Mom, Dad and kids all decorating the tree. White Christmas playing softly in the background. Everyone sharing laughter and fond memories as heirloom ornaments are hung in a tasteful arrangement.
Afterwards, everyone sips hot chocolate with marshmallows and candy cane swizzle sticks in the kitchen. Perhaps served by a maid, who also cleans up.
My Christmas Reality:
Dad harbors secret OCD tendencies with regards to Christmas tree lighting. Stringing lights takes a very long time and no one else is allowed in the room. Children banished to the family room get hyper and start running hysterically to the hip-hip/technofunk carols featured on Sirius Radio.
When finally allowed into living room, children begin to bicker over ornament posession. Tree is decorated in three major "clumps"...at 3 year old, 6 year old and 8 year old eye levels, respectively.
Dad and youngest kid refuse to participate at all in ornament hanging, preferring instead to sit on the couch and, helpfully, point out the places where "You missed a spot..."
Older children sharpen theirs into lethal weapons.
Oh, and I am the maid.
I guess reality's not so bad.