First Christmas

This year, it took us three days to get the Christmas tree decorated and all our Christmas decorations laid out.

Last year, when I was six months pregnant, it took six hours. This year, we have a nine-month old little guy who insists on having our undivided attention. That means that nothing is worthy of stealing Nathan’s thunder.

Christmas tree included.

We started putting the tree up on Thanksgiving evening. Paul hauled the Christmas tree and all the decorations in from the shed. We started pulling out the limbs for assembly when we noticed something peculiar.

Something was awry with the limbs of our Christmas tree.

For once, it had nothing to do with baby poop. But it was something else that was equally disturbing.

Something that had left clumps of insulation throughout a handful of limbs.


Yes, a mouse had built a little home for itself in the bowels of our Christmas tree limbs.

Expensive Christmas tree limbs. This is the kind of tree you can’t just throw away because of some mouse. Not that our tree is some grand, magnificent sight… but for three people living off of one income, it’s magnificent enough to not just throw away.

Fortunately, the little home was abandoned. There was no mouse to be seen. Just tufts of insulation embedded in the limbs of the tree, a grim reminder of the MOUSE THAT ONCE WAS. The mouse that lived (and I’m sure died) in our shed.

Remnants of a happy life once lived.

So we spent the entire Thanksgiving evening with bottles of Lysol and paper towels, sanitizing the shit out of each and every Christmas tree limb, peeling off wisps of mouse nest from in between the fake plastic pine needles.

But then there is my allergies. Apparently, I am allergic to Fake Christmas Tree Dust and Abandoned Mouse Houses and I had a pretty severe allergy attack. My rapid-fire sneezing has been non-stop since Thanksgiving. Every time I walk into the living room, my eyes start to swell, my nose starts itching, and my chest starts that familiar I’m-going-to-suffocate-you burn.

It feels like my body is TRYING TO KILL ME.

Because apparently, when we were hauling fake plastic Christmas tree limbs out from their temporary coffin, we let loose a cloud of Danger Dust. The kind of dust that accumulates on things outside, even things that are in a shed… a dust composed primarily of leaves, pollen, and mouse-house allergens.

So I’ve resigned myself to deep cleaning the entire house. The dust has gotta go.

I banish it. 

Fortunately, it doesn’t seem as if Nathan has my allergies. Thankfully. The kid isn’t even phased. He likes looking at the twinkling lights on the tree, reaching out for the ornaments, and laughing at Mommy’s multiple sneeze marathons.