Friday, December 4, 2009

O Christmas Tree

I know that lots of people love Christmas. And other people do not. I mean, I think just about everyone likes the idea of Christmas and holidays and giving and family fun. But lots of people get so caught up in the stress of it all that they don't appreciate just how awesome it all is.
Luckily, when you have children, you have the opportunity to look at it all through their eyes. That makes all the difference! And I can remember being younger and everything being fun and magical and exciting. So I have always sort of reverted to those feelings around Christmas. And watching my children makes it even easier (and more socially acceptable). I want to listen to nothing but Christmas music in the car (thank you Sirius for 2 stations!!). I want to look at the tree with its lights on from the time I get up until the time I go to bed. I want to find perfect presents for people I love. I want to bake cookies. And of course, children are always on board, right?

The day after Thanksgiving, in my opinion is the BEST day to decorate. I am not a big bargain shopper. For real, I would rather skip a bargain if it meant being up and out at 3 AM with crazy, sleep deprived bargain hunters. I really do most of my shopping online now anyway. So it is the day after the big meal. You have leftovers in the fridge, so there is no need to plan what to eat OR to go out. You can sleep late and stay in your pj's and leisurely take the day to decorate.

Now, even though we have done this almost every year, sometimes you should still remind your husband of these plans. In David's defense, we do not always put up a tree at our house. Like if we are between houses or gone the whole time or something. Plus, David has missed a few Christmases. Last year, we decorated right after Thanksgiving at Momma and Daddy's, but David was in Iraq. Although, the year before we actually decorated on Thanksgiving afternoon, so see, you would think he was thinking like I was. Well, um, no. He was planning to sit on his booty all day on the couch, eating cold turkey, and watching football games. Oops. Well, we compromised, and he did lots of things during half times.

Anyway, the kids were PUMPED! And each year they "get it" more, know what I mean? Now they both know that it is Jesus's birthday. (Jessa has even said prayers where she reminds Jesus that His birthday is coming up.) And they both understand about fragile decorations and not messing with the tree too much. It is SO nice!! And they both have their very own Little People Nativities that provide hours of fun.

So the focus of all of our decorations is THE TREE! David got our awesome pre-lit, artificial tree up first thing. I am (a) allergic to real trees, and (b) don't even really like them that much. I like my perfectly proportioned, straight, not flammable, not messy tree. And pre-lit - what a great idea. The Daddys always do the beads, too. That is something that having long arms and height can really help you with, you know?? And my sweet baby boy kept saying, "Daddy, that tree sure looks pretty," the whole time David was putting it up and straightening out all the branches. So precious.

Then it was ornament time. Aw yeah! I am anal about packing all of my ornaments in original boxes. Because with the moving that we do, I want them safe. So I found a spot and sat down with a large Rubbermaid full of ornament boxes and started unpacking them. The kids were beside themselves. I would unpack one, put a hook on it and then they took turns putting them on the tree. The best part is that we were a regular Hallmark commercial, the ones that make me cry every time. They wanted to hear the story behind each ornament. I told them about the Christmas that David was supposed to still be in Macedonia until after Christmas, so I was in GA. And how at the last minute, he came home. And we unknowingly, at 2 PXs, in two different countries bought each other the same "I'll be home for Christmas" ornament. I told them about their first Christmas ornaments, and even showed them mine from 1975! We hung Florida Gator Ornaments and soldier ornaments. They loved hanging all the cool wooden ones we got while we were in Germany. We retold the story of Santa and the Christ child when and the Lion and the Lamb, as we hung these special ornaments. We laughed at the one from last Christmas celebrating the "1st Christmas" in our new house at Ft. Stewart, if we only knew. . . And we saw Dunken's first Christmas one that started out as a black puppy, but David spent days in secret painting like 12 coats on it to make it a white puppy. And the most special ones, the ones that they have started making themselves at school and church through the years. We now have our own glittery Popsicle sticks and Rudolphs with red puff noses. All the the hodge podge of ornaments from each year tell the story of our lives, the story of our family. And the kids were hanging on my every word as I retold the stories that they have heard before. The same stories that we will tell every year until they know them all by heart. The stories that they will someday tell to their children as they unpack all the ornaments from their past. I remember putting up the tree with my family as a child, the memories, the ornament stories. And I hope and pray that their hearts will be full and they will smile as they think of all the memories of their Christmases growing up, they way I do.
So here is our tree:

I just love it.
It is so perfect.
So special.
So us.
I cannot stop looking at it!

In case I did not make it clear, , I LOVE CHRISTMAS!
More decoration posts to come. . .

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Yea for Christmas!!! I love it too. It will be a fun one with Noah this year as he is tarting to get it.