As we deck the halls, we set the stage for the holiday season. No longer are we constrained to just the family or living room—we decorate everywhere: the front porch and the yard, the entryway, kitchen and even the bathrooms. Whether we’re picking minimalist modern decorations or well-loved ornaments from seasons past, there’s something about decorating that jolts everyone’s mood, hopefully for the better!

At my house, regardless of the decorations, we have to wrangle our cats every year. They destroyed our artificial tree as kittens, bending the branches until they resembled broken limbs from an alien creature. If we travelled for the holidays, we’d have to take the entire tree down before we left, because they’d knock it over, spraying broken glass ornaments across the floor. Nobody wants to be greeted by tiny bloody cat prints after a vacation.

Apparently you can wrap the base of your Christmas tree in aluminum foil to “foil” their plans, as they don’t much like putting their claws through it to climb. But a real tree, with strategic decorations, solved all our problems. They’ve never gone in it (and the bottom branches are heavily decorated with colourful bells which act as our early warning system!), preferring instead to sleep on the flannel tree skirt below. And we finally have confirmation that real trees are better for the environment. Woo!

While the decorations are not the true focus of any holiday, they help set the festive mood. And decorating for the holidays has certainly helped us form some pretty funny memories, even if we have managed to break a few ornaments along the way.

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