Well, we finally got all of our lights up outside. It was quite the ordeal, but wow, does it look so pretty! I grin every time I pull into our driveway at night. Hooray for lights!
Just in case the light saga wasn't enough, lets move on to the Christmas tree.
It all started out fine and dandy. We found a gorgeous tree! I was so excited to get a tree without worrying about the height. The taller the better this year.
We pulled up to the store, and there she was. In all of her pine smelling, ever-green, perfectly trimmed majesty. I could swear angels were singing when I saw her there.
Ben, like the pro that he is now in Christmas tree tying on the car techniques, had the tree up on the car in no time, we all commented on his superman like strength (especially the boys) as he picked up the tree over his head and placed it on the car, and we were off. Christmas music blaring, excited kids wiggling, and one happy momma with her perfect tree.
We got the tree home, drug her through the door and across the floor where Ben placed her in the stand. We leaned her a little to the right, a drop to the left, scooted her up a bit, turned her around and around, and then she was all set. Ben screwed in the stand, and we all stood back to admire....our crooked tree!
Yes, the tree was leaning like there was no tomorrow. This picture was actually one of the better times. So, Ben unscrewed the stand, we scooted her to the right, a pinch to the left, a hair to the right, turned her a bit, and screwed her back in. Then, we all stepped back to admire....our crooked tree! Seriously!
Once again, we unscrewed, turned, leaned and checked from every angle. Finally, we got her all snug in and standing up straight!
Time to decorate!
I pulled out the lights, turned on the music, gathered the kids, and prepared for tree decorating bliss. Everyone smiling, happily placing the ornaments, reflecting on each one, and gently placing them on the tree.
First of all, we were too short on lights. The ones we did have, only had half of the strand working. So, the kids and I wound the lights around and around the tree, shoving chunks of not working lights deep into the tree, trying to hide them. We got sap on our fingers, pine needles in our eyes, and knots in the lights. Oh, it was so joyous. Did I mention that Luke was crying and the cat was freaking out. Bliss.
Finally, we got the lights on. They looked horrible, and the star didn't fit, but I figured we would just hide it all with the ornaments.
I summoned up my last bit of Christmas spirit, smiled, gathered the kids again, and pulled out the ornaments.
William ended up bawling and refusing to hang anything. Luke was tired. Mary and Sam were ok, but soon began fighting over where to hang everything. We finally got the tree decorated.
We stepped back to look at our gorgeous, pine smelling, perfectly trimmed, beautifully decorated tree. I barely gave a sigh of relief and happiness, when,
The entire tree fell over...to the ground, and then rolled a bit, which only broke more ornaments and our spirits. Ornaments broke, lights fell off, water went everywhere, and I let out one of those half crying half hysterical laughs that really scare people.
Mary and Sam didn't move a muscle, but I did see a one tiny tear silently roll down Mary's cheek, and my heart almost split in half. Ben informed us all that we were done for the night. No one argued.
I sulked my way through our bedtime routine with the kids, sadly bid our fallen tree goodnight, and went to bed.
It took a few days to get over it, buy new lights, a new star, pick up the tree and the fallen decorations, and get the drive to start over.
This time, however, it all came to pass. Lights worked, music was playing, ALL of the kids were happy and helping, and the tree was straight.
Now, as I sit here alone, in the quiet dark room, lit by the glow of the tree lights, as has been my favorite Christmas thing to do since I was a small child, I feel all excited and happy and peaceful, as I stare at our beautiful tree. I think I love doing this so much, because in the quiet peace, and the magical glow of the lights, the true spirit of Christmas has a moment to fill my heart, and I feel close to the Christ child on that blessed holy night.
She is a hodge-podge tree, full of character, stories, 5 gold ornaments hung in a clump by William (in several spots), the nutcrackers sword fighting each other, hung by Sam, Mary's ornaments hung with her amazing artistic flare, and a few broken ornaments, hanging by their last thread, thanks to Luke.
It is the perfect tree to me.