Monday, December 3, 2007

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum!

On Saturday we finally got our Christmas tree! Usually, we try to get it the weekend after Thanksgiving, but the Aftermath of Horror put a wrench in those plans.

(Hmmm, the kids don't look like they're having much fun, do they?) "Where's the tree? Where?" Just as we got to the tree farm, it started to snow heavily. It was rather hard on the kids, because it kept blowing in their little faces. However, they suffered through it like troopers (and typical Midwestern children).

Peter even helped cut the tree!

"No, Peter, not that end!"

The tree farm we visit annually is really nice. Once you've cut your tree, they drag it back to the shop and "bag" it for you (if you've never seen a tree being bagged before, just image a corset being fitted on a fat Christmas tree. The tree even shakes with terror, just as, I imagine, most normal ladies would when confronted with a corset.), and then they even put it on top of your vehicle! This is all accomplished while you wait in the cozy gift shop. I suppose their scheme to get you to buy more than trees works well, because I wasn't the only person eyeing the goodies and hot chocolate. (Sorry that our picture is blurry - I think the person taking it was shivering.)

This, of course, I was NOT tempted to buy.

The kids were thrilled to get a bag of caramel popcorn. Isn't it wonderful when they can still be made deliriously happy for $1? I wonder if that will still work when they're teens? (Sorry the picture is blurry. I was definitely shivering.)

Here's the tree we picked. I think we did a good job this year. Usually we come home to realize that our tree, which looked an average height at the tree farm, is really 12 feet tall. This is a much more manageable 6 footer. Plus, there's lots of room underneath to fit presents (heh heh, the most important part!) It was too bushy to get ornaments on, though, so I got to feel all "Martha Stewart" as I actually "trimmed" our tree.

Sans haircut, we put on ornaments. Do you have any special ornaments? Every year, I like to buy one very special ornament that symbolizes something eventful in that year. This ornament is from Banna-Boo's baby outfit I crocheted for her, and is from her very first Christmas. Her feet were so teeny-tiny! These little shoes are only about 3 inches long! (Okay, I'll stop gushing now. . . .)

This ornament I made the first year Andy and I were married. We didn't have much money (although, come to think of it, we probably had more than we have now, thanks to two little money-drainers, lol!). I just took a regular ol' chicken egg, drained the innards, and painted the outside. One reason I love it so much, is because it reminds me how fragile a marriage is, and how careful we must be to keep it intact. (Okay, I promise I'll try to stop gushing . . . !)

My dear Auntie Erna cross-stitched this for me last Christmas. I don't usually collect Santa Claus (I don't have anything against the dude, I just don't care for him as a decorative item), but this little do-dad is one of my cherished Christmas decorations. The colors are so vibrant, and they remind me of Sinterklaas, as the Dutch view him, instead of a fat, rather insipid American Santa Claus.

I just love the look of blown-glass ornaments, and a friend gifted us with this the year Peter was born.

Another blown-glass ornament that my dad bought us the year we purchased our first house. It even looks rather like our house, although perhaps a bit more grand . . .

And finally, (drums and trumpets, please!) here's our Christmas tree!

Oh, did you know that the tradition of the Christmas tree is really of German origin? It wasn't popular in English speaking countries until Queen Victoria's husband, the German Prince Albert, ordered a Christmas tree for their family. After the first initial uproar about "dreaded German traditions", the Brits eventually copied the royal family, and now, our little non-noble family is continuing the tradition!