This week we are discussing when we decorate for Christmas. I have always loved Christmas and winter. Around here the average first day of measurable snowfall is December 1, or so I have been told by friends who have a snow shoveling business. That is also the day that we decorate for Christmas.
After I became a single mother I moved in with my sister. A few years later I moved into my first apartment with just myself and my three amazing children. A few days before my birthday I was asked by my parents what I wanted. All I wanted was a tree, a friend of mine had given me a cute little one that was already decorated but I wanted a big one that my kids and I could decorate together. So for my birthday I was given a cute 6 foot prelit tree. That started our tradition of decorating on my birthday.
On December 1 my kids and I get out the tree. My oldest son (he’s 14 now) helps me to put it together while my daughter will untangle hooks. Once we add a few strings of light and plug it in we start adding all of our ornaments. I have one box that is all salt dough ornaments from when the kids were little and pony bead ornaments that have been made together over the years. We have a few plain blubs and some hallmark ornaments that my parents have gotten for the kids. They love their Star Wars ornaments. All of these get hung while listening to Christmas music. My youngest puts the star or angel (whichever we decide on at the time) on top of the tree. Once the topper is on it gets filled with candy canes. We get the regular ones as well as the different flavors. My daughter (16) likes to hid her favorite flavors near the top of the tree and toward the center so her younger brothers don’t eat them.
Last year was our first year with a Christmas village. I was so happy to receive this as a birthday gift. I had always loved looking at my mom’s and grandma’s villages when I was younger. I look forward to putting it up in our new home this year, though I have no clue where I will put it. Maybe I will place it on the stairs by the banister.
This is our first Christmas in a house. We’re really excited about this and are looking forward to new ways to decorate. The kids want to do something outside but I think the biggest outside thing we will do this year is to put our little silver wreath on the door and maybe some candy cane solar lights along the sidewalk. Inside we have plans to put penguins sliding down the banister, the kids each want to make a wreath for their bedroom doors, we have cute hot chocolate tins that will be on the table ready for when we play games. My youngest requested window clings for his room and the French doors in the living room as well as candles to place in the many windows that we have. Stockings will either go up on the stairs or will be hung on a wall in the living room.
Once we are done decorating we sit down with hot chocolate, birthday cake, and watch White Christmas before the kids scamper off to bed excitedly waiting to see what will be under the tree from the Elf the next morning. Ever since I was a little girl we had an elf (it looks like the Elf on the Shelf ones) and he would bring us one gift the night we decorated the tree. It was a preview of what we could get come Christmas morning if we were good. If the elf’s legs dropped (he was always holding his legs close to his body) that meant he had to run and tell Santa that we had been naughty and we wouldn’t get anything. That tradition has been carried through to my own children.
Do you have any decorating traditions?