Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Tree Redo

We finally got our Christmas tree up a week ago. It looks very nice, finally, but this year's tree was more challenging than usual.

Dylan and Jacob try to straighten the tree.

Jacob actually bought the tree for us 2 weeks ago, trimmed the bottom, and set it up in the stand with water, but it took us several days to find time to decorate it. Meanwhile, we couldn't get the tree to stand straight! Every time we readjusted it, the tree would look okay for a few hours, and then it would lean several inches forward or back. As if it were moving of its own volition!

After my stepson Ryan and his fiance Shera moved in with us on the 10th, we borrowed a neighbor's pruning shears and Ryan went to work. It took him only a matter of seconds to identify the problem: a couple of awkward branches at the bottom of the tree. He snipped them off, did one more readjustment, and the tree has been perfect ever since!

This year's selected ornaments

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I buy each of my children a Hallmark ornament every year, and our collection has grown extensive, even after Sarah married Chris and took her ornaments with her. So we now choose our favorite ornaments to hang every Christmas rather than hanging them all.

I have my own favorites, of course. For the past 3 years I've been collecting this new series based on "The Twelve days of Christmas." So far I have a French hen, two turtledoves, and a partridge with a pear. I think they're adorable!

These are Jacob's ornaments for the past 5 years, the series called Season's Treatings. With Jacob being an avid baker, these ornaments are perfect for him!

I didn't really intend to stick with a certain theme for Dylan. Over the years I just bought ornaments that fit his interests. Then a couple of years ago it suddenly struck me that I nearly always bought him ornaments that featured snowmen, like these above and below. So now I specifically look for snowmen!

We ALWAYS put up the kids' "First Christmas" bears. Each child has the full 5-year collection, and sometimes we hang them all, but I insist on at least that very first one.

This is one of mine, but the kids insist on hanging this angel ornament every year since it has special memories. They call it the "cracker" ornament because when Jacob was small he used to think it was a cracker hung on the tree, and every day he'd cry for me to give it to him to eat!

I particularly treasure these ornaments that have two views, front and back (see the front above and the back below). They are so clever!

Finally, I love these little house ornaments. The Mickey and Minnie one has a clip on the back where you attach it to a bulb on the tree. The bulb shines through the back and makes it look like the fire in the fireplace is flickering behind Mickey and Minnie.

You might think that's the end of the story, but you'd be wrong. When we strung the lights on the tree, we found we didn't have enough lights. To save money, we'd bought the smallest tree Walmart sold (2 feet shorter than the size we usually got), so I had thought my 2 strings of lights would be enough. They weren't.

We put on the ornaments anyway, but I couldn't stand the tree having a bare bottom. So I bought one more string of lights, but the prongs on the plug didn't fit those already on the tree. In the end, Jacob bought me a whole new set of lights, but that meant undoing the whole tree and starting over. Groan . . . Thank you, Ryan, for seeing through that whole "redo" ordeal with me!

Now it feels like Christmas!

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