We always get our tree the first weekend in December. I wish we could go out into a snowy field, chop down our tree, and carry it back to our house. Once there we'd warm up by the fire, sip hot cocoa and enjoy the delightful smell of our fresh cut pine tree.
Alas, we live in Southern California, by the beach. There is no snow. There are tree farms where we could cut our own tree, but getting there requires a lengthy drive on the freeway. We live in the land of suburban sprawl.
So we go to Target.
It's not nearly as romantic, but we make the best of it. The trees still smell good. The kids love hiding in the trees, finding the best one and helping Daddy carry it to the truck.
The next night, after making pizza for dinner, we put on some Christmas music and get out the ornaments. I feel bad that we didn't let Lilly stay up and help us this year, but I really wanted to be able to enjoy going through the ornaments with the boys, not spend the whole time taking every ornament from Lilly's hands so she wouldn't break it. Next year, Lil. We'll let you help next year.
I have a pretty great collection of vintage ornaments. Many are 50 years old or more. They are beautiful and all different. I love them. They didn't go on the tree this year. I just knew that the chances of them getting broken were too great. So, they stayed in the box. I also didn't put up my other favorite decoration: the paper dot garland I made for our tree the first Christmas Aaron and I were married. It too, would be such a temptation to pull on. And break.
I have to say no to so many things already. Do I really want to add to the list?
So we have just about the ugliest tree around this year. We have a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Most of the decorations are on the top half of the tree. The few that are on the bottom, at Lilly height, are constantly being rearranged and hung crooked, or just stuffed between branches somewhere. It's a mess.
But, like the Charlie Brown tree, our tree is much loved. We had such a great time remembering each ornament before we hung it on the tree. There were ornaments from grandparents, friends, Lilly's Hello Kitty ornament, James' Peter Pan and William's first pair of shoes. Taking each one out is like seeing an old friend. I still love to hang the Snoopy bell that says "Baby's First Christmas 1976", my first Christmas ornament. I know one day my kids will hang the ornaments from their childhood on their tree.
It really doesn't matter how our tree looks. It matters that it is already full of memories.
Decorating the tree is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. I am so glad these boys are already loving it as much as I do.
A good time was had by all.
And...as is the way of the Eskridge Christmas curse, William woke up the next morning throwing up. It just doesn't feel like Christmas around here without a little barf, a trip to the ER, some upper respiratory infections and antibiotics.
Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas!