Last weekend I found myself driving on a blazing trip to California so my wife could attend to the business of a family medical emergency. I tried to fly her out there but a last minute deal on a one hour flight was more than $1000 so I put her in the car and literally dropped her off at her mother's house and turned around and came back.
This kind of thing was no big deal for the kids as I have left them home alone before, especially since my 24 year old daughter had no work committments for the weekend. As I was literally going out the door -- kids somewhat in shock over the sudden-ness of it all -- I told them if they wanted they could put up the Christmas tree in my absence.
It was a stormy weekend, they would be inside most of the time and it was an activity I felt would keep them happily occupied.
Our main living room -- where the tree has
to go -- is very inflexible. It is rectangular in shape, has a large picture...