Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Loveliness


This last weekend everyone begged me to get out the decorations and I succumbed to the pressure-I had thought about waiting just one more week.  Last year when I took the decorations down, I was sick as a dog with pregnancy and it was apparent in the way I literally threw things into the bins and I had to laugh at the tangles and scrappiness and a few broken ornaments here and there.  

This year I scaled back my decorating-just because.  I've decided that from now on  I am going to go with a few fresh garlands ro replace any fakes that I bought before.  Not only does it look really fresh and simple, there is no storage needed.  I love having to store only a few Christmas bins in the attic.  (Remind me of this reasoning when I am vacuuming up pine needles in 2 weeks)

As we were decorating the tree Abbey and I had a chuckle because I mentioned those commercials that show a family peacefully decorating the tree in matching sweaters and scarves, while sipping hot chocolate and hanging ornaments one by one, music playing in the background.  I was listening and comparing in my head with what was really going on here and it was pretty funny.  Jeff was holding Janey in the other room, while she slept (because that is the only way she will stay asleep in the late afternoon) and while he watched a game on TV.  He had just brought the tree home and set it up in the stand, which always tests his patience level to the max. Isaac is gone at college, hopefully studying for exams.  Matthew, Andrew and Patrick were putting on the ornaments in typical boy fashion.  I heard one of them say, 'I am going to group all these animal ornaments together on one branch.'  And then Abbey saying, "No, that's so stupid!  That will look awful, you can't do that, that's not how you decorate a tree!"  Andrew said, "This tree hates us!  Everytime I put an ornament on, it falls off! Stupid tree."  One boy almost fell off the ladder into the tree, and blamed another boy for it.  They all lost interest after awhile and Abbey and I finished it up.

It looks (imperfectly!) beautiful, filled with spoon ornaments and laminated hand print ornaments and a bunch of other funny stuff.  I love it.  I find as the years go by I lower my expectations little by little.  Isn't it funny how that works?

26 comments:

  1. I was wondering when you decorated. I always try to wait and just enjoy Advent. However, I succumb and put up the decorations earlier than I would like.

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  2. That is my favorite kind of tree. No matching and lots of character. That is a tree that says a family lives here. Love it.

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  3. Lovely is right, dear friend. xo

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  4. I always think to myself: "My most precious Christmas decorations are decorating my Christmas perfectly and naturally, without any fake: my children"!

    I do love the picture, Sarah.

    Today we celebrate Sinterklaas (Saint Nicolas Day) here in Holland. It has always been my favourite day of the year for the / my (grand)children.
    I know he is fake, but it makes it possible to spoil our children anonymously just once a year :>)

    Cheers,

    Jeanneke.

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  5. I like your attitude:) We have 7 kids (well, 2 are in college now!) and I learned a long time ago that I had to relax my standards or I would be taken away in a straight jacket, lol...no perfect Christmas Movie Moments for us, this is real life, Baby!

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  6. What your kids were saying as they were decorating had me laughing. I always have my kids join me in the "fun". After about 10 minutes I'm saying, "Get out, GET OUT". Not at all like the commercials. BTW, adorable picture of Patrick and Janey.

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  7. Haha. My kids decorated last night and I sat on the couch. Usually I'm snapping pics, but pregnancy has definitely lowered my Christmas fervor. I love decorating everythng else, but the tree seems to be my least favorite so I think since my oldest was 4, I've let her do it. Now all three are decorating and they actually do a good job! My laziness has created a sibling tradition.

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  8. Sounds like our tree decorating episode this year! But in the end, the tree always looks so pretty and magical. I think it looks that way because of all of the favorite ornaments of years gone by, the handmade doo dads that have seen much better days, but oh, how they love and look on the tree for "their" ornaments. We only get one tree, a real one and it goes in the middle of the dining room for all to see and enjoy, no decorator or themed trees here!! I wouldn't have it any other way!!

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  9. That sounds just about right. I was surprised at how my 12 year old daughter felt about our tree this year. She wants it to be perfect and like a magazine. She kept following behind the littler ones "fixing" where they had placed their ornaments. I finally asked her to stop, because I like our tree clumped up and jumbled with tinsel sagging. That to me, is a true family Christmas!

