Our first Christmas tree in the new house is, appropriately enough, made up of some of our family ornaments and empty spaces where more of them would be if we could find the other box.
It pretty much represents our current state, partly settled in and partly still stumbling around, with an overall spirit of good cheer.
This is the first room since we had kids where we could actually fit a tree and the furniture into the same room. In the old place, we had to draw straws to see who got a chair and who had to sit on the floor when we wanted to watch TV during the holidays. I can't say as I'll miss that particular tradition.
Our tree doesn't go up until the weekend before Christmas, and the lights are lit until midnight on New Year's Eve. There is an ornament for each year for each kid, reflecting some milestone or special interest they had in each year. We collect a few from each vacation as keepsakes. Others have special meaning for my husband and me; those generally are from before the kids came along, and some came from our own childhood homes.
Trimming the tree becomes a trip down memory lane, with everyone sharing stories of the places and times we've shared. (Oddly enough, nobody seems to feel particularly nostalgic about taking the ornaments off again. Good old Mom and Dad always end up with that job.)
It took some doing to whip the place into shape in time for the holidays, and it's a long way from Martha Stewart perfection. But with the familiar decorations and goodies, and with family all around, it finally feels like home.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and that you're enjoying a peaceful, happy holiday season.
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