Trimming the Tree

The Countdown to Christmas is on—24 days until Christmas.

Our countdown officially begins today with a special tradition shared by our webmaster. With a little pomp & circumstance, even the simplest parts of holiday decorating can become a grand tradition.

2008-12-418As a family, we have many traditions we participate in during the holidays. And since our middle child learned the word tradition, we have many more than we did just a few years ago. One of the bigger traditions centers around putting up the Christmas tree. It’s a great evening of inexpensive entertainment and gets everyone into the Christmas spirit.

It’s a big deal around here. Seriously. Putting up the tree is an all night event. You’ll forgive me if I get some of the details wrong, because each year it gets just a little bit bigger.

The past two or three years I’ve begun the day before by putting up the artificial tree after the kids go to bed. We went with artificial over a decade ago, without thinking much about it. It’s probably not as full as it once was, but it’s got another good eight to ten years left in it. Anyway, the next morning when the kids wake up, they’re all very excited because they know what that night has in store for them.

When the evening comes, mom (in her kerchief) bakes a fine assortment of edibles, and I (in my cap) string up the lights and garland with the help of whoever has a free hand. Before we put up the ornaments, we’ll snack on everything mother has made us while chatting about Christmas wishes and listening to all kinds of Christmas music. And of course, there’s always the Christmas mini-bottles of Coke. The kids love those.

After each of us has all of our ornaments up, it’s time to put the angel atop the tree. Since there’s only one angel, the kids take turns each year helping me place her on the tree. This year I think it’s the youngest’s turn. Even though only one kid can help with the angel, everyone gets the hear the story of how the angel got to be on top of the Christmas tree. It’s not a story I can share here, though.

Finally, we’ll put the kids to bed after an eventful night, full of Christmas cheer and anxious for all the other Christmas traditions that come over the next couple of weeks. For most of us, the tree is considered trimmed. Mom, however, will rearrange every ornament numerous times until the tree is taken down. In any event, it’s a good night for all.


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