Time to Trim the Tree and Deck the Halls…Hopefully Soon

2009 Christmas tree daytime
I don’t know about you but I am ready for the house to start looking like Christmas. I know plenty of people put up their trees literally the day after (and some, before) Thanksgiving and so far, we’ve done neither. I guess it’s hard to know what to do since we are currently living at my in-law’s.
Stockings

I know we’ll put up our own stockings (granted, I have my adult purchased stocking since I’ve been unable to convince my dad to mail out my childhood stocking to me AND I’ve been married six years…still no stocking) but who knows what else.

Our first tree purchased in 2007 (shown Christmas 2009)

Our first tree purchased in 2007 (shown Christmas 2009)

Last year we sold our seven foot tall elegant artificial Christmas tree. It was incredible looking with its equally artificial snow and pine cones; it came in three parts and was already pre-lit with white lights. Our over-the-top tree was made more exceptional when sprayed with this winter scent from Bath & Body Works. We had sold the tree, I believe, during the time period we anticipated our move to Okinawa, which didn’t happen.
2009 Christmas tree close up

We have a smaller 3 or 4 ft tree that was our stand-in Christmas tree last year. It’s certainly not a Charlie Brown Christmas tree but to me, it certainly does feel like one compared to the very full fake tree that used to grace our living room.

Our smaller tree for 2011

Our smaller tree for 2011

The old tree, purchased in 2007, was a big deal to me, as it was the first Christmas that my husband and I celebrated together. Background history here, but we missed out on Christmas 2005 as I took a trip back to RI and he was on guard duty (punishment brought down by our command for dating me when we worked together) and during Christmas 2006, I was deployed to Iraq. So yes, Christmas 2008 was a BIG one for us. I went a little crazy buying more ornaments than we needed from Michael’s (shatter resistant ball ornaments) and Macy’s (a slew of happy little penguins, polar bears, snowflakes, and an “Our First Christmas 2007” ornament) to celebrate in style.

Finding my own Christmas personality has had its own challenges. I know as a married couple, it was important to have a tree that reflected the two of us, which is why I have penguins for my husband (he likes penguins) and polar bears, which I thought were cute and a good balance for our tree. Thankfully, neither one of us likes tinsels strands; the mess and hassle of putting it on and taking it off the tree each year doesn’t appeal to either one of us. However, I do like garland and tinsel garlands (instead of tree branch) suits me just fine. I have also done those little red bows on the tree, but I am unsure on whether I’ll continue to do them in the future. It seems easy to overdo them. I also like love candy canes on the tree (also, an easy one to overdo). My husband doesn’t like candy canes so it’s nice that I can take one or two off the tree at a time to enjoy and eat; isn’t that why they are on the tree anyways?!

Last year, we decided to be more realistic about the future of our Christmas tree. We decided that we’d cut back on the ball ornaments and we tossed out some of the smaller penguins and polar bears that didn’t fare well with repeated packing/unpacking. I admitted to my novice mistake in 2007 of buying one too many ornaments; I didn’t think of how ornaments are to be (mostly) collected through the years than bought in one mass (rushed) shopping spree.

Our tree also is home to some of my husband’s childhood ornaments (note: I also don’t have childhood ornaments of my own), ornaments given to us for our daughter, and ornaments that have been gifted to me through the years from my mother-in-law. It is tradition that my mother-in-law gives me a new pair of Christmas socks and an ornament for our tree.

Avery's 2011 ornament from Grandma Jo.

Avery’s 2011 ornament from Grandma Jo.


Avery's 2011 ornament from Grandma Cindy.

Avery’s 2011 ornament from Grandma Cindy.

Growing up, my family had a real Christmas tree trimmed with multi-colored lights, which I love and would have bought for our big tree except the store was out of them, tinsel garland, and a little plastic angel surrounded by a halo of tinsel lights. So, I guess I’ve mostly tried to replicate the Christmas I was used to as a kid.

One of the most unique things about Christmas in my house was my mom’s collection of Christmas music boxes. She had enough of them to warrant a curio display cabinet. Granted, I wouldn’t consider myself a collector so I don’t imagine ever accumulating a collection of anything (except for books) in my house.

So, I’ll be bugging my mother-in-law tonight to see when we’ll get on the bandwagon of putting up her Christmas goodies and maybe we’ll see if we bring a thing or two of our own from the storage unit to add to this year’s Christmas celebration.

I’m just happy I already have some candy canes in the pantry to enjoy when the tree trimming begins.

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