Anyhow, on to the tree tale:
First we went a-looking. We like to go to a family owned stand of evergreens where we are handed a band saw and sent off with our custom fashioned tree cart to search among the spruces until we find just the perfect tree. We have been here three years running for our tree. It hits just the perfect notes for me, family owned, modest in size and selection and cut-your-own in the grass rootsiest manner possible.
The family members at least three generations of owners are all out chatting together, tying up bows and wreaths cozily in a little lean-to that houses a super charming miniature wood stove for warming the hands of the babies and the propped up boots of the grandpas. The stove crackles and some member or other leaps up to hand out a saw or net bag the tree of choice.
They all wear black and red plaid flannel and every year I wonder if it is their family tartan and don't have the bravery to ask any of them out loud. I have to admit that its a very cheery uniform, apple red and black checks were peeking out from Carharts, layered under jackets and even snugly buttoned around the baby in attendence.
So, we picked the perfect tree. (Sorry, I got all carried away about the flannel there.) We have a blue spruce this year instead of the white spruce we've had for the past two years. And Ru pulled the tree cart up to the lean-to again, a feat I was mightily impressed by in a three year old, but still found quite astounding for a little four year old tyke.
We tied the tree on top of the car, (Such a cold job this year with a biting wind whipping us and flipping the twine all over the place) and then we sailed off home.
We waited one night because there were way too many things on our To Do List still when we pulled in the driveway with the tree...and then we opened the Rubbermaid tubs where I store all the holiday paraphernalia. The boys were big enough to be quite aware and helpful in the decoration process. Ru helped A twirl lights around the tree, we added our garland of tinsel (just one, gold) and then looped on the Mardi Gras beads that we use for extra kid-friendly glitz.
Meanwhile, Dee discovered the strands of extra lights and disappeared to the hall outlet to experiment with plugging in and unplugging. He was completely fascinated with the whole business. Hang, the rest of the decorations...this electricity stuff was waaaaay cooler. I don't believe we really saw him again all night.
Then, we pulled the ornaments out and I separated them into Daddy ornaments (the breakables) and kid ornaments (the plastic, wooden and paper variety) and we hung the tree with all manner of lovely orbs and gizmos.
At this point A had to whisk the boys upstairs for bed and he volunteered to even take Nib so that I found myself alone in the living room with the soft glow of Christmas lights, a few precious ornaments from my grandparents collection and a small bagful of icicles. I love icicles. The plastic silvery strands that you hang from the tips of the outermost branches. I always wished we could have them as a child and am no end of thrilled every Christmas at the sparkling creature my tree becomes when all those glittering bits all over it. I think sparkle is key to holiday decor.
It was lovely to have a few private moments to hang the special ornaments and the sprinkle glitter everywhere. When A came back down with a lip-smacking Nib on his arm in a half an hour I was all aglow with my moment of Silent Night and felt like the halls had been decked in the very best way.
Merry Christmas all!