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  10. Ah, laughing! Isn't that the truth? We let the boys put up their ornaments and then rearrange! What an adorable photo! I haven't even put up decorations. Is that just lazy? I don't much feel like it I guess. Our decor is stored in bins under our steps - and there are folding chairs and Easter baskets and card tables in front of it...But I do like simple. I think I may drag out a few because we cut down a tree, but not for a couple weeks yet.

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  11. A few years ago I started doing the same thing with regards to pitching the fake tree and wreaths and switching to real. The house smells wonderful of evergreen and there is no storage!!! I still have my fake garland for the stair railing, but by next year that will be gone too. My goal is to only have lights, ornaments, stockings and very few decorations to store. Simplicity makes for less stress and more time for enjoying what really matters on life (which isn't stuff!). Oh, and I was laughing out loud at your boys antics. Life would be pretty boring without little boys!

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  12. No Hallmark commercials here either! Your tree is beautiful and looks like it belongs to a family (not a commercial). My two boys like to group all the ornaments together too. All the snowmen in a bunch, all the Santas in another clump on the tree. After they go to sleep sometimes we spread things out a little. Not too much, or they put it right back.

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  13. Agree. Could have written pretty much your entire blog post! It feels so freeing to let go of things too....I have been much more relaxed going into the Christmas season this year. :)
    Totally off topic - I'm in the middle of reading "The Shoemakers Wife". LOVE IT!!!! Thanks so much for the recommendation (on a previous blog post)!

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  14. I thought it was just my husband who got so "impatient" getting the tree in the stand and actually straight! It can make decorating the tree rather trying.

    Working on putting up our Christmas village, makes me wonder . . . Who was that woman who put it away 2 years ago, and what did she do with my brick roads? We have looked in every nook and crannie, box and closet . . . Hopefully we can still purchase some!

    Had so much fun yesterday decorating trees along the driveway, as the sun set leaving the sky streaks of red and blue!

    Merry Christmas all!

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  15. Hilarious and so lovely!!

    I am so glad you were able to put the whole "lowering your excpectations" in the right perspective for me. I have kind of been beating myself up (silently in my head) for not doing to whole Christmas shabang around here. I am tired and kinda overhwelmed...who isnt this time of year? So, I have put up a little here and a little there (I should mention this still includes 2 trees, decorated, etc..!) and it really does look lovely! I just find myself doing less and less each year...as the kids gets older and I am not home much in the afternoons bc of our sports stuff and just plain LIFE with school aged kids. And I know how much I detest putting it all away..blech.

    So, it smore about me being smart and sensible and NOT about feeling lazy or guilty, right? Right.

    Thank you for your sensibility, your humor and your loveliness.

    Ho, ho, ho!
    Amy W.
    Chicago :)

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  16. My tree is totally child decorated. Not your typically beautiful tree, but so beautiful to me!

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  17. I love that picture! I am just starting to lower my expectations, especially since we have an 18 mo old, and only the top of our tree has any ornaments. Our little guy has cleared all the non-breakable ornaments from the bottom of our tree already! Such a helpful little guy.

    I am loving the simple garlands too!

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  18. Such a sweet picture. I really want to get rid of the faux garland and wreaths around here next year.

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  19. The things your kids were saying cracks me up! Mine are still young, and they're charmed by the whole process. How long does that last? That picture is just precious.

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  20. I am so glad to hear your real life. My life is just like that, some quarreling and bickering amidst the moments. It's so nice to read a blog that is real life and not just the great moments. Sometimes I think we feel we are less than, because our moments aren't like the ones like you described in that commercial. You are so real and I thank you for it!

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  21. Without fail, year after year, I sit sipping my hot chocolate and smiling at the scene while my husband looses patience with the kids as they fight over the ornaments and drop them and crowd them and "hog the spot I was just going to put mine in."...and my cocoa isn't even spiked! I think these are the best memories in the making that they will reminisce about for years to come.

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  22. Your post really made me laugh! I can really relate to the background noises while decorating for Christmas. They definitely don't match up to the commercials. I have to remind myself to not be too serious and let the little ones enjoy doing it the way they want (even if it means Mommy moving some of the ornaments after they go to bed).

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  23. You have encourgaed me to start my tree this weekend!

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  24. LOVE that picture! This is my life too. And I love it.

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  25. I had to laugh about your comments on your tree! Thanks for mentioning about lowering your expectations. I am the mom of 4 boys (the last one a month older than your Janey baby). I was giving thanks that the tree decorated itself this year, no matter how it looks! :)

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