We like to get our Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. But, Cam was working Friday and Sat.
We did make it out on Sunday. We went straight from church to hunt for the perfect....I mean a tree that is acceptable.
We walked around in our church clothes dodging mud puddles...and mud bogs...and lakes of rainwater.
The children on Santa's (meaning me) good list brought a hoodie/coat and boots to wear at the tree farm. Those on Santa's naughty list got their church shoes all mucky.
On to the just right tree. Over the years I care less and less about the perfect tree. I let the kids look and pick...and I only give a few yah/nahs. I mean c'mon...a tree with all brown needles isn't going to work for me. It's a fire hazard after all.
Oh my cute people. I love them!
Oh look...it's a teenager and he's smiling AND got his photo with his Mama.
Mr. Hottie Dad carried our chosen tree. And he was really happy because the amount of time it takes us (me) to approve a tree has decreased over the years from about an hour to 10 min. That's something to celebrate.
Every Christmas is busy. Besides the holiday festivities we have REGULAR LIFE too. It's just the worst to me that on top of all the REGULAR LIFE I now have a mountain of holiday things to add. Eeeeks!
I've tried a bunch of different strategies to calm my nerves and get things done (i.e. enjoy the holidays). We start early to pace ourselves. We've eliminated things that we used to do. We don't add anything extra.
This year's strategy is minimize, minimize, minimize. I was craving a house that isn't too cluttered. We decided to go minimalist on the Christmas decor.
After getting our tree we had a basketball game to attend and then bed. The next day was back to school and Cam to work so our tree sat undecorated for a bit.
I was dreading getting out ALL THE ORNAMENTS. I have A LOT! And then I came up with a plan. I went to the basement and pulled out the box of ornaments. I called each kid one or two at a time and had them pick from the top of the bin. They each picked about 20 or so ornaments and then carried them on a tray to the tree and put them on.
I told them to tell me when the tree looked full. And then we stopped. I put the lid back on the tub and slid it back into storage. Nobody got sad or obsessed about not putting certain ornaments on the tree since they never saw them. Yeah!
And...I didn't spend the time telling the kids where to put the ornaments. They happily put them on. And then when they were at school the next day I rearranged a few. Meaning: I took ornaments off the ends of branches that contained so many they were bowed to the ground.
The tree looks simply beautiful.
Rocket agrees. It's his new fave spot to lay. Sneaky dog isn't suppose to be on the chair. (pic was taken before ornaments went up)
Then in my bedroom I put up a little fake tree. Instead of the ornaments I usually put on I opted for a couple boxes of gold and glittery balls. The skirt was made by my MIL for her mother and I love it. It's really fun to have this tree in our room.
The rest of our decor consists of an advent calendar...actually two. But man does it save me from answering, "how many days until Christmas?". We opted for lights and candles to sparkle up the mantel and living room and dining rooms. I put my Ethiopian nativity in my china hutch.
Cam was a SAINT and did the lights in our yard. Tuba loves them so much and I have an injured arm so couldn't do them this year. I came home from work one day and he had them all up. Yahoooo!
So that's it for decor simplified. And enjoying the season!