Ahhhh, what a weekend! It started out a little bit rocky. I was all pumped up about getting our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, but Matt seemed less than enthused. On Friday morning, I asked him why he didn't want to get the tree that day. A simple question led to a much-needed, 3o-minute discussion about Christmas, family traditions, our families' histories, and our indivudual expectations about Christmas for our family. My eyes were opened to why Matt has never gotten into the Christmas prep before. And he realized for the first time, I think, just how much my childhood traditions have shaped me. The end result was stunning--Matt's new outlook completely changed the course of our weekend. It was one of those special weekends I'll never forget.
After our discussion on Friday, we loaded the kids into the car and headed to Hobby Lobby to refresh our Christmas lights. After 7 Christmases, our tree lights finally bit the dust. We also had some 40% off coupons, so we got some additional lights for the outside of our house. Then it was on to Home Depot for a tree. When I was a kid we always used to go up into the Santa Cruz Mountains with my cousins to cut our tree at a tree farm. But the last few years Matt and I lived in California, the tree farm trees were dry, and the farms were pretty picked over. So we started going to Home Depot for our tree. We have never been disappointed. The trees are beautiful, affordable, and very fresh. This year's tree is probably the healthiest tree we have ever had. The kids had fun playing in the trees while Matt and I picked out our tree.
We got our tree home and the work began! Matt pulled out our Christmas tubs while I cleaned the living room. Matt moved furniture. I broke open the tubs. Matt set up the tree. I went through the tubs and pulled out everything I wanted to use for decorating this year. Matt and Snapper put the lights on the tree. I went camera crazy! I am still touched by how careful Matt was to evenly space the lights. He even wrapped lights up the trunk, knowing that I like that. Pepper got to put the star on the tree this year. It was his first time!
Snapper and I started decorating inside while Matt started the lights on our porch. I made a wreath for the front door and arranged silk poinsettias for the dining room and kitchen. I got all teary unpacking the stockings and hanging them over the fireplace. So many memories attached to these precious things! It was fun to share some of my memories with Snapper. And Pepper was so cute playing with the nativity set. "Mama, I gots Mawy, Jofus, and the Jesus Baby!" After all the decorations were out and set, I cleaned the living room again and put the tubs back in the garage.
Then came what Snapper had been anticipating all day: decorating the tree! When I was growing up, my dad's godmother and my mom built ornament collections for me. When I got married, my mom gave me the box of ornaments she had been collecting for me all those years. I am doing the same for Snapper and Pepper. How sweet to share more memories as we upwrapped each ornament from the tissue paper! Matt hung his ornaments. I hung mine. Snapper hung hers, and Matt helped Pepper hang his. More tears were shed as we reminisced about Christmas Past.
We all went to bed that night contented and tired. Saturday brought more fun! The kids played on the lawn while Matt and I worked on the rest of the outside lights. Pepper "helped" me snap the hangers onto the lights. Snapper policed Daddy to make sure he didn't fall off the roof. Even our kitties, Zoe and Alara, got into the action by climbing out the bathroom window and joining Matt on the roof.
We ended our day with a trip to Purple Cow for hamburgers, fries, and ice cream cones. We decided that post-decorating lunch at Purple Cow must become a new tradition! When darkness fell, we turned on those magical lights in our front yard. Matt did a beautiful job, and survived to tell about it! It was a sweet weekend for sure. A great kickoff for the wonderful month of December!