We put up and decorated our tree on Sunday. Over the years we have turned the tree decorating into a family party. We put it on the calendar early so it stays free... one of the things I love most about it is the unhurried feeling. It has become precious family time. First the tree is set-up and the lights and pearls go on. Then comes the decorating:
TM and D.
B. (Aren't those blue lights glaring in the picture? It's a multi-colored strand, but, boy, it doesn't look like it here, huh?)
D., M., and TM
TM and A.
TM managed to make it into a lot of the picture, all with huge grins on his face. That pretty much describes how our holiday season has been so far. TM is a much different boy these days. Often holidays are difficult because they are a departure from our normal schedule. The unpredictable-ness of the holidays made him a bit, well, unpredictable. But not this year. This year, he is happy and relaxed. Giddy, even. There is a whole host of factors at play, but one thing that I think has made a difference is that he is starting to recognize and remember our traditions. Things do not feel quite so unpredictable to him. He has spent a lot of time telling me how we do certain things and takes great satisfaction that he knows how we do them and that we are doing them again this year. His joy has certainly added to my own.
As well as tree trimming we also serve treats in the living room. (Food is never allowed outside the kitchen and dining room, so this is a huge treat.) We had eggnog and a friend, whom we always invite to our little party couldn't be with us this year, brought cookies over. We also lit a fire in the fireplace.
M. enjoying her eggnog in front of the fire.
P., K., and A. and cookies
L. looking at the fire.
This is also when we get out all the rest of our Christmas decorations and spread them around the house. M. calls it "Christmas-fying".
L. and M. looking at a funny wreath in the vestibule.
One of the favorite Christmas toys: a cardboard Santa with holes cut to put your fingers through for legs and little plastic boots to wear on your fingers.
Having two toddlers around is particularly challenging with the tree. We moved the pen into the living room to keep everyone and everything safe while we decorated.
L. on left and G. on right
I also made an attempt at getting a Christmas card picture. We will not be using this one and I'll have to try again some other time. Some people were not happy about participating and some were a bit too cooperative. (That is a smile on TM's face... it's what happens when he tried too hard.)
It was a lovely afternoon and evening. Pizza for dinner and carolling around the piano afterwards.