Since my birthday is on the sixth, it falls early enough in December but far enough after Thanksgiving to be dubbed the Perfect Day to Decorate. It’s been our tradition the last all-of-my-years to either get a tree on my birthday, or decorate it. Or both. We also go sort of crazy with the indoor decorations as well and really need no other lights on in our home when our decorations are turned on. It’s pretty bright. But warm and comfortable.
This year we did things a little earlier and it was nice to have my birthday be slower and less rushed to get the tree done. We were smart about it and got our tree Sunday afternoon. The past few years we’d end up waiting too long and then would have to wait even more for the store to buy their second round of trees. This time around we got a gorgeous full, fat tree that is perfect. And it was the first one we looked at!
We didn’t go into the hills to cut down our own tree this year as has been our tradition in the past. The last several years I’ve either been pregnant or our kids too young to be fun for anyone; hopefully next year we can plan on it and actually get out there again! It’s a tradition I miss!
Anyway. We put the tree up that same afternoon while the girls were in bed and then spent that evening decorating the inside of our house. It’s so pretty in here. I love Christmas time.
Last night we spent the evening decorating the tree with lights and ornaments.
Thanks to my parents and grandparents, I have a metric ton of ornaments that have been mine since my first Christmas in 1980. I have collectible Hallmark ornaments from every year since then, so our tree is full!
My parents even saved ornaments that I made in school in kindergarten and all through my school years, so the girls got to see pictures of me (Jovi kept insisting they were pictures of her) when I was a little girl. Sweet.
This year we officially introduced Elf on the Shelf as a tradition. Jovi is finally old enough to grasp the concept, and it’s been fun watching them wake up and run around the house trying to find our elf, Jasper (Jovi’s name choice!) Aven doesn’t so much “look” as she does “follow the taller one blindly;” it’s fun all the same.
Also, to help Jovi grasp the difference between “Christmastime” and “Christmas day” I took inspiration from a blog, (who took inspiration from Family Fun magazine) and made a sort of advent calendar out of Christmas socks.
Inside I put pieces of paper with fun things on them. Since we were out of town the first couple days of December, we started on Sunday. The first day was to introduce and read Elf on the Shelf. The second day was decorate the Christmas tree. Today was celebrate mommy’s birthday. The rest range in style from “look at neighborhood Christmas lights” to “make cookies and share them.” I spent a good part of Saturday night coming up with these, and also gave myself some slack by filling some of the socks with little tubs of playdough or candy. It’s been fun for the girls to take a sock down and discover the contents. Aven, being Aven, doesn’t understand the whole “just for show” thing as far as the socks go. When Jovi takes one down Aven immediately plops herself on the floor and offers up her feet and gets seriously ticked off when no one moves to dress her. It’s impossible to explain such things to that one without causing a tantrum or international incident, so I just pretend to see something shiny in the kitchen and wander off quietly while she is left on the floor, confused and sock-less.