We put our Christmas tree up last week. We wanted to wait for McLean to get home, because he and Cait have been the tree decorators for the last several years. (Colin, living so far away now, rarely makes the decorating ceremonies.) Mac and Cait have their own system, and do a very nice job. Mac’s very artistic and takes great care with the overall look. Cait often looks to him for proper ornament placement.

“Mac, here?” she’ll ask his opinion.

“Try moving it a little more toward that open space there,” he’ll suggest.

Andrew and I’ll sit, happily watching them create another masterpiece.

Except this year, the masterpiece fills only the top half of the tree. The bottom half is naked. Unadorned. Bare.

This being Finn’s first Christmas, we were a little nervous about how he’d behave with a tree, never mind a decorated tree, in the house. To say he’s enthusiastic about the new addition would be like saying he likes catnip just a little bit. Yeooowwww!!!!!

Up the tree. Down the tree. Peeking out through the branches. Batting the ornaments. Weeeeee! A kitty play-toy!

The concern is that Finn would go for the gold, so to speak, at the top of the tree and topple the whole thing over. Not willing to string guide wires to keep the thing upright, it’s time for me to turn into a killjoy.

Take one spray bottle. Fill with water. Add a splash of white vinegar. Lie in wait. Spray the air above Finn’s head. Watch Finn run from the room. Repeat as needed.

Many repetitions were not required. Finn got the point, and now (mostly) stays away from the tree. A few more spritzs ought to do the trick.

I believe, with a little luck, we might even be able to decorate the whole tree again next year!