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December 1st (or there abouts) is when I like to officially kick off the Christmas celebrations in our home. Today we partook in the first of many of our annual Christmas traditions - putting up and decorating the Christmas tree. In my 'ideal life' this would be a time that the whole family came together, all doing their part to decorate the tree as the Christmas music filled the air, its only competition the sound of laughter and family chatter.
In reality there is pretty much no chance of that actually happening. Craig will give me a hand with the tree lights under sufferance, and Caleb is definitely his fathers son when it comes to decorating the tree - he would rather be any where else! (he was thankful that he had two after school activities tonight and wasn't there!) Luckily for me Nathan loves to help out, Isaac likes the whole concept (and although his actual helpfulness in the whole process was negligible - he definitely made up for it in excitement and enthusiasm) and Jacinta took to her first chance to help out like she had been doing it for years.
The first important step is to set the mood and have the Christmas music playing. Growing up, it was always the same Bing Crosby ( I think?) Christmas Album that mum would put on as we decorated our tree. Ever since the boys were smaller this has been my CD of choice... (and yes it the real, original Hi 5) I know pretty daggy, but I love it and its become part of OUR Christmas traditions. Nath and I sung along as we decorated today!
I put the tree up, and did the lights before Nathan got home from school, and then Isaac, Jazz and Nathan decorated it. Isaac had been SO excited all afternoon about putting the decorations on the tree, but when the time finally arrived he decided it was much more fun to dance to our Christmas music and ride on the box from the tree, pretending it was a "sledge being pulled by goats" (no idea where this concept came from? maybe a muddled version of the sleigh and reindeer, of maybe something he read at kindy or saw on playschool - who knows...he thought it was lots of fun!!!)
Jacinta was really excited to see the box of shiny balls, and with a little guidance from Nath she was hanging them in no time - there was a small section that needed a little thinning out after she had finished!
Once the tree was decorated, Nathan got the honour of putting the final decoration on, the angel on the top. Its the first year he has been able to reach all by himself. I bough this angel the year we got engaged and she has sat atop out tree every year since...always the last thing to be added.
The kids all have a small ornament with their name engraved on it that I bought for them for their first Christmas. Caleb was more than happy to hang his when he got home tonight - that's plenty of tree decorating for him! This is our tree for 2009! Last years tree was Pink (in honour of Jacintas first Christmas)lime and silver. This year Ive kept to that and added some teal/blue baubles as well.It looks pretty bare inderneath, but my tree skirt is red and green and just doesnt go, I will have to hurry up and get some presents wrapped and under the tree to cover it up!!! Ive moved the tree to a new spot this year, and looking at these pictures, I love how the curtains and windows are framing it!