Friday, November 25, 2011

In Which It's Looking Kind Of Festive In Here

The day after Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year.

Not because it's Black Friday-- I'm not a huge fan of shopping trips in general, and trust me when I say that getting up at three in the morning so that I can fight the crowds for the privilege of spending a bunch of money is not the way I like to spend my time.  No, I like the day after Thanksgiving because that's traditionally the day in my family when it's time to start putting the Christmas decorations up.

When I was growing up, Christmas was by far the biggest holiday of the year, and I'm pretty sure that's a tradition I'll be passing down to my kids.  The past few years we've generally traveled to Texas for Christmas, with the exception of 2009, when we weren't exactly in a position to be doing a whole lot of traveling or, for that matter, decorating.  So this is the first year in a long while that we've pulled out the boxes of Christmas decorations, and I got pretty excited about decorating our house for the very first time!

So first thing this morning I got out the long ladder and started to put up our Christmas lights.  I got about halfway through and realized that I'd greatly underestimated how many we would need, which meant that I had to run down to the store halfway through to get some more.  I was not exactly thrilled about this, but I wasn't about to leave the Christmas lights halfway strung on the house either, so off I went.

It was horrible, but I survived.  Barely.

Anyway, so after I returned home from the Great Retail Mauling, I finished up the lights and was getting ready to retrieve the rest of the decorations when Joanna arrived to watch Connor.  So Jer and I stopped by the storage unit together and then were off to pick out a tree!

I'm not a huge fan of artificial trees.  Part of this is because I like the whole experience of picking out the perfect tree every year, and the other part is because Loki shreds all greenery in our home whether it is real or artificial, so at least if he strips all the needles off the lower half of our real tree we just get a new one the next year instead of me having to try and glue all the needles back on or something.  Plus we're in the Pacific Northwest, where it seems a little silly to have an artificial tree since we pretty much live in a forest of the real thing.   

So off we went!

While picking out a Christmas tree is typically a family affair, we didn't bring Connor for a couple of reasons.  The first was that we didn't want to try and put the tree on top of our wheelchair van, and that meant we wouldn't be able to take the little guy's wheelchair with us.  He's kind of heavy to carry around these days.  The second reason was that we were planning on decorating the tree tonight, and we knew that would be more than enough stimulation for Connor.  The excitement of picking out the tree and then decorating it too would probably have been way too much for him.  And also he was still taking a nap.  So Jer and I went just the two of us to find our tree and bring it home.

Connor's been so adamant about wanting one of the giant trees in the mall that we knew we needed to get a spectacular tree for the house.  None of those measly little eight-footers would do for us; we have a twelve-foot high ceiling in our living room and we intended to use every inch of that to get as close to Connor's Dream Tree as possible.  So we drove about ten minutes away from our house and passed around eight tree farms (I'm not exaggerating-- we have a lot of Christmas tree farms here) before we decided on one, because it was the first one we didn't have to make a left hand turn across traffic to get to.

They had four different types of trees, and a very helpful woman listed the pros and cons of each and then handed us a saw so we could go find our own.  We walked about three feet to the left, handed the saw back to her and picked out an eleven foot tall Noble Fir that was already cut.  They stuck the tree in what looked like a giant paint mixer to shake out any excess needles, drilled a hole in the bottom for the tree stand and then fed it through a tube that put netting on it to make it easier to get it into the house.  It was pretty cool to watch.  Then Jeremy and I somehow managed to wrestle this giant tree on top of our car, and we were off!

This is by far the biggest Christmas tree I have ever had in my entire life, and I absolutely love it.  And even if it isn't a Giant Mall Tree of Doom, Connor seems to think it's pretty great too!  We set it up and put the lights on this afternoon, and then this evening we put on some Christmas music, turned on the fireplace and trimmed the tree.  Connor didn't really want to touch the tree, but he was very interested in the individual ornaments.  The whole process really wore him out though; he was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow tonight.

So Connor got his big Christmas wish, or the closest to it we could come, and I'm sure he'll spent many happy hours over the next month just staring at the tree and smiling.  The whole house smells wonderfully fragrant, there's a fresh wreath on the front door and the stockings are hung on the mantle.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!



Pam/D'ville said...

Connor obviously has good taste. The tree looks great. I'm impressed your tree is already up and even more impressed you've got WRAPPED packages under it too! I pray you all have the best Christmas ever.

Julia said...

Looks lovely! And I love the view of the picture of Connor sitting in Santa's lap (the same Santa, I presume, who teared up at Connor's palpable charm) -- great picture! And I'm glad you had such a pleasant Thanksgiving, too. I've been so busy lately that I got behind on people's blogs, but I really need my daily Connor fix.

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