Until yesterday, the extent of our Christmas decorating was limited to our outside icicle lights and spiral trees, and the window clings over every window and the sliding door in our downstairs area. We usually have the outside lights and trees up for Thanksgiving, but we ran out of time, and then with us being deathly ill with the plague after Thanksgiving, that got moved to last weekend.
I have been dreading getting a Christmas tree. Last year we put our tree inside the twins' play yard, and for the most part it was pretty safe there. We had the ornaments up high enough that they couldn't reach. And we had our living room configured in such a way that the girls couldn't get into anything or cause trouble.
Fast forward to this year. Two toddlers, one preschooler, a grade schooler, and 3 cats. Yeah, good times. The play yard is broken down into sections to 1) keep the girls off the stairs and 2) keep them out of this computer room because they can't keep their hands to themselves. Since play yards run for about $99, I'm not about to get another one JUST for the Christmas tree. So after hockey yesterday (where, by the way, my girl scored an amazing goal after getting her own rebound) we went hunting for a tree. This year the high school wasn't selling trees, and actually NO ONE around here was. So, we took a trip to the next town over and found a tree at the apple orchard. It's a lovely tree, not at all Charlie Brown like. Granted it was still covered with ice from our ice storm on Friday (which rendered us without power, water, heat, etc. for 8 hours, when I was home alone, with four children. Sigh) so Doug had to stand in the garage with my hair dryer to thaw it out. After letting it drip dry on the dining room floor, Doug strung the lights and I commenced letting Meg and Drew decorate.
Let me just say, as an aside, that I was near tears watching the kids decorate the tree. No, not from love and gushy feelings. From the fact that they aren't gentle with my ornaments and throw them on the tree willy nilly without thought to style, or location, or anything close to making it look PRETTY. There were certain ornaments I wouldn't let them touch at all, and I've spent a good deal of time rearranging the tree since they decorated. Ahem. Yes, I am a heartless bitch it appears.
I took plenty of before and after pictures and will include them. I also took some photos of my favorite ornaments. I can't possibly put every ornament I have on the tree because, well, I don't want to. We don't do tinsel ever since the cat ate some years ago, and I don't like garland. My tree includes a collection of flute playing Santas and hockey playing Santas. My favorite flute playing Santa is this guy sent to me by Auntie Nettie many years ago:
Then this is an ornament I made in 2nd grade. I just love it, although I don't know why. I think the best part is that my mom always had her on the tree and gave her to me when I moved out:
And here it is, in all its glory:
Now we'll see how long before the kids and/or cats destroy it.