The Christmas season is my favorite time of the year, and I tend to embrace it - well, perhaps a little too enthusiastically. (At least in some people's opinion!)
But in my mind there can never be too many lights, too many ways to welcome back the light of the year, recognize the inner light each of us shares, and pay homage and give gratitude to the light of the world and the sacrifice he made.
My friend Dawn (who I've never actually met in person - though I feel I know her <G>) is holding a series of Advent posts at her blog throughout December, and her questions have inspired the following post. I love Advent and I love decorating for Christmas - so it seems I'm a perfect fit for this. This past week Dawn's questions revolve around Christmas Trees.
N.B. I've tossed in a few pics of other decorations here as well, (not strictly "tree related"), and will have a few more decorated trees to share tomorrow or the next day.
The first question in the world of Christmas Trees is usually, "Do you prefer a live tree or artificial?"
And I would prefer a live tree - there's nothing like that evergreen scent filling the house. But, since I begin putting up our Christmas decorations November 1 and leave them up until the end of January (and yes the Putting Away of Christmas has been known to occur once or twice in mid February!) a live tree just doesn't fit the bill. I fear there'd be nothing left come the end of Christmas Tide but a pile of needles!
Though... there has been talk of our venturing out to the mountains next year to find the perfect tree, cut it down, and haul it home ourselves (we've done this before, many years ago).
And it just may happen.
For this year I'm thinking a night of driving around, looking at lights while drinking cocoa, listening to our favorite old time radio Christmas shows on cd, and stopping off at a tree lot or three - just to look around and breathe in those trees will have to suffice!
Another movie night - this one with Little Bit, (that's his dog Kringle - aptly named for the holiday and his favorite book), and me watching schmaltzy Hallmark Christmas movies.
Each of us (there are seven) has our own special part of Christmas to Bring Out.
The kids have always decorated "their tree" - it's upstairs in the Common Room, as well as their rooms as their fancy takes them.
(Little Bit strung lights all across his room this year, looping them from his loft to the window, from the walls to the top of his (bunk) bed.)
My older boys put the foyer tree together, then help me wind the ribbon round the highest bits, as well as do the library and front staircase garlands.
The foyer stairs and a bit of the Foyer Tree.
And Scott supervises the outdoor decorations and is in charge of getting the family room tree safely up from the basement (a kinda frightening procedure...)
And well - then I do everything else!
Brightening up the foyer.
I prefer the brightest, whitest lights I can find, and lots of them. Once our family room tree is decorated it's *very* heavy (it's only fallen over a couple of times, not counting the year my oldest and then toddler attempted to scale it), yet every year I still keep loading the ornaments, ribbon, beads and lights on.
And brightening up the kitchen mantle.
My favorite ornaments are the ones my kids have made throughout the years, and some of those they've been given (we give each kidlet a new ornament in the yearly Family Box). I'm particularly partial to those they received on their first Christmas. (As well as a few others mentioned here.)
These two are from our Girly Girl's first Christmas. (Being our first child, naturally she received two that year.)
Or...maybe I'll just leave them here, right next my desk and above two small "Christmas Book" ornaments I have plans for (although I fear they may be a wee bit lofty): writing down the kid's main and favorite gifts from throughout the years.
I may get to it someday...
For today, I'm off to wrap some presents to put beneath those trees. It's looking sadly barren for this late in the month.
Happy Holidays! I'll be back to share more soon.
And please do share your traditions in the comments. I can never seem to get enough holiday traditions.