Sundays are good days for me to become productive. So, I had decided to put up both Christmas trees. Yes, I have two of them. We had just moved into our new home after the tragic split between my son’s father and I. I needed something to represent our new beginning. The best thing I could think of was to buy a Christmas tree. To me, Christmas always symbolized peace, love and leaving the past behind. It was perfect timing as we were in the month of January and everything that was seasonal was on sale. So, I picked out a 6.5 foot pre-lit tree. I went crazy buying ornaments and garland for it. I bought extra lights for the tree, because I learned from my father that one set of lights is never enough.

So, where does the other tree come in? well with my OCD, I like the big tree to be color coordinated. I have light blue, navy, silver and light green bulbs and ornaments. I also have silver and light blue garland to accompany the clear lights. To top it off, I have a color changing Star that changes from blue to green. All of these items match, which is very OCD satisfying. However, my son’s paternal grandmother has a tradition of giving a new ornament to each grandchild each year for Christmas. It’s a lovely idea, but where does a snowman with white, red and orange come in on this tree?!…So, that’s when I decided to purchase a little tree. Later, I decided to make it our “tradition” tree. Now every December, my son and I purchase a new ornament to represent that year or something about us. I will write another blog about that soon when we pick out this year’s ornaments.

So, the first thing I had to do was make room in the living room for the trees. I had to take out our papasan sofa temporarily in order to clear some space. I sure will miss that sofa, but it’s all part of the cause. Then, I had to take everything out of the closet, because I thought sticking all of the holiday stuff in the back was a great idea! So, once I finally got to the tote of my three-piece tree, I started setting it up in the corner. At first, I thought this would be quick and easy, but spreading out each branch to make it look real was such tedious work. I honestly bored myself into hunger. Once I set up the tree itself, I yelled, “I can’t work anymore until I eat something! Want pizza?”. My son was confused from my sudden actions, “what about the lights?”, he inquired. “Nope, I’m hungry. I can’t do anymore until I eat. I feel a state of hangry coming on”, this was no joke. Hangry is nothing to mess with. So, I ordered some pizza and then left to pick it up. On my way back, it dawned on me that I was missing the football game! So, I rushed back home. “Ty! I forgot that the Ravens game was on!” I shouted as I busted through the door. So, we ate pizza and watched the game. I wasn’t procrastinating, if that’s what you’re thinking. We simply joined my father and step-mom for some routine Sunday football. It is who we are, it’s a part of our lives – ‘Tis the season for football.

After the Ravens beat the Bengals, I got back to business. First thing on my list to tackle were the lights. So, as I started plugging some cords in, I noticed that one wire on the pre-lit set were cut. I have no clue how that happened. So, I began my procedure of splicing the wires together. Luckily, my father taught me about splicing wires years ago. This wouldn’t be the only time I had to do this to these lights. Our very first year with the tree, we had a pet rabbit named Patrick. I used to let him run around the house in the evenings and one day, he chewed a wire. Fortunately, that splicing job has held up for 6 years, so I must have done something right.

Once, I fixed the wires, I tested them out. Of course they worked. So, I moved on to put another strand of clear lights on. Then, I put the star on the top of the tree. I added the silver and light blue garland. The garland was a little tricky, because one set isn’t long enough to wrap around the entire tree, but the other is. I seriously need to label these things for the following years.

Then, the best part of all – my son putting on the ornaments. We love putting the ornaments on each year. It amazes me as I watch him every year reach higher and higher to get closer to the top of the tree. This year, with the very tips of his toes he could almost touch the star. Oh, how bittersweet that is. It’s glory to him to reach the top, but to me, it’s another year further from his youth. One day, his hands will reach past that star. That’ll probably be the day that I’ll be putting up this tree by myself. Hopefully, he’ll always want to help me with the tree and willfully want to keep the magic of Christmas alive.

Once, the decor for the tree was finished, we stepped back to take a good look at it. We just stood in awe and marveled at its ray of beauty. The white lights, the sparkling reflection of glitter and the charming display of ornaments just came together so well. We were proud of our work.

Next, we moved onto getting the little tree up. It took no time at all to get set up. I got the branches in and put the tree inside the little stand. I put the color lights on and added some green garland to fill it in. Then, I went through the box of ornaments. It’s amazing to see all of the wonderful ornaments of the past. Unfortunately, I can’t put all of them on, because our tree is starting to be too small for our collection. So, I had to sort what ornaments to keep in the box and which ones could go on the tree. As I went through each one, I would study them. I would look for the year, or maybe even a note and try to remember when we received them. Some of these ornaments really brought back some memories. It is truly amazing and I can’t wait to write more about it. I kept getting excited in anticipation for this year’s new ornaments we would pick out for this tree. We have a date to go in a couple of weeks.

I sorted the ornaments by weight. Anything heavy would go on the bottom of the tree and anything light would go on top. Weight mattered by the make of this tree, those top branches weren’t meant to hold anything heavy. So, once they were sorted, I asked my son to join me. He sat next to me on the floor and we began hanging them all over. He was in charge of the bottom half of the tree and I had the top. We are great ornament hanging team mates!

Once, it was finished, I began to work on the rest of the decorations. I hung garland throughout the house. I put the stockings up. Now, last year I finally added a special stocking for our cat, Layla. This year for my son’s birthday, we welcomed our new pet Betafish, Larry. So, I grabbed Layla’s first stocking and glitter glued over Larry’s name. Then, I hung all four stockings over the fireplace. That finalized my fun for the day. We had our trees, Stockings and decorations. I was very pleased and grateful. There ended up bring many episodes to setting up for Christmas, but that was okay with me. I was proud of the fun and splicing that it involved. This is our home, these are our memories and this is our family. I loved everything about this day.

 

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Written by J. Marie

Founder/Owner, Perfectly Imperfect Parents - Single Mom . Blogger . Photographer . Bar Marketing Manager and Bartender . Artist of Frame Design . Part-Time Student to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

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