So, about that tree

The tree remained up for three days before all parties were gathered and the ornaments went on. My husband and I did another frantic search earlier in the day for lights that had a green wire instead of white. It probably wouldn’t have been a big deal, but then OCD took over and I either needed another strand with green wire or we would’ve had to replace both strings with white. I’m not prone to OCD in general, but don’t we all have a little bit of that in our systems, especially when it comes to our own homes?

A couple days after the tree went up my husband and I joined forces and finished decorating the house and stashing the bins. I’m pleased to tell you that our concerns over our two cats climbing a real tree were for naught. Maybe it was a good thing the decorations didn’t go on right away in case they had.

I have various family members, from cousins to in-laws, who have a knack at making their homes look like something out of Better Homes and Gardens at Christmas. Not me, I really don’t enjoy decorating. It’s because I’m thinking about the work to take it all down.

Starting when my daughters were small I let them put the ornaments on the tree. I never fixed their placements after they went to bed, my reasoning being that they needed to feel as if they could do something by themselves. An exercise in self-esteem. At least that’s my story. Now that they’re adults, they still put the ornaments on the tree. My excuse now is I have to fix up the rest of the house myself. Plus, I’m always in charge of the lights, which is a chore in frustration and one my husband refuses to deal with based on PTSD from his childhood experiences with his father putting up lights. This year, with a nine foot tree, we cheated a bit and put the icicle lights I bought for the outside of the house on it. My thinking was we’d have to go around fewer times because the “icicles” would hang down and cover the tree. It worked rather well as it kind of looked like snow on the boughs. Feel free to use that trick next year yourself.

I keep the décor to one room in the house, mostly because I’m lazy. Quite honestly, I’m probably the redneck of the Christmas world the way I haphazardly deck the halls. I have a few collections of nativities, snowmen, etc. The biggest plus on making my new house look like Christmas is that I have plenty of shelving and spaces that for the most part don’t require me to remove every tchotchke around the house. I can channel my inner couch potato and just stick Christmas stuff among those items.

I don’t get a lot of traffic through anyway: my mom, my sister, a cousin or two, my kids’ friends. Not all at once, either. I’m happy with the state of my house, especially this year when I’m still trying to get it settled from the move. I’m just proud of myself for writing a column every week, making the Almond Roca, and getting out of bed every morning.

By the time you read this, Christmas will be over, guests will have come and gone, and we’ll be dreaming of a new year. Though the tree will be old news, I will still have it up, because it was a lot of work to get it that point. If it was feasible, I’d probably leave it up until next year.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom living nearby in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website, or follow her on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.” Her column is available every week at under the Life section.

More in Life

What we can learn from Canada’s new food guidelines

Drink more water, eat more plants and cook more at home, says… Continue reading

Green River College offers workshops, lectures for free

Community members in the Covington area are welcome to attend workshops at the library or for-credit courses at Kentwood High School.

It’s not even curtains on our marriage

My hairdresser had been on maternity leave, so of course I had… Continue reading

To the dark side and back

There was a point after I shed a bunch of weight to… Continue reading

Talk to a Doc: Cannabis use while pregnant and breastfeeding | Public Health Insider

Doctors are recommending women do not use marijuana, even lotions or edibles that contain little THC, while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Submitted photo from city of Maple Valley
Crews, schools worked hard to keep all safe

Due to snow and unpredictable weather, crews in Maple Valley and Covington worked day and night to keep roads safe.

Lighting ninja

We’ve been doing a lot of work in our new house. It… Continue reading

Food bank opens pop up during snow storm

The idea was to make food more accessible to those who needed it.

For whodunit lovers, this short story is a gleefully-dark delight

Growing older is a very good thing. First of all, there’s a… Continue reading

Not your average dumplings

Alaska N Dumplings is a newer restaurant in Maple Valley that serves Russian dumplings.

Photos courtesy city of Covington’s Facebook page
                                The Covington Youth Council attended Youth Action Days in Olympia Jan. 27 and 28. The teens attended various workshops and learned how to effectively meet with legislators and lobby issues. The youth council were able to meet with representatives from the 47th district — Pat Sullivan, Mona Das and Debra Entenman.
Youth council: Building leaders

Youth in Covington are gaining a voice

Someone should be having fun

I don’t know about you, but out here in BFE (bum f—-… Continue reading