Slightly Christmasy

We have a family tradition of getting our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. It was something my family did, it was something E’s family did, and it’s something we’ve done throughout our marriage. This year Thanksgiving was late, and also fell in the middle of shift work for E, so he didn’t get the day off. Or the day after. I was a little bummed, but we planned to just get the tree in a few days when E could get a few hours off of work.

That never happened. He literally hasn’t had any time off – besides a few hours to sleep most (not even all) nights – since mid-November. If it was at any other job besides the military, his hours would probably be illegal. I know I’ve complained about how much he works before (probably a lot) but I’ve reached a point where I’m not sure how I’M going to get through it.

Right now the only thing I’m getting by on is making sure the kids are still enjoying Christmas. They are so excited about every single part of the holidays that it’s pretty easy for me to let myself get wrapped up in it too, although the fact that we’re missing 1/4th of our family is always in the back of my mind. My mom sent the kids an advent calendar and GOD FORBID I don’t remember to get it down so they can open the day’s door first thing in the morning. And amazingly, they’re keeping track of whose turn it is and remember better than I do. It’s teaching them sharing! And fairness! And that if you touch something covered in glitter it will stick on your body basically forever! Those are all very important lessons.

My biggest accomplishment so far is that I took both kids to the tree farm on a weekend (SO CROWDED) and we chopped down a tree. I CUT IT DOWN MY OWN SELF. WITH A SAW. I did a hack job and a nice guy with his own family came over and steadied it while I was sawing so it didn’t fall over and crush me, but besides that I did it alone. Luckily the farm picks up the cut trees and carts them down to the station where they shake them and wrap them up for you, but then I hauled it to the car, into the car (God bless minivans) and home into the house. I totally failed at getting it into the stand but E got it set up the next morning and now we have a fully decorated tree. We had to rearrange because my little desk/office corner went in the former Christmas tree spot, but now we can sit on our new little couch, enjoy the fire and look at the tree at the same time. Tomorrow the kids get to start opening their Christmas books (I was going to do one for each day of December but books are really expensive, yo) and we can sit on that new couch by the tree and I can read to them about the Christmas story while I sob quietly because magic and family and loneliness and children and Jesus and FEELINGS. It’s raising my level of holiday spirit from Grinch to Slightly Christmasy, which is a definite improvement.

I haven’t had much time for my own photos lately, which makes me kind of sad. Partly because once something is part of your job it loses a LITTLE bit of the fun and partly because it’s hard to juggle the kids in public and take photos. It’s pretty easy to lose one kid while you’re taking pictures of the other one, and I’m generally only seconds away from losing a kid even WITHOUT a camera in my face. It’s amazing I’ve kept them alive this long, honestly. But this might be the first Christmas they remember when they look back as adults and I want to make sure I have at least some pictures to show them, so here are a few.

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Evan’s first choice, but I told him it was too short.

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Caroline’s first choice, also on the small side.

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Final selection

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After we killed it.

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Watching them wrap it with the cool wrapping machine

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The farm had all our favorite food trucks, including the delicious kettle corn people from the farmer’s market.

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Decorating

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The princess places the angel

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Yes, I know it’s out of focus

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Fun with bokeh cut-outs

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Big Boy Bed, Take 1
My Week(46) in iPhone Photos
Wordless Wednesday: More Snow Pictures

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One Response to “Slightly Christmasy”

  1. Brigid Keely says:

    Christmas Books Pro Tip:

    Get one (or two, one for each kid) book each year, then PACK THEM AWAY when you put away the Christmas stuff. It’s something for the kids to look forward to, and since the books aren’t read year round, they are almost-new and extra special. This helps spread the cost out over several years.

    We also have some special Christmas stuffed animals and finger puppets and a Santa Claus Mr Potato Head that all get packed away at the end of the season. I’m keeping an eye out for some puzzles, too.

    Your tree looks neat! We just put up the same low quality plastic one every year. We’ve had it for about ten years so in a year or two I won’t feel super guilty about dumping it for a new higher quality tree or possibly a cut tree. Although I haven’t done a cut tree since I was about 4. My parents bought a house when I was 5, and they started getting evergreen trees with root balls that they’d plant afterward, so that’s the tradition I grew up with.
    Brigid Keely recently posted… Breaking Christmas News: Santa Has A Cloaca!!!

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