Halloween is in the rear view mirror and Thanksgiving is on the horizon, so we’ve officially moved into the Christmas zone. Santa Claus has been at the South Hills Village Mall since November 1, which seems a little insane if you ask me (not that anyone ever does), the elves are working double shifts, and Black Friday is seven short days away.

Any way you slice it, it is well past time to start considering—if not implementing—your Christmas decorating strategy.

Which brings me to my Christmas Tree Conundrum.

I like Christmas trees. They’re cozy in the early morning and the late evening, filling the house with soft, twinkling light and Christmas cheer.  They’re the best—the only—place to store your Christmas presents.  They let Santa know where to drop your loot.

And most importantly, the make a great backdrop to Hallmark Christmas Movies.

So what’s the problem, you ask?

Well, in a picture:

Who, me?

I live with a four-legged, one-eyed rascal.

And yes, I technically had Blinker last year with the Christmas tree up. But that was when she was brand new, spending half the day under the couch and only tentatively exploring the house at night.

Those days are over. One year later, she rules the roost.  And make no mistake, that tree will come a tumblin’ down.

You think I’m worrying for nothing? Allow me to present my evidence to the contrary.

 1.  Nothing on the kitchen counter is safe

I left a few frozen zucchini muffins on the counter to thaw out. Two hours later I came down from my office and found one smashed completely to bits and the other had two distinct fang marks in it.  Blinker, of course, knew nothing about it.

So the next time I defrosted muffins, I put them in a Ziploc bag.

Fanged Muffin

Imagine my surprise when I was reading in bed one evening and guess who trotted in with the bag between her teeth, a “look what I found” expression on her face.

And it doesn’t stop with muffins. I left a bag of uncooked pasta out, and came home to shredded plastic and spiral macaroni all over the house.

And suffice it to say I now keep my bananas in the pantry.


2.  Shredded Piles of Charmin

When I’m away overnight, I hide all toilet paper rolls in the cabinet beneath the sink. Otherwise I come home to a winter wonderland no matter the season.

3.  Dry Food Derby

Blinker doesn’t quietly eat dry kibble out of her bowl. At this point, I don’t know why that surprises you.  Instead, she uses her paw to scoop the kibble out onto the floor.  She really puts some muscle into it, throwing the kibble around, then proceeding to chase it like it’s a mouse, knocking over everything and anything that gets in her way.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. I won’t even mention the time she dragged a paper roll out of the trash can or knocked a decoration off the wall.  (Which, by the way, is still stuck behind the stove.)  Or the shredded lampshade.

And then there was the time she hit the wine….

So I’m going to put up a tree covered in twinkly lights, shiny ornaments, sharp hooks, and tinsel, and You-Know-Who will have over eight unsupervised hours every day to wreak havoc.

What could possibly go wrong?

Instead of visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, I’m imagining coming home from work to the Christmas tree stripped and dragged down the front steps, ornament hooks sticking out of her ears and buried in the carpet.

You thinking I’m joking? I’m not.

So what do I do readers? Do I take the risk?  Can my poor Christmas tree survive the onslaught?