Over the weekend, we finally (sort of) tackled putting up our Christmas tree and decorations. This is a big job for us, mainly because of the number of bins of - well, stuff - that we've collected over the years. Ok, ok - that I've collected over the years. My pack rat-ish tendencies haven't been completely vanquished, and I have a very difficult time getting rid of anything at all holiday related.
We started with these:
Ok, so ignore the little potty chair that Becca insists on dragging out into the living room every time I put it back in the bathroom... :)
Ron put up the tree - it's his job and he's very good at it. One reason I don't mind having an artificial tree is that I don't have to do this:
He does an awesome job at it though and I love how realistic our tree looks when it's all put together. This year, Abby helped put the top of the tree on.
We don't have a pre-lit tree. We actually bought ours the year before we were married, back before the pre-lit ones were available, at least in our price range. We've gone through several different types of lights for it - the current ones have a pinecone shape. Before this year, the lights were a source of stress since Ron and I inevitably would argue about how they went on. He would wind them up around the tree, then get mad and stomp off when I started asking him to slow down and try to tuck the wires back into the branches further. I would re-do the lights myself and we'd forget about the argument until the next year. But - this year, I do have to say that Ron did the lights perfectly and we managed to get the entire tree decorated with no fighting about it!
The girls really had a blast putting the ornaments on - this was really the first year that they actually decorated the tree themselves. Well, almost...
Even Becca figured out the idea pretty quickly and was hanging ornaments by herself.
Only the non-breakable kind, of course. And it took her a little while to understand that you don't hang every single ornament on the exact same branch... In fact, she liked the 'hanging ornament' game so much that she continues to play it over and over again - taking ornaments off and re-hanging them. It's very hard to get mad at her though when she's so darn proud of herself every time.
The rest of the decorations are mostly up as well, although I have to make myself finish the tackle tonight by lugging all of the bins back downstairs. It's always a big job, to put up and then take down the decorations every year, but seeing the house all Christmasy is so very worth it.
I do miss putting tinsel on the tree - it adds so much sparkle. But between cats and kids, I just can't handle the mess right now, so our tree never quite looks 'finished'. But always still beautiful. Our ornaments are a mix of ones the kids have made, ones we've bought over the years while on trips or for the girls, and specific plush or non-breakable ones that I've bought to hang on the bottom of the tree to keep the rest away from little fingers... :)
Yes, we have way too many stuffed animal friends... :)
I still have more to re-arrange and get set the way I want it, but the china cabinet is done. And I think the cats are liking having a new place for a nap!
I tackled something else this past weekend - for the first time, I put up the outside lights on my own. Between Ron's schedule, darkness coming so early now, and the cold, it hadn't yet gotten done. And probably wouldn't have if I hadn't decided to take matters into my own hands, so to speak, on Saturday while Ron was at work. We usually put lights all along the edge of the roof line and up along the gable, but I wasn't quite that adventurous, especially with 3 kids running around the yard. So this year we have lights just along the top of the porch and on the 3 pillars, along with my spiral trees. I think it turned out beautifully anyway though, if I do say so myself. :)
Less than an hour after I finished putting up the lights, it started snowing. The girls were thrilled to see the flakes coming down and I thought the snow made the glow of the lights even more beautiful.