s have some fun.”
“I’m inviting the community to come down sometime over the holidays and put a decoration on a tree,” Leggat said. “The community can take a little ownership and add a little flavour to represent what they like about the holidays.”
Leggat said the project is a nice way to reach out and get people back into the spirit of community this season.
“We’ve had a few people come down already and they’ve posted it on social media,” Leggat said. “So if you come down and add a decoration, add it to social media and we’ll see it. Post a photo; let’s keep the story going,” he added. “It’ll be a Duncan Charlie Brown Christmas forest!”
Tag #christmasforest or the United Church so they’ll be sure to see your posts.
Come to think of it, that may be my family’s only way to decorate a tree this year if the cat continues on with his tree-focused mayhem. So if you see us downtown decorating the tree over the holidays, you’ll know why. It’s because our tree at home is still bare.