This year, I was a super-decorating-slacker. Tradition dictates that decorations go up the weekend after Thanksgiving, right? Well, at that point, I felt like the house was a mess and decorations would just add to the chaos. They didn't even get pulled out of the shed, where they were being stored in boxes.
A week later, we go out to the shed to get the decorations, and the lock is frozen closed, with the key in it. Awesome. No decorations were pulled out last weekend, either.
This week the house was clean and I was determined to get the tree up. I wasn't really feeling the seasonal spirit, and I thought it would help. The constantly-on radio was turned from NPR to a station playing Christmas music, and the Christmas season started creeping into our house. Finally, Thursday, the boxes with the tree & ornaments got pulled into the house.
I was finishing up getting dinner ready, Josh pulled the tree out of the cardboard box and proceeded to try to get it settled in to stand. After getting the base set, he turned around to get the next tree piece and exclaimed,
"There are ants* all over the floor! They were in the tree."
I come over to look. "They could have been going after some food, they may not have been in the tree. Are they dead?"
"No, some of them are moving. Quick, get me something to smash them with!"
Um, I don't want all these ants' guts on my floor. "I'll get the broom & sweep them up."
"You can't put them in the trash!"
"I'll throw them outside."
I sweep them up, totally grossed out, before dinner. Josh grabs the second section of the tree, and tons more ants fall out.
"Ack! They are in the tree!" I say. I proceed to swat at the tree until half-dead ants stop falling out, then sweep them up & throw them onto our porch.
GROSS GROSS GROSS
Sigh, well, that's done. We open the Rubbermaid container containing my prized Willow Tree Nativity Scene. The set is ant-free. The last cardboard box of ornaments, though, was even worse than the tree. Most of the basic ornaments were salvaged, but the star tree topper (which seemed to be Home Base for the colony) and other ornaments were thrown out along with all the cardboard boxes.
GROSS GROSS GROSS
Lesson learned: We went out & bought Rubbermaid containers for ALL the ornaments & the tree last night. If we're going to store these outside, cardboard won't cut it.
* These were BIG black ants. I'm really glad they were sleeping/hibernating/cold/slow because if they were going full-ant-speed-ahead, my house would be overrun, and I would have freaked out.
** Through all of this, Casey wasn't interested in chasing any of the bugs, unlike earlier.