Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Making Christmas Ours

Thanksgiving week is always so busy for our family because not only do we have 3 dinners to go to but we also begin our Christmas preparations. The day after Thanksgiving is just as much a holiday to us as Thanksgiving because that is the special day that we pull down all the Christmas decorations from the attic, spend hours unravelling hundreds of strands of Christmas lights, pluck insulation fuzz out of the tree, and carefully unwrap each beautiful blown-glass ornament. This day is important because it is the introduction of Christmas into our home and therefore we like to set the mood. It was rather difficult to do that this year though due to the 80 degree temperature. But we weren't deterred! We woke up that morning and after everyone had eaten their breakfast we began our mission. Levi started a fire in the fireplace and I turned up the Christmas music (which is a little embarrassing because we were playing the MercyMe Christmas album LOUDLY through our outside speakers and 2 of our neighbors are actually band members so I'm sure they now think we have some weird obsession with them since we just played that one album over and over all day long.) Levi began his not so fun job of stringing lights perfectly straight along the roof of the house while Jack stood on the ladder and begged to be allowed on the roof...over and over and over again. I got the more exciting job of going through our Christmas totes and setting out the decorations.

But this year we are changing things up and while I love my beautiful but very breakable ornaments they just aren't smart to have on a tree that my kids will not leave alone. So, in keeping with our family motto for the year ("Keep it Simple") I decided to forgo the ornaments this year. So our tree is just lights and berries but I have to say that I really like the outcome. Jack doesn't seem to notice that it is lacking in decor and just loves that everything "glows." I had to get new stockings this year to include Addie...she was here last year but I had just gotten her a stocking that said "Addie's first Christmas and I couldn't use that again this year. But I found the perfect stockings to fit our family and decided to reinvent our Christmas motif around these perfect stockings. So most of our old Christmas decorations have stayed in their totes and although they are beautiful I realize now that they just don't fit our family of four any longer. I decided to make our Christmas decor about us and although it isn't typical and glamorous I love it! I'll explain... For the Christmas skirt I used a quilt Levi's Nannie made is the loveliest tree skirt I've ever seen! I set out an old rusty framed heart that my mom always kept in the kitchen window and gave to me when I moved out and had no furnishings. On a table with a little Christmas tree just for holding Jack's handmade ornaments I also placed a basket with the roses I carried at our wedding. On our fireplace is a stained glass window that Levi gave me when we were in college and draped across it is Addie's 1st Christmas stocking. And one of my favorite things is my Christmas card holder. It is bare right now but soon it will be overloaded with tons of beautiful cards and pictures of our wonderful family and friends. So my home may not ever make it in Elle Decor but I can't think of anything sweeter than being surrounded by all our family memories.

Another very important day for our family is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The first year Levi and I started dating we began the tradition of chopping down a Christmas tree at the Christmas Tree farm with my brother and mom. The first year it poured rain on us and we were miserable...but we still went back the next year even though it was once again raining and cold.It rains every time! I don't know how it is possible that the weather is always poor the Sunday after Christmas but it is. But it is funny because when Levi told me the weather forecast for Sunday was going to be rainy I was actually glad. It just wouldn't be right to not be miserable as we searched out the perfect tree. This year was Addie's first year and Jack's second and it was probably our best time yet! It did rain on us but just a little and we were successful once again to find the only perfect Christmas tree on the whole farm.

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