Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The "holiday" tree

Aaron's brother Josh likes to make comments about worshipping Christmas trees, and Aaron and I and the kids holding hands and dancing and singing around it.

Well, if we did those things, yesterday would have been the day. Although we bought the tree and got it up on Saturday, it took us until last evening to get it decorated. Partly this was because Aaron bought these new-fangled things called LED lights. We both thought, "Great! Longer lasting, less energy...what's not to love?" Um, how they looked. The light is so bluish and sharp, I told Aaron it made our tree look like a bar sign. Not exactly the look we're going for.

So I dug out our last remaining set of regular lights - all the rest apparently died over the long summer/moving season. I'm not the least disgruntled...almost all of them are from our wedding, almost NINE years ago. I'd say we got our money worth...or Mom and Dad did, anyway.

Like the monster truck under there? Nice holiday touch.

Filling in any decorative gaps in the tree are snowflake ornaments, also from our wedding. I'll use this opportunity to explain a few things about our Christmas.

First of all, we got married December 18th, 1999. And we (Aaron) didn't want a red & green wedding, especially since friends had had a very Christmasy wedding the year before. We went with blue and silver instead, with a snowflake motif. It was lovely, and my dad painstakingly hung snowflakes from the ceiling above the dance floor. We left for our honeymoon and came back on Christmas Eve to find that my folks had put a little tree in our apartment and decorated it with the remnants of wedding decorations! And yes, I still have a lot of them, including the ribbon and bows.

We also received several ornaments as gifts, and those all have places "up high" on the tree, as Leah quickly learned that that is where the special (aka, ones that are not toy possibilities) ornaments go. Leah did help put up decorations this year, and it was fun to have her. She did a good job spreading them out, too, with a little direction.

At least a couple years ago I bought these miniature Sesame Street and Dora ornament sets, and finally gave them to the kids this year. It's helped to satiate some of their desire to put on, take off, and play with the tree decor. Once I stopped Ben from throwing the bulbs across the room, that is.

One more thing about Christmas: Aaron's family did not celebrate it growing up (too commercial, not really on Christ's birth, traditions have pagan origins, etc...) although all of his siblings celebrate now with their families. Hence the dancing and worshipping comments (hi Josh!) Anyway, Aaron was kind of a newbie to this whole holiday when we got married, so I agreed that at least we would try to leave the more secular parts out, like Santa. And the easiest and most diplomatic way to do this was to make all our Christmas decorations more like winter and silver. Convenient, since, as stated, those were our wedding colors, and that started our collection.

I lean more toward snowmen and such instead of Santas, and so far it's worked great. It's also great for my laziness, because since most everything is not directly Christmas related, I can get away with leaving up a lot until March. And I do. Mom's even gotten into it with the dishes she's been giving me:

And guess what? THIS TOO started with our wedding...we got 2 mugs of this design as a gift, and I commented that I liked their versatility. Now I have 8 place settings, and counting!

One great thing about Aaron's folks' issue with Christmas - it's made dividing family time at the holidays remarkably easy. Thanksgiving with his, Christmas with mine. Never an argument.

Now THAT is a Christmas miracle.


Ruth said...

And your tree worshipping family is also happy we don't have to fight for your time and attention.

also, we're pagean. did we mention that at the groom's dinner? oh.

mama.nichols4 said...

I agree about the over-commercialization of Christmas but I think it lends to the dire need for people to believe or should I say start believing in the birth of Jesus.. whether believers or non-believers, the event of Christmas, and maybe even the tree-worshiping leads to much more regular discussion about Jesus and Him being the reason for the season. In the end, whether you're a believer or not, Jesus will have touched your soul throughout your life, it's unfortunate if you don't accept it as such. The alternative seems dismal.

Blue Castle said...

Your wedding was so beautiful. It made me wish we had waited and had a Christmas wedding. It was that pretty.

I still remember the joke that Aaron's sister told at the rehearsal dinner. "Dolly Parton Smothers Lucky Rich Guy" and the silence that fell after she finished. I was laughing hysterically, but not everyone else was. Ryan and I still laugh about that to this day. Good times. :)

I have fond memories of your wedding because that was also when we suspected I was pregnant, but weren't for sure. Oh, and then we got stuck overnight in Bismark because of the big snow storm that came through. We spent the night in some seedy Motel 6 and didn't sleep a wink as it was probably the worst hotel ever. :) We vowed to never scrimp on hotels again.

Aaron said...

My favorite part of our Christmas celebration is when we sacrifice the milk-fed ram on the altar of Hades, ensuring that he will return Persephone to Demeter once again, so spring can arrive. Thanks Hades! We appreciate it!

Your wedding was good times, indeed. And now your rugrats are good times.

Noel said...

Growing up, we always visited the German Baptist relatives for Thanksgiving and the Norwegian Lutheran (lefse laden) relatives at Christmas. Never had to stress over which holiday for which relatives and always knew what was going to be served Christmas Eve dinner. The little kids put on the Christmas story under the direction of the child closest to confirmation age between dinner and gift opening. Some pretty good memories.

Winter weddings have pros and cons as we discovered during our wintery Thanksgiving wedding. Rule #1: Don't leave suitcases in car during wedding if you plan to have items in suitcase on or near skin later. We also have the unique experience of spending our whole 3 day honeymoon at the Radisson in downtown Fargo after getting married at Salem.

Lyz said...

Ruth & Aaron - You dirty pagans.:)

Mama - This is why I make sure that Leah knows that the answer to "What is Christmas about?" is not presents, but Jesus being born.

Blue Castle - Thanks, but I seem to remember a very lovely spring wedding happening just before we got engaged!

Noel - We spent our honeymoon in Minneapolis, which sounded very lame while we lived in Rochester (a whole hour away).

Noel said...

Minneapolis before Christmas has possibilites as a destination (more than downtown Fargo 19 years ago...our one excursion out of the hotel was to see the movie "Back to the Future" in Moorhead). We were just looking at the Twin Cities for a month-late 19th wedding anniversary event after dropping the girls at my mom's. Unfortunately it is NOT a happening place between Christmas and New Years which is when we wanted to go. Ironicly, the only thing at the Guthrie is the 34th annual run of Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" which is exactly the one play I have seen at the (old) Guthrie some 3x years ago as a high schooler.

Originally I was going to post about LED light and marital happiness. Putting colored celophane over the cool (check for yourself first) LEDs would add color while saving energy. The two places I'm allowed to put CFLs with minimal protest are (1) places other family members seldom go and (2) fixtures which filter the white light to a lighter shade of pale.