I love this time of year. I love my house fully decorated: our traditional green tree brimming with ornaments, our new white tree simply decorated, the wreaths, the towels, the garland and the knick-knacks on every shelf and open surface. What I don’t love so much is the time it takes to get my house to that state. To help with that, I have three willing little helpers. A blessing? For Oliver my instruction was simply get the ornament on the tree. With this he struggled but never gave up, hanging the same ornament over and over while it slipped off the branch. For Penny and Lucas my instructions were more elaborate: if its a heavy ornament hang it deep in the tree on a branch that can sustain its weight, don’t clump all the ornaments together and if its a tall/long ornament make sure it has enough room to hang properly. Lucas made small attempts to adhere to my guidelines but did as he preferred leaving me to find clumps of ornaments, hanging every which way. But for Penny she put much thought into where each ornament went. So much thought that at a point I noticed she was struggling to hang one ornament for over five minutes. Finally she couldn’t take it anymore and asked me to hang it for her. So I told her, don’t worry, ignore my previous instructions and hang it wherever you want. But she couldn’t, she couldn’t find a branch deep enough or strong enough to support the weight of the ornament and she was paralyzed. Often times holiday anxiety and stress is caused by crowded malls and never ending Christmas lists but apparently in my house a joyful activity of tree trimming tops the list. Lesson learned.