It’s Officially OK to Think About Christmas (Or My Tree is Already Up)

Guys, it’s the day after Thanksgiving! And that means it’s officially acceptable to play Johnny Mathis while decorating your Christmas tree. I have now given you permission. Just in case you were wondering….

Actually, this year I broke my own rule about waiting until the day after Thanksgiving to start celebrating Christmas. I did it one week early. See, I had this gut feeling Michigan was going to fall apart on the road in Iowa City last weekend, so I decided to soften the blow a bit by putting up my tree during the game. I wanted to give myself something to be happy about even if the Wolverines were going to break my heart 16 different ways. My feeling wasn’t based on some unfounded fear that we’d fall apart because we have so many times this season. It was a feeling I couldn’t shake, it came from a really real place, and I wanted to be prepared.

I was going to put up my white tree, but when I pulled it out of the box I noticed it had become discolored over the last year. Part of me wanted to haul it out to my balcony, get out the white spray paint and cover the ugly with perfect white paint. That’s the part of me that can’t let go — the part of me that wants to fix EVERYTHING. Another side came out as I looked at the branches strewn all over the floor: a part of me that said, “Anika, the tree was $19 at Rite Aid nine years ago. You’re more likely to ruin something that cost you three times that much while you’re trying to fix the unfixable. Toss the stupid tree. Let go of the past. Let go of your expectations.”

I have to admit there was a war raging inside me while the battle raged on the football field. Michigan was falling apart on all fronts, and I was looking at the hopeless wreckage of my cheap tree too paralyzed to make a decision about the situation.

Fake Tree Disaster on Dogs Dishes and Decor

Albus was over the tree — and the game — long before I was. #smartdog

I WANTED THE WHITE TREE TO JUST WORK — I WANTED IT TO LOOK HOW IT DID LAST YEAR. But it wasn’t going to. It couldn’t. It was over.

As I stared at the mess, I was vacillating between two possible solutions: one involved buying a new white tree and making things look the way I wanted and the other was to settle for my green back up tree. (Yes, I own a back up tree because I’m broken like that.)

What’s wrong with the green tree, you ask? Well, it doesn’t exactly match my rug. I bought it about five years ago when my living room had a very different aesthetic, and it just wasn’t going to look the way I wanted it to look. My tree has changed with my changing taste and decor over the years, and the green just wasn’t what I wanted.

Here’s a look at Christmases and Dogs Past (literally):

White tree with blue bulbs and wicked boots on Dogs, Dishes, and Decor.

White tree. Blue bulbs. Brady’s last Christmas. (Note the horrendous string of green lights on the white tree. #ishudder)

Traditional tree on Dogs, Dishes and Decor

Traditional red and green tree. Matching red and green dogs. Looks good on the surface, right? WRONG. (Those bitches HATED each other.)


White tree. Red bulbs. Happy red dogs. (Lights looking more appropriate.)

The final tree is what I wanted this year, but it wasn’t going to happen unless I got in my car and spent money on a replacement tree. I was close to doing it. Truly. I mean, I CAN afford a new tree, but the truth is: storing two trees in a tiny space has been seriously taxing the Tetris skills I honed as an adolescent, and I’d rather put the money in savings than spend it on something I don’t absolutely need.

This meant accepting the green tree. So I did it. Sort of.

Even though I made the mature, rational decision it took me a long time to be OK with it. I was fighting the juxtaposition of the chartreuse-y rug with the dark green tree. I went as far as putting the lights on the tree, but I didn’t bother with the bulbs for another two days. I even left the wreckage of the white tree all over my floor for the rest of the weekend. I was basically dwelling in denial and holiday decorating purgatory. So much for a sparkly tree cheering me up when Michigan lost, right? (They did lose, by the way. Spectacularly.)

Finally Monday morning I woke up at 4 am, chucked the brown and white mess down my trash shoot, put the Cynthia Rowley reindeer sweater back on my bottle of Absolut, and moved on with my life.

Now I have a green tree with a chartreuse rug, and it’s mostly not terrible.

Tree on Dogs Dishes and Decor

I think a tree skirt might help me hate this less.

It is what is — and looking at it might get me through whatever happens against Ohio State tomorrow — only I don’t have a gut feeling about tomorrow. The pieces could all come together like they did against Notre Dame, and we could experience a miracle. Or not.

Either way, I’m going golfing in the rain today because that’s what I do now. I play nine holes for Noah, and I try to embrace a tree that doesn’t look quite right with my rug because it makes more sense in the world of finances and closet geometry.

I accept what is. I’m almost grateful for what is. Because it’s all there is. It doesn’t mean I can’t make it a little prettier, though.

Maybe I will do something about the tree skirt situation after golf….

Hit (re)-Start (Or Things Are Changing)

OMIGOSH, I owe you updates. SO many updates.

See, I got a new job, which is awesome. (#ilikemoney) But what’s more awesome than the whole I-get-paid-on-a-regular-basis-thing is that my new job is making me fall in love with movies again, and you really can’t put a price on that. (Movies and I had a really bad breakup back in 2004, and I haven’t exactly been the same since.)

The new job isn’t the only big change in my life, though. I got baptized recently. And that was a bit of a debacle like only I can manage. I mean, who else makes a mess of being born again?

Other than me?

My friend Elise and my friend Suzie attended the service, and Elise may have summed it up best when she said, “Only you end up in the men’s baptism pool.” So, yeah… THAT happened. Someone sent me to the wrong line… and people were flustered.

Mad flustered.

I must admit, I found it all a bit amusing. I’m not trying to be deliberately irreverent or anything, but the entire incident was kinda funny.


It may not look all awkward here, but I promise you it was.

Aaaanyway, that story belongs on my other blog… my other blog I really will update this week. #ipromise

This brings me to the next thing I need to talk about: my other blog. It really should be the place for my philosophical musings — my thoughts on life, love, and faith — and all that other ooey gooey stuff that doesn’t involve the center of a really good cookie.

See, I feel like I’ve muddied the water here at Dogs, Dishes, and Decor when I’ve taken the focus away from ice cream, baby showers, and renovating disasters, so I need to right the ship. I’m going to do my best to keep this blog about, well, Dogs Dishes and Decor while containing my meltdowns to This American Mess.

I’m putting my intention out there to keep myself honest.

Speaking of intention… Suzie and I shared our intentions for our lives this morning over cappuccino. Mine just happen to be: Love, Healing, Connection, and Creation. I’m going to do my best to stick to these — and keep the writing about each intention on the right blogs in the future.

Later this week look out for the recipe that accompanies the CREATION of this lemony goodness.


It’ll be worth the wait. I promise. #sofluffy