I loooooove Christmas.
Thanks, Mama. Yes, you can laugh.
Truth is, I will always say that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it's simply and entirely about my two favorite things in the world--family and food. Yes please.
However, it is also my favorite because it is the gateway to my next favorite time of year, which is undoubtedly Christmas. I don't really care about presents or Santa or even Nativity scenes where the actors are freezing their *bleeps* off and everyone is trying to feel sappy and spiritual but is really just shivering. What I do care about is that feeling of warmth, of safety, of community, of thankfulness, of recognizing all that we have and celebrating in humility the wonderful gifts we have been given (both under the tree and otherwise). I have this very Norman-Rockwell-esque picture in my head of a cold wintry night, and the bright window of a house shining out with lots of people inside, staying warm and enjoying each other's company and laughing and talking. That's my Christmas.
I also love Christmas because we get trees.
I love trees.
I love them in general. And for some bizarre reason, during this time of year, we are invited, even encouraged, even looked-down-upon-if-you-don't-do-it, to bring a big wonderful smelling tree inside our homes.
(I wanted pictures of us decorating it too, but I couldn't find my camera. Turns out I left it at school, so you can just enjoy the finished product. I love the way the light streams in through the branches in the morning.)
This tree is kind of funny to me, because my mom always wants the biggest tree she can find on the lot, and there's always some crazy, good-natured argument about whether or not it will fit. This has happened every.single.year in my living memory. I, however, just like a medium-sized tree, big enough to fill the space without overwhelming my small living room, big enough to hold the ornaments without looking crowded, or empty. This tree looked great, but it was a little bigger than I anticipated once we got it in the actual space, but oh well. It looks nice, and we'll take it down a notch next year. I just have to remember that the stupid tree stand adds several inches.
Otherwise, though, I'm super happy with the way our holiday decorations are turning out so far.
The baker's rack Kate gave me as a wedding gift looks great, too!
I'm succumbing somewhat to the Henrich style of decorating. My house will always be a little brighter and more colorful than a true Henrich, but I like the rustic touches and earthy colors.
Even Lily is getting into the spirit!
Next up: finish student teaching (three days to go!) and decorate the outside. Oh, and Christmas shop. That's very important.