Decking the halls this year began on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. A new tradition for us the past few years has been to make ornaments after our Thanksgiving dinner...which at our house is the Sunday after the traditional Thursday. This year's "craft project" was to take foamy snowman and tree shapes and decorate them as desired using a whole lotta trinkets and trash that were splayed out all over the table. Jeremy's mom and dad had joined us for dinner and were good sports about doing the craft as well. And after all that creativity, we had some very interesting new decorations for the tree. We usually put up two trees. Ther
e is a pretty one in the livingroom with all white lights and red and gold ornaments, garlands, and even some sprigs of berries and sparkly things sticking out here and there. And we enjoy looking at it every night during Christmas. Then there is the one downstairs in the family room. It's a good thing it's a big tree, because it is becoming quite loaded. We don't even put every ornament on it any more, but definitely a sampling of all the ornaments we've accumulated over the years. Many of them are hand made. I have some that I made before I was married, we have ones the kids made when they were little, ones my niece and nephew made when they were young, and now the ones the grand kids are making. There are also special ornaments from special friends and family members. And there are some antique ones that I remember being on the tree when I was little.
I asked Jodi if the kids could spend the night and help me do a lot more of the decorating the next day. She was fine with that. What she didn't know, was that I was going to have them for 3 days because Jeremy was surprising her with a little time away for just the two of them. We had set it up weeks before and she knew nothing about it! He's usually as bad as I am at keeping surprises, but he pulled it off this time and they had a great couple of days of "together time". So the next morning, I harnessed all the energy that's stored in those little bodies and there were that many fewer trips up and down the stairs for me to take down the fall decorations and get out the wreaths and poinsettias for the front porch, etc.
It's a funny thing about that energy, though. It only lasts in short spurts, so you have to take advantage of it while you can. So after a while the kiddos drifted off to play and I kept putting a few things up here and there. Later I had to laugh when I went down stairs for something and saw that they had added to the tree decorations down there. There, on some lower branches right in front (where they like to hang everything), they had put some of their stuffed animals on the tree!
So that's one new thing in the decorating department this year. The other new thing is that I was so excited about having a pretty, new mantle to decorate for Christmas that I didn't know where to begin. I asked Jessica if they had anything nice at the gift shop. So one night she brought over several pieces and helped me pick out some things. It looks very nice -- and you sure can't beat the convenience of shopping at home! Thanks, Jess! She also loaned us her Christmas tree since she wasn't going to be putting it up in her apartment this year (and also because she stores it here, anyway) and that looks really nice, too. So now we're all decked out and ready for Santa.