Sunday, December 11, 2011

What does a normal Christmas look like?

Growing up, my Christmas looked a lot different than the typical family Christmas.  I wouldn't even know how to begin describing a normal Christmas.  But, I can describe to you what Christmas has looked like in my life for the past 21 years...

Christmas for my family began in the beginning of December.  Philip would hook up the trailer and strap on the 16 foot bamboo stick.  I wish I had a picture of that bamboo stick...

The bamboo stick came along as our reference.  The tree always had to be taller than bamboo stick. 

When I was younger, Philip, Grandma, my brothers and I (occasionally, my parents would join us, too!) would load up in the Bronco.  We would visit three different tree farms.  We always ended up getting a tree at the third.  I never understood why we had to visit three, to always get a tree at the last.  I'll never know.  The picture above is from two years ago.  We were wandering around trying to find the perfect Christmas tree. 

When I was younger,  Philip would cut down the Christmas tree himself.  As Philip got older, the men who worked at the tree farm would cut down the Christmas tree.  We would load up the tree on the trailer.  The trailer was small.  Several feet of tree would always hang off! 

We would spend the rest of the day pulling the tree onto the porch, getting the tree in the stand and into the house.  It would take all evening to get the tree standing straight.  There are hooks all over the living room to use pulleys to make sure it is perfectly straight.  The picture on the left is a lovely indication of all the work that went into putting a 17 foot tree up.

Day two was the day we decorated the tree. The day began with everyone unraveling and testing the lights.  Each strand had to be tested, each bulb had to work!  Once the bulbs were tested, the lights went on.  Then, the garland and balls.  While the lights, garland and balls were going up, everyone would be untangling and sorting the ornaments.  Finally, the ornaments would go up.

Below is a picture of the finished product two years ago.  Isn't she beautiful?

This year, Christmas looks a little different.  Philip isn't here... Philip isn't here to get us excited about Christmas.  Philip isn't here to take us to the Christmas Tree Farm.  Philip isn't here to make sure the tree is perfectly straight.  Philip isn't here to put the lights up.  He loved Christmas so much.

I didn't want to decorate for Christmas this year.  I want to avoid the day.  I didn't want it to happen.  What is Christmas without Philip?  I went to get a Christmas tree three times this week.  I couldn't bring myself to do it.  I am having my eGroup girls over for a Christmas sleepover this Friday, so I knew I had to decorate.  I bought a white tree from Michael's.  The lights didn't work. 

I took it back and decided to be a big girl.  I bought my own Christmas tree.  I bought a Christmas stand.  I got it in the house by myself.  I got it straight in the stand by myself.  That was difficult!!  Now, I am waiting for the branches to fall so I can decorate it. 

There will be pictures up of my first Christmas tree later this week.  

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