Midway through a cuddle Beau blurted out, “Dad, remember your stick tree last year?”

Before my audible gasp hit their ears, I put the mini men in the car and sped off to find a more traditional piece for my lounge room. Arty cheap twigs covered in tinsel are not très cool to the under-six set.

For the shopping tour, I dressed the boys’ heads in matching bell-laden reindeer ears. It’s part of Bad Parenting 101 — dressing your kids up to go shopping.

We bought the gayest Christmas tree I’ve ever seen. We even named it. Kitty the Christmas tree is made out of white fluffy feathers and she’s adorable.

Kitty is adorned with trinkets that would make a drag queen’s ear pea green with envy. Chicky picked a deep pink glitter-encrusted five-pointed star and Beau carefully carried his equally glittery cobalt blue star to the register.
Meanwhile I tested a delicate porcelain fairy with a silver and apple green glitter pixie dress and matching wings on the display tree. We all clapped and danced at the sight!

After looking at a Thomas book, I told the boys — who like to collect catalogues to mark their presents — to go and get a copy each. Chick, now thinly disguised as Dasher, ran back in, grabbed the Thomas book and ran out through the now alarm-ringing purchase lie detector gates.

Sensing where Dasher was heading, I cut him off at the pass and swung the book out from his clasp and back to whence it came. I waved and nodded an OK to the distressed staff member shaking her bob at me. “He’s four, honey,” I told her as I consoled a confused and embarrassed Chicky nestling into my neck as I picked him up.

We put up the family tree that afternoon, Beau prancing to Mariah, as we couldn’t find the Julie Andrews CD, while I held Chick up to the tree to hang decorations. His legs were tightly wound around my arms, keeping him stable to prevent falling into a green, sharp — and now sticky from last year’s candy cane tree — forest.

Kitty sultrily billows in the breeze, making my fairy angel with Audrey hair look like she’s sailing on a feather cloud with ease.

From my couch, my tree actually looks more like 50 white fluffy kitten tails missing their owners. At least the glitter makes up for the macabre whiteness of feather in front of me.

Wishing you all a very safe, peaceful and gentle Christmas.

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