Reluctant Holiday Spirit

I decorated my tree this weekend, which is usually done the weekend after Thanksgiving. Finding the energy to embrace the season has been difficult at best.

I blame the lack of snow.

We’ve had nice weather this year although it’s not really conducive to having Christmas spirit.

This year we have a toddler coming to visit and a crazy kitten who lives here. This means that my normal Christmas tree, covered in fragile glass bulbs will be problematic. So, we decided to do something different this year.

My wonderful hubby built this tree:


I love the natural, rough cut wood of this tree. I even purchased a bunch of metal ornaments that would take being handled. When I went to decorate, that’s when the trouble started.

How do you decorate a tree that doesn’t have “branches” that will hold things at different levels? How to I keep the lights and ribbon in place without that? Whose idea was this anyway?

The answer: staple gun.

This was hubby’s idea and it did work. I managed to get the lights and ornaments to stay. I even pulled out the push pins to help.



It was still more difficult than I thought it would be. I do like the end result even though it looks a bit off. Lighted trees are my favorites.

Here is a final picture, complete with said kitten at the base:

 


She hasn’t bothered the ornaments or lights yet. Maybe we would have been safe with the other tree.

Maybe!

Christmas is in How Many Days?

light-690831_1280Earlier this week I saw my first Christmas lights decorating a house. I shouldn’t be surprised since the weather has been so favorable. We should probably expect more decorations this year since our temperatures have been in the 70’s in recent weeks. For Northern Michigan, this has been a wonderful break before the cold weather hits.

I have a rule in my house: the tree doesn’t come out until after Thanksgiving. Which according to the calendar, is in about two weeks. That weekend I will dutifully take my tree out its box (yes I have a fake tree and though I miss having a real tree, wood heat and real pine makes for a problematic holiday season) and decorate it. I will even turn the lights on each night until after the new year.

It’s not that I don’t like to see the lights and decorations. In fact, I truly enjoy them. We’ve been known to drive around after dark searching for fabulously decorated yards.

Just not before Thanksgiving.

I know that I probably land somewhere in the middle of the debate that rages each year as to the best time for decorating. My struggle tends to happen when I am looking at Halloween decorations on one side of the aisle and Christmas on the other.

I put my imaginary blinders on as I peruse the black and orange jack-o-lanterns and black cats.

My daughter once told me that I needed to just deal with the fact that Christmas is coming. I think that year I was even refusing to speak about the holidays before it was necessary.

She is probably right.

However, as much as I enjoy the season, there are things that arent so fun. Some of that comes with the commercialism of Christmas and some comes with all of the things on my to-do list that often includes, cooking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping etc. It is never ending. This year will even include lessons in how to keep a rambunctious half-grown kitten from treating the tree as if it were her personal toy.

I’m not sure I would have it any other way, regardless of how much I struggle.

Once Thanksgiving has happened and the turkey is a memory, I say, bring on the lights. Bring on the tree, the cookies, and short sprints of shopping.

Oh, and keep them up until after Christmas. Taking down your Christmas tree and decorations at night on Christmas is a bit grinch-like.

That is the best time to keep them on. The cookies are baked and given away, meals eaten, presents wrapped and torn open. It’s time to relax and watch a holiday movie. My personal favorite is White Christmas with Bing Crosby and the gang.

Its one way to enjoy the season and keep the feeling around, even if it is only for one more day.

What are your favorite parts of the Christmas season?