I never really got a chance to say much about getting ready for Christmas this year. It was unbelievably hectic. Anthony was out of town for work a lot, so I did most of it myself. We did get the tree together, and decorate it. My parents plant blue spruce every year, and we have a gorgeous live tree. Unfortunately the trees are in kind of awkward heights right now, either a bit too big, or too small. In a few years they're be perfect again. But for now we're cutting slightly large trees, and ones that are growing a little too close to the others. So we ended up with a seriously funky looking tree this year.
That's the tree pre-pruned. Normally we just leave it alone, a few crazy branches don't bother me. But it was a little too bizarre this year to do it. So a few well placed snips and it at least doesn't look like it's trying to take over the living room.
It still has a few bare spots, but altogether it was pretty nice. We bought LED lights, since we needed to replace our old lights anyway, but we definitely got the wrong ones. They're the larger bulb, and didn't give our tree the normal magical glow. Luckily, they're indoor/outdoor, so next year they'll go outside, and we'll get the nice small bulb LEDs.
People sent a lot of Christmas cards this year, and we finally found a good way to hang them. Although by Christmas Day we had cards propped up on the dining room window sill that the cats kept knocking over. We may have to hang a second ribbon next year.
Here is the table set for the brunch that never happened. Every year about two weeks before Christmas I have people over. It's usually a dinner to celebrate my birthday. This year, I decided to try brunch. Sadly, the night before we got NINE inches of snow, and no one could make it. So, we dragged in a couple of neighbors, and ate a lot of frittata for the next week. Hopefully next year the weather will be a little more cooperative.
On the dining room bar I added some fresh spruce branches and candles. It looked gorgeous when I lit them, but it was a little nerve wracking to have flames in the middle of dry tree branches.
For the most part I kept things simple in the rest of the living room, a few pine cones added to the candles on the coffee table looked nice.
Unfortunately we couldn't keep most of the Christmas gifts under the tree. The cats thought the curling ribbon was delicious, and spent most of their time trying to chew on it.
One decoration that I put up didn't really fit. I put up a Nativity set. I'm not Christian. I know this is where most of you stop and scratch your head. It was my grandma's Nativity set, and no one else in the family wanted it. It's at least 60 years old, probably more like 80, and I hated the thought of seeing it tossed out. I remember playing with it as a kid. I'd sit on the floor in her living room and arrange and re-arrange the figures in it. She never minded me playing with it, and let me fix it until it looked JUST right to me. I don't think I'll put it up every year. But for the first Christmas without her, I couldn't stand to have it shoved away in a box.
And finally, here are our artistically posed Holiday cats.