Thursday, December 3, 2009

Theme Tree

I was reading The Nester yesterday during my "research" and she feels every tree needs a theme. Not sure how I feel about that. Years ago, after a busted water pipe wiped out most of our families ornaments (that was a sad day) my mom decided she was going to do a theme tree: pine cones. We started buying all the pine cone ornaments we could find. It was pretty, but is was still missing something, so we added snowflakes. Still missing something, so we added red balls. The always looked nice, but for me, it always looked there was something missing. I guess it was all the old ornaments I looked forward to hanging up every year.

On my tree, we started out with a little bit of everything (the "no theme" theme if you will) I tried collecting cow ornaments. I have a few, but finding ones that aren't totally tack is difficult. Then I tried "green santas" (this was my protest against red santas when I found out that the red and white suit was a marketing tool for Coca Cola), but those are even more scarce than non tacky santa cows. It wasn't until I was at JoAnns one day and saw some photo frame ornaments marked down to next to nothing. I bought all they had. I was teaching at the time and figured they would make good thank you gifts for my parent volunteers. The left over frames sat in my Christmas box for a long time until we had Ben . We brought Ben home on Christmas Eve and so when I found this little frame, I thought it was perfect.

From then on, every year we add new photo ornaments to the tree. Each kid has a school picture ornament and I have one of the both of them in front of the tree. It is amazing how much the kids have grown and changed. As Sam was helping me trim the tree last night, she commented on each of her pictures. "I sure was cute back then. Huh, mom" and then practiced her potential poses for this years picture. In addition to the photo ornaments, Santa brings the kids an ornament every year reflecting their current interests so hanging out between the photos, we have Elmo, the Hulk, Dora and Hello Kitty, to name a few. Of course, no tree is complete with out painted macaroni and we have a couple of those too.

So I guess if I had to pick a "theme" I would go with "our family". Sweet and simple, just like us.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December is here: ready or not

Today is December 1st.

It struck me this morning that I have a lot to get done these next few weeks.

I know I should be chipping away at my to do list, but here I sit blog hopping. I'm calling it "research" to make myself feel better.

We have our annual Christmas party this Saturday. I can't do a lot of decorating until the carpets get cleaned tomorrow, but once that is done, I'm all over it. The real reason we have the party so early is so that we aren't putting up the tree on Christmas eve. I think this year will be fun because the kids are at an age we they are really into it and are actually helpful. Ben has inherited my "it must be symmetrical" gene so his help will actually be helpful when doing the tree. Sam is still in training :0)

What I'm looking forward to this year is that fact that we are keeping things really simple. Our "buy a gift" list is pared down and I'm excited to do a bunch of baking for friends. We don't' have a lot going on in December so I'm hoping things will just be mellow and enjoyable. Isn't that the point? To take time and reflect on family and friends and spread some joy as opposed to pulling your hair out? Well, that is what I'm going to try and do. I'll let you know how it goes... :0)