I am a huge fan of Christmas! If I am completely honest I would be happy starting to decorate for Christmas and listen to Christmas songs the day after Halloween. My husband on the other hand would be completely happy if the decorations and music stayed in boxes till the week of and then were put away the day after. Thankfully he has compromised and allows his Christmas fanatic of a wife to start Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.
One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is setting up the Christmas tree. I always liked it as a kid but now that I have my own kids, I love it even more.
I think the reason that I love Christmas so much is the beauty of it. The twinkling lights, the sentimental ornaments hanging on the branches of the tree, the variety of ways that a single carol can be sung. I also love the quiet that comes with snow. We live in Montana, so, it is very odd if we don’t have snow at Christmas. When it is snowing and you walk outside it is silent. Not on oppressive silent, but a calming peaceful one that wraps its arms around you and makes you feel clean and that there are no troubles in the world anymore.
Having kids has changed how I decorate for Christmas. I have been forced to give up my need to have a perfect looking tree to stepping back and realizing that it is about the process not the look for my kids.
Now, I know many a family that only have real tree’s at Christmas. At the moment that just isn’t an extra cost we can handle so we are using the artificial tree we got 7 years ago. The princess had the privilege of helping daddy set that up this year.
As a family, setting up the tree is a must. The year my husband was deployed we actually Skyped with him while we set up the tree so we could still be a family. There is always lots of laughs, music and general silliness. The princess found this snowflake headband and wanted me to take a picture of her royal goofiness.
One of the traditions that my husband and I have started is that we buy our kids a new Christmas ornament every year. We see this as giving them something special for that year and will give them their own stash of ornaments for their first Christmas tree in their own place.
This was the first year that I noticed how much fine motor skill it takes to put Christmas Ornaments on a tree. Have you ever sat back and just let your kids put an ornament on the tree? Or tried to do it yourself? It takes concentration. This year my goal was to not be so controlling of how my tree looked. This year it was about my kids experiencing the joy of decorating and enjoying their hard work. This strategy isn’t for everyone. If you are willing to give this a try, I suggest that you keep any sentimental or special ornaments that you can’t live without packed away.
Now, I know that a lot of people have a star on the top of their tree. We happen to have an angel to go on ours. It is an angel that we put on the top of our family tree while I was growing up. Every year the kids take turns on who gets to put the angel on. This year it was the firefighters.
For me, Christmas is about family. It is about the traditions you do with your family. The gifts are great and I have a blast planning and buying gifts for people, but deep down in my heart, I enjoy the quiet, soft twinkling lights glowing on my tree as I read to my kids then opening any amount of gifts.