I decorated the tree today. It looks beautiful. I wish I could take a picture and show you, but the camera lost battery power and the back-up camera has no computer connection thing. So I have evidence of this lovely stuffed tree taking up a corner of my living room, but you'll just have to take my word for it for now.
So far, the cats have left the tree alone--here and there sniffing and wandering by it, mussing the tree skirt up when they sleep on it, regarding it with suspicious looks and then glancing back at me to see what I'll do. But the tree is a family thing--there are kitty ornaments on the tree to make them happy.
To keep the nice glass ornaments and ribbon and sparkly garlands out of harm's way, I only decorate the top half with pretty things. The bottom half of the tree is where plastic or hardier ornaments go. There are no garlands past a certain point--garlands make it easier for a cat to rip your dreams to shreds.
Plastic ornaments that look like glass can be found at Dollar Tree for a buck a pack. They're light, expendable, and they won't shatter into a million pieces, nor cut a cat who has knocked it free and is playing with it all around the house. I also use jingle bells, again just a buck a pop at Dollar Tree. They're metal and fun, and cats love them. I've watched Beckett paw at a bell for hours.
Of course shortly thereafter disaster occurred, but I prefer to reflect on my successes. Those are better.
Candy canes are also an easy alternative. They get eaten pretty quickly though.
I adore decorating the Christmas tree. I did it myself this year, but I did it just as tradition required, with my favorite Christmas tunes on loud (Tchaikovsky and the Vince Guaraldi Trio) and all the ornaments spread out everywhere. I sang loud to "Christmas Time Is Here" and played air-violin to the Waltz of the Flowers. I stepped back on occasion to check my tree symmetry and decided that, while off, it was as good as it got. I scared a cat or two away from pawing at the jingle bells.
I took pictures, proud of my accomplishment, but the camera died. I promise it's a lovely tree. I'm sure that by the time I get batteries for the camera and phnegle with the thingymabobber, everything will have been torn or shattered and the tree will be on one side crying out "hhheeeeelllp..."
But I hold out hope.