December brings with it my favorite holiday of the year, Christmas! I enjoy other holidays, such as Halloween and Thanksgiving, but Christmas is the holiday I remember most from my childhood. The lights outside houses and the holly draping inside them – it is always so festive and welcoming. I also loved decorating gingerbread houses with my cousins, singing Christmas carols with my friends, and watching Christmas movies with my mom.
In all the crazy, joyous events surrounding Christmas, my all-time favorite event is decorating the Christmas tree. While my mom and I would decorate the rest of the house ourselves, the Christmas tree was the one decoration that my whole family would do together. My dad would set up the tree and put on the lights, and my mom would open up the Christmas boxes and pass ornaments to my brother and I to hang on the tree.
We all had our favorite Christmas ornaments. My dad liked the crystal ornaments (except for this one crystal ballerina with fat legs. LOL); my mom liked the handmade ornaments from nuts and yarn; my brother liked the train ornaments and usually took them off the tree to play; and I liked a dog ornament that was made out of tiny little pine cones.
Many of our ornaments had stories behind them, such as who made it and what event it was created for. My brother and I had our first baby ornaments, and there were the ornaments that grandma had made, including the decorated nuts and pine cone dog. There were also countless ornaments that my brother and I had made in school or church over the years. Even the ornaments with next to no story were always greeted as friends when they were unwrapped from their protective tissues.
Though I live on my own now, I still treat my Christmas tree the same way I did when I was little. The first thing I do is pick out a nice live tree. Fake trees work just fine if you have enough room for a second tree in a house, but the family tree, that protects the presents until Christmas morning, MUST be a live tree in my house.
The process of decorating the tree is sacred, and being the strange person that I am, I do it the same way every year. After the tree is in its stand, I put on the lights. First twining them against the trunk of the tree; then, circling them out on the edge of the branches. Next, I wrap a pretty ribbon, usually red or gold, around the tree. The ornaments follow shortly after. All the fun, unique ornaments go on first, making sure our favorite ornaments get the best locations. The colorful bulbs go on next to fill in any empty wholes. A few small red bows usually get scatter around, and finally, I hang a box or two of classic candy canes all over.
The result is always wonderful, and I love staring at the tree for the rest of the holiday season. Here’s a picture of this year’s Christmas tree!
In addition to a few of my favorite old ornaments, Dan and I’s tree is decorated with some of his favorites and a new one that we picked up the night he proposed. :)
As Christmas and the other holidays celebrated in December draw closer, I wish you all at least a few moments peace in all the craziness. Remember that the holidays are supposed to be about giving and spreading joy to others, which does not have to come in the form of a present.
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! And a wonderful New Year to all!