Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

Dear Ian,

As I write this, we have 3 days left until Christmas!  We're all getting excited about the fun and festivities coming up, and part of that excitement is our fun decorations in our house.  The focal point of which, of course, is our tree.

I have to apologize: You, my son, will most likely never experience the thrill of combing a tree lot for the perfect tree, never see it strapped to the roof of our car (Heaven forbid!) or have the fresh aroma of a pine wafting through our living room.  Mommy is allergic to Christmas trees.  Not like the deathly allergy I have to cats, but it's enough that if we brought a tree into our house, I would basically be miserable from the moment it hit trunk to stand until that bad boy got carted out to the corner for the garbage man shortly after the New Year.  And since I do most of the holiday trimming, baking, shopping and wrapping, if I felt like death, I'd worry that all that wouldn't get accomplished.   So, although I am sorry that you will never have the real-tree experience, know that I am saving you from the experience of putting up with a cranky, sick Mommy.  And I'm also saving you from the experience of fighting with us or your possible siblings over who had to crawl under the prickly branches to water the dang thing.

Although our tree is organically challenged, it doesn't look bad at all.  As of today, it's about 12 years old.  I talked your Daddy into it for his first Christmas in his own place (a town-home in the neighborhood right next to ours, funny enough), and I guess the rest is history.  I take a lot of time getting our tree set up; first I wrap the "stem" with lights even before I put the branches on it.  A while back, a friend told me that SHE heard from Martha Stewart that wrapping the stem of the tree AND then draping lights on the branches made it look like it was not just lit, but shining from within.  I tried it, and it did look pretty, so now I'm stuck.  But moving on...  After wrapping the stem, then I unfold every dang twig, needle and branch to get it to LOOK real.  Even though it's as fake as the day is long, I want it to look like we trotted out into the wild and cut that sucker down.  Then come the lights on the branches.  I just drape them along.  Nothing fancy there.  Our ornaments are kind of a hodge-podge of fun, but that's the point.  Almost all of them have a story.  There's the gorgeous Lenox pieces that Daddy and I got as wedding gifts (a perk to getting married in December), Our First Christmas ornaments, the "Redneck Windchimes" and the S'more fishing snowman that remind us of trips to the Lake, and then there's the ornaments that we had as kids that moved with us into adulthood.  Since you came along, we added a small collection of Baby's First Christmas ornaments and some other fun, cute family ornaments. 

I try to find one new ornament each year to add to our tree.  (And yes, I date them, because I am a lunatic.)    There's really no formula that helps me choose our annual tree trimming piece, but this year's ornament is really something special.  And expensive.  And of course it has a story, so here goes:

Awwww!  Toddler fingerprints.
Your school has a great little fundraiser in November: a silent auction and dinner that brings the parents together for a night of fun, food and funds.  Items and services from business all over Tallahassee are contributed, and the families and friends bid for their favorites.  The classes also get involved in the fun and make items to put up for bid.  There's furniture and wooded pieces decorated with handprints of the kids in the school, and each class makes a plate or serving piece and an ornament.  Yup.  You've guessed it.  Your class made a pretty ornament with the fingerprints of each child in your class.  Even better, they've labeled the ornament will all of your names.  I about died due to the cuteness, and I decided that this ornament would be our 2011 addition to our tree.  Only thing was, only 9 other sets of parents stood between us and your adorable ornament.  It got ugly.  We ended up in a serious bidding war, and at one point the ornament was up to $60.  Whoa, dude.  But then, fate and my brains jumped in and I remembered that you are in TWO classes, so you had another ornament that we had the possibility to win.  Which we did.  For $35 dollars less that the other one. 
See all your names?  This is the neatest part. 

It looks so beautiful on our tree, and I am so glad to have it.  It's your very first class ornament/thing/token.  And know that this is the ONLY year we will be buying one.  I just HAD to have your very first one, though.  It's a little piece of your history, and it's one I will treasure.  And wrap in layer after layer of bubble wrap and tissue paper.  After all, it's probably the most costly ornament on the tree.  (But worth it)

Love always,
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