As I said to the kids yesterday when we had spent an hour untangling and putting the christmas lights on the tree - it's not a 5 minute job.
We love real Christmas trees (the traditional pine), but because so many of us in our family have airborne allergies, it's out of the question (as are lillies) unless we want to spend the whole month sneezing and rubbing itchy eyes. We bought a fake tree the first year we were married, and it's still going great and looking good too.
The children are really into Christmas this year. They spent the entire afternoon with me yesterday setting out the decorations. In past years they usually leave me to it after an hour.
I usually buy one good Christmas decoration each year. This year I bought a proper wreath for the front door. I saw a beautiful one made from red velvet roses at the store, but the price was $125!! I was tempted, but when I thought how the strong Canterbury winds would probably rip it to shreds, I passed it up and settled for a much simpler, (and cheaper) wreath which I'm so thrilled with. It reminds me a little of the wreath from the movie, Little Women.
We have decided on a red and white colour theme this year.
I also have a tradition that we started a couple of years ago where I get the children one really nice tree ornament every year. That will get added to a box belonging to them of all the ornaments I have bought them throughout their childhood, so that when they leave home, they already have a small collection of Christmas ornaments to take with them, that has lots of sentiment attached to them.
I love these old-fashioned glass ornaments - these ones are from nursery rhymes. For Hugh (my oldest son) I got the glass ball.
I love these little birds that clip onto the end of the tree branches (are they Cardinals)?
Hugh took this photo of our tree.
We hang our stockings above the fireplace.
Meredith likes to set out the nativity scene and the little Christmas village that we are collecting along the bottom of the fireplace. I'm not sure how we're going to keep Alice from breaking them, but I don't like to move Meredith's careful arrangements just yet.
Last night, after the sun had set and the children were in bed, I went outside and took a photo of the tree through the window. That's one of my most favourite things to do at this time of year when the Christmas tree is up. It's lovely to wander outside in the still summer night air and see the Christmas lights through your own windows.