Monday, November 26, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like...

This is my absolute most favorite time of the year! And for so many reasons!

First of all, this is the time we stop to really consider what Christ did for us. God sent his son to Earth to be born as a baby, live here as a man, and to die on the cross for our sins. The greatest gift of all. A gift that we should be celebrating all year long, not just one day in December.

Sadly, for many, this isn't even a time to celebrate the birth of Christ, but instead is just for spending way too much on gifts, decorations, and winning the "Best Decorated Yard" contest. The world gets so caught up in the "hustle and bustle" that Christ's birth is pushed to the back burner. In fact, where I work, we can not even say Merry Christmas to customers! We have to say "Happy Holidays." It breaks my heart to even think about it.

Don't get me wrong, I love giving gifts to my family and friends. Decorating the tree is the highlight of my year. And driving around to look at Christmas lights on houses makes me feel like a kid again. I love it! But these things are meaningless. Fortunately, Matt and I were both brought up in homes that taught us the true meaning of Christmas. Looking back, my fondest memory of Christmas morning is my dad reading about Christ's birth from Matthew 1. Before we opened any gifts, we would sit and listen to him read, then he would ask us questions about it, and we would pray. Of course at the time, I just wanted him to hurry up and get finished. But now, as an adult, and with a baby on the way, I am so thankful for that time.
Second to giving thanks to God for sending his Son, is decorating the tree. I actually hated decorated the tree when I was a teenager at home, but I think having my own home and family has made it more special.

However, I must say that I'm quite a stickler about my tree. Growing up we always had a tree with "kid" ornaments on it. My parents always gave us cute little Hallmark ornaments each year. So the tree was covered in them. No color coordinating, no matching, no uniformity of the placement on the tree. Of course as I child I loved the tree with all my ornaments on it. But NOW...I am very particular about the tree. And Matt is exactly the same way. It's quite funny! All of our ornaments are from a set...they are the same style and color coordinate. Each ornament is strategically placed on the tree to make sure that there is flow and uniformity. I know..its sick. The only ornaments on our tree that are not from the "set" are a couple of "Our First Christmas" ornaments...and I put those towards the back. When our children are old enough to have ornaments and care about decorating the tree, I don't know what we're going to do! They might have to have their own kid tree or something.

I know there are others of you out there that are the same as us...other OCD tree decorators. What do you do for your children? Do you sacrifice your own selfish desires and let your family Christmas tree be filled with sports figures and Barbie, randomly placed all over the tree, with gaping holes in some areas and clusters of too many in others? I realize that when Brody is born and is a little older, and has young siblings, our outlook on all of this may completely change. But right now, we love our OCD tree. And did I mention that the star HAS to be placed on last?

Here are a couple of pictures of Matt stringing the lights and the final product. (We didnt get any pics during the actual decorating process. It was too serious a job to be interrupted by taking pictures. :) )

Here is the final product. However, you can't really tell what colors our ornaments are from these pics. For some reason some of them look gold in the pictures. They are all various shades of blues, white, and silver. The colors of the tree skirt.

I love traditions (probably why I'm an Aggie) and I hope that Matt and I are able to start some with our own growing family. I forgot to mention that while we decorate the tree, we have to have hot chocolate. Ideally, I would like to have Christmas carols playing in the background, but this year there were some football games on so we nixed the carols. But the hot chocolate is a MUST, even if its 80 degrees outside. I learned of another tradition this past weekend that Kirby's family does that I loved! Does anyone else know about the hiding the elf game? It's going to be a must in the Palermo household during the holidays.

What are some of your family traditions at Christmas time?


  1. Love the black.

    Love the tree. It is totally a Larra tree....which is a great thing!

    I let KK have a small Christmas tree (fake one) in her bedroom. SHe can decorate it and do whatever she wants to with it. However, it is very hard to get her to take it down so it is usually up until March or something crazy.

    Love you guys!

  2. The only thing your tree is missing is a cute pregnant lady standing in front of it so we can see her belly:)

    I have an OCD tree as well. Mine is blue, silver, and (maybe it was the tropical country I now live in) lime green. Go to our baby blog to see how I incorporated an OCD item for Isaac. The way I see it, if WE are the ones that give them their ornaments, then we choose. I'm not so picky about the shape of the ornament, really color is the most important to me, but still matching kid ornaments can be done. What about choosing one color for each kid... like Brody gets a gold-colored ornament each year, #2 gets silver, #3 gets blue. THEN when they inherit their mother's OCD-ness at Christmastime, you can pass on the ornaments to them and they'll at least all be the same color (As long as Brody's wife likes gold:)

    Other than that, I'm all about letting the kids have their own kid tree. It can be tacky, but quaint, and hid away nicely in their playroom or upstairs for them to enjoy:)

    Hope Brody is enjoying himself! Everything we've read says month 7 is when they move the most and Isaac is TOTALLY living up to it:)

    Ok...enough with the long comment...Merry Christmas!

  3. Don't feel bad about your beautiful matchy tree...I like to refer to it as the "theme" tree, and yes Jon and I will have a theme tree too, we also plan on having a small Charlie Brown tree to fill up with hodge podge ornaments, and someday all the cute ones our kids will make us. Traditions...Bing Crosby is a must during this time of year...also, I have a silly tradition of watching the Muppet's Christmas Carol, I have to do this every year, I get so excited about it, but I won't let myself watch it until Halloween..LOL..otherwise I would watch it year round. oh my most favorite tradition...STOCKINGS! It was the only thing me and my sister could open while we waited for mom and dad to get up on Christmas morning. Also, the stockings are extra special to me and Jon bc our first Christmas we had while we were dating, he made me a stoking, hand stiched' and everything! so we started making stockings for each other every most favorite is the one from last year, Jon collected some old Army pins and things from my Dad when he was in the army, and in memory of him, Jon hand stiched' each badge/pin onto a stocking! It was just wonderful! It was so touching because you can just look at it and see how carefully he placed each badge/pin, and stiched so carefully.

    That's it, sorry it's long..Christmas is my most Favorite too!

  4. I'm exactly the opposite. Did you see all my crazy ornaments on the blog? I LOVE our wild ornaments collected from all over the place! Guess I get it from the house I grew up in...I was always resposible for the tree and we've always crammed a million ornaments on. Haha...I love learning about how different we all are about Christmas.

  5. Love your tree. It is beautiful!


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