I've been struggling to find my Christmas spirit this year. Our December weekends are so full that we had to write "buy Christmas tree" on our calendar, and our initial weekend plan doesn't have me doing any Christmas baking until Dec. 24th. We still haven't figured out when we'll take the girls out to see the Christmas lights in our neighborhood. To be honest, the season has felt more like a forced march through a list of things I have to do than like a celebration of peace, love, and all that.
Yesterday, as our calendar dictated, Hubby went out and bought our Christmas tree. He came home with a tree that seemed far too big to me. We had to rearrange our entire living room to find it a place to stand, and even so, the only place it fits is right next to our front door. This is our first year with a full size tree- previous years, we have bought a small tree and perched it on top of an up-ended trunk full of books. We figured this would keep curious little hands from breaking any ornaments or pulling the tree over. But this year, we decided that the girls are big enough to handle a big tree.
So a big tree we have. It is so much bigger than previous years' trees that I had to go out and buy more lights for it. I bought a light up star for the top, too, in an attempt to buy myself a little Christmas spirit. That attempt failed, but tonight we decorated our tree, and a little bit of magic happened.
It started out poorly, with the girls chasing each other around the house giggling, and us almost yelling to get them to listen to us and calm down enough to start decorating.
But then, they started hanging ornaments on the tree, and it was wonderful. Pumpkin pronounced every ornament she picked up to be "beautiful" and was eager to help her little sister figure out the ornament hanging thing- maybe a little too eager, but Petunia didn't complain, so neither did we.
Petunia kept saying "I help" as she went between the table with the ornaments and the tree. She was so proud of herself every time she managed to hang an ornament that we didn't have the heart to tell her that the ornaments were meant to hang on tree branches, not light bulbs, and just surreptitiously moved them to safer locations nearby when her back was turned.
My sister had come to help us decorate, and brought a box of cheap but festive ornaments from Target to fill in the inevitable gaps caused by going from a 4 foot tree to a 7 foot one. The girls let us lift them up from time to time to put ornaments higher on the tree, but there is a definite local minimum for ornaments in the front and at the bottom, giving the tree a charmingly uneven look. But I think it is beautiful.
I'm sitting on the (rearranged) sofa typing this, enjoying the view of the tree and some newly discovered Christmas spirit. The only thing missing is a good Christmas cookie- the ones I bought turned out to be pretty dreadful. I think that if I go ahead and bake this weekend, even if there isn't really time, my Christmas spirit may turn out to be intact this year, after all.
How about you? How's your holiday spirit this year? What makes it feel like the holidays at your house?
The giveaway on the Secret Agent Jo post is still open. I'll pick the winner Saturday night, maybe over some nice Christmas cookies.