We decided to keep things simple this year, so instead of visiting a tree farm, we picked one up pre-cut from the nearest lot.
And for the first year ever, all three kids were actually genuinely helpful. The tree got evenly and uniformly decorated (as opposed to 17 ornaments stacked up on a single bottom branch) and -- perhaps even more monumentally, they didn't break a single ornament. The tree looked perfect.
A few days later, however, the cats were like, HOLD OUR BEER.
Thankfully, the majority of our ornaments are the of the cheap shatter-proof or kids arts-and-crafts varieties, but we still managed to lose a good number of the delicate, sentimental kind. (Trying not to look at the shards of the very last 70s vintage glass ball from my childhood Christmas tree in that last photo.) Jason and I propped the tree back up, frantically redecorated and scrubbed the crime scene of mass-needle-carnage evidence before the kids got home from school.
Of course, it took Ike all of 30 seconds to notice that several of "his" ornaments were either missing or on different branches and we eventually had to come clean and admit that yeah, we're pretty sure one or both of the cats tried to climb the tree and timbered the hell out of it.
The cats, for their part, admit nothing and have learned nothing, except perhaps that the tree is more fun to climb in while horizontal.
Happy Holidays, you filthy animals.