Monday, December 01, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Putting up the Christmas tree is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season. The first year we were married, we lived in a mobile home and didn't have enough room for a full-sized tree, so we had a 4' tree that we sat on top of a card table, with the gifts being placed under the table. I wish I had taken a picture of it, because it was the clone to the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Because we didn't have much money, I made all our ornaments. K-Mart had these pressed board ornaments that you could paint. There were something like 3 dozen for $5.00 that you punched out. I bought those and some paint and worked on them to get them ready in time. We still have a couple of those on the tree as our reminder of where we started from. Since that time, I buy one new ornament every year to add to the tree, and I try to make it related to an event or occasion from the previous year. I have done the same for the kids every year since they were born.
This year, we had to find time to squeeze in a few minutes to decorate the Christmas tree, and that proved to be a lot harder than I thought it would. For some bizarre reason, I thought Ashley would be as eager to spend all her time home from college with us, as we were to spend it with her. Imagine my shock when on both Friday & Saturday night we saw her head off to see friends who were also home from college. As Jay & I stood there, Jay said "hhmmm, Not quite the Normal Rockwell painting you had in mind is it?" and we both laughed at how pathetic we looked standing there looking out the window as if she would suddenly reappear in the drive shouting out that she couldn't leave her Mommy & Daddy, and wanted to stay home. LOL
Saturday, as soon as Chelsea got home from work, we started the decorating. Both girls were less than enthusiastic in the beginning. Chelsea said "Can't you and Dad just put it up this year?" Jay turned to her and said "What? And miss out on the fighting and arguing that goes on each year? No way!" I cracked up, but she didn't find him nearly as funny as I did. But once we got going, we really did have fun together. Austin put on the Chipmunks Christmas cd and we all were laughing so hard as we attempted to sound just like them. We even had debates over who sounded more like which chipmunk. We are sophisticated that way.
We have certain "traditions" when it comes to getting the tree all set up. Once the tree is up, Jay and I "fluff" it up. The kids have never understood why we do this, and they think we are such geeks for doing that, and they usually make fun of us while we work away, but oh well. Jay & Ashley have always hung the garland. Why? No clue. She wanted to help him one year when she was little, and it's just become their "job" ever since.

While they put the garland on, Chelsea brought out our two dancing stuffed Christmas animals and Tucker went nuts! While they danced, sang, and spun around, he jumped, barked and spun around. It was so funny. This picture doesn't do it justice.

Austin thought he was quite the comedian when he said he was ready to put the "Angel" on top of the tree. I was afraid that Tucker would try to uh..."water" the tree.

Jay has always placed the angel on top of the tree, but this year he passed the torch, or rather...the to Austin to put up. This is the first year Austin has been tall enough to reach, and he was great about being extra careful too, because he knows how much I love our angel. Jay and I took a trip to California right after we were married and we bought that angel on that trip. She was made by a local doll maker and her face and arms are porcelin, her hair is actual human hair, her gown is silk, and she has antique lace for her wings. She is delicate and beautiful. She has graced the top of our tree for all 21 years we have celebrated Christmas together and I want her to last the rest of our years together. She has seen many Christmas memories made while she has watched over us from up high.

Our final tradition is that when we are all done, we turn off all the lights and light the tree. In my Normal Rockwell mind, I envision us all standing there, arm in arm grateful for being together. In reality, the girls said "Well that was fun, but we're outta here" and they headed out to see some friends.

Jay and Austin headed out to take each other on in a Wii game, and I did my tradition of walking around the tree looking at each ornament and remembering our lives during the year I bought each one.

Oh Christmas tree,
Oh Christmas tree,
How lovely are thy branches.....


Becky said...

Its really beautiful, the story and the tree. Does this mean I can stop singing those Thanksgiving carols you wrote?

Dena @ Green Acres said...

Yes, you are now free to sing actual Christmas carols. I for one have had "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" stuck in my head for 3 days. Beautiful song, but enough is enough! LOL