It's that wonderful time of year once again when you drag your post turkey coma family out the day after Thanksgiving in search of the perfect Christmas tree. In our case we went that Saturday so we were already down one precious day with a large tree in our living room. We were ready. The girls each disappeared into the forest of possibilities and I tried not to have a panic attack fearing one of them would emerge into the parking lot without parental supervision.
Margot found her perfect tree pretty early on.
Ada stoically lead me to her favorite a few minutes later. She was sure it was just the right size.
Frankie mostly ran and, more specifically, ran away.
Let's be honest Mommy is really the one who chooses the tree and as I wove my way around the 45th corner in this little winter wonderland - I saw it. It stood out like a well dressed southern lady at a car wash. It had just the right amount of what we like to call "tree belly". Nice and round in the middle. A fat tree bordering on obese and absolute perfection.
Frankie was so excited she flew right out of Stephen's arms.
The girls were happy and wiggly so after Stephen haggled the guy down a whole 3 dollars on the price we strapped that little porker to top of our car and joined the throngs of others on the roads heading home with their prizes like some happy family of man Christmas brotherhood.
We have some traditions that go along with choosing our tree. We always get a cookie at the Farmers Market afterward and nibble its cold sugary goodness in the car on the way home. This year we added a pre-tree hunt tradition. We all went out for breakfast at Finches - an old Raleigh institution. The girls each got to order for themselves - which means they had about 6 pieces of sausage, 12 pieces of toast and 8 pieces of bacon between them - we may rethink that part for next year but I was actually impressed with how much of that they polished off. Putting a reminder in my phone or whatever it takes to remember to do that next year. We don't go out to eat with them, pretty much ever. So this was just about the most perfect treat before one of their favored days of the year. Felt like a true American family.
Last year this time we were scrambling to finish the house in time to move in. Exhausted and feeling like we would never make it. This year we put up Christmas lights. Stephen has always wanted the old fashioned big glass bulb lights for his own home. So that's exactly what we got. What else could you expect from this vintage loving family? He did the doorway this year and next year we may add the front edge of the roof. A few strands each year until we are those retirees who spend an entire day on the outdoor lights.
The glow from the lights is so warm and inviting I find myself peering out the windows trying to catch a glimpse of the glow from indoors. It makes me wish I was my own neighbor so I could look out and see them. They just make us happy.
We are taking Christmas very slow and easy this year. I have cut out all extra activities that are not school related. I RSVPd no to the 47 birthday parties they got invited too. We are not looking for a billion ways to give back at this time of year. We are pulling up the little rope ladder to our clubhouse and making multiple batches of my Nanny's favorite cookie recipes. We are having hot chocolate just because. We are reading the Advent readings before we eat our chocolate from the calendar (most days). We are playing with the nativity scene and taking deep breaths and putting lots of love into the things we have chosen to do this year.