a merry married christmas

Thursday, December 31, 2009

It was my very first Christmas away from my mom. My very first Christmas as a married woman. My very first Christmas in my own home. 

There have been plenty of years in the past that I haven't even pulled out a single Christmas decoration, relying instead on the white lights I had kept up from the year before, and the ornaments I had hung in my doorway and never taken down. I never spent Christmas Day in my apartment anyway, and was usually so swamped at work those last few weeks beforehand that I didn't even have time to relax until I headed down the Thruway to mom's house. 

This year, we decided to continue a tradition my husband's family had started when he was a kid and have a tree-trimming party early on in December. I admit, I was a little unnerved by the thought of a bunch of people I barely even know being responsible to decorate my Christmas tree, and told my husband that I reserved the right to rearrange at will when everyone left that night! 

We found a tree, hauled it home and dubbed it The Christmas Column. Not exactly the picture-perfect tapered tower. More like a cylinder with a hole in one side. 

I'm a white lights girl. The more the merrier. And I have a nice collection of ornaments from Pottery Barn and Pier 1 and such. And I think all of that together with a few splashes of color makes for a stunning tree. 

As you can see, we have colored lights and lots and lots of colorful ornaments. There is no symmetry or rhyme or reason to where anything is on this tree of chaos. And it's lovely. It is fun and full and joyous. The kids really enjoyed the ornament-hanging, and having a teenaged girl handy to move them from the bottom 18" of the tree onto the top was really helpful. There were still plenty of clusters, and we've had ornaments diving off the tree regularly ever since.

We hauled Dave's dad's old Lionel train out of the attic and put it all together. Dave had a great time getting it up and running, and the kids at the party thought it was great!

I found a wreath that needed some TLC, so I made a bow with leftover ribbon from our wedding, and stuffed bunches of things that I had on hand all around it. Much better. 

I made way more food than we could possibly consume for our first annual (my brother says I can't use that phrase, but too bad) tree-trimming party. We had a mix of fellow air force families, neighbors and friends from church who came and hung ornaments on the tree and ate cookies with us.  

Cutout cookies were made and consumed in abundance, from the "ancient family recipe" shared with me by my sister-in-law. (I think it's from Betty Crocker or something!). Dave finished the cookies before Christmas rolled around.

We headed to a beautiful church downtown for their Christmas Eve service and enjoyed singing some of the old carols by candlelight. I just wish the candlelight part had been longer and that we had sung more carols. There is such beauty in the words and melodies of so many Christmas hymns.


Dave said...

The Christmas Column tree thing....

It still turned out ok.

It's the best you can do around here...go to Lowe's or whatever.

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like this first Christmas away from Mom's, married & in your own home was wonderful. We missed you here but are glad for the many blessings God is granting both of you. Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

I would love the cut out recipe that you use. I do a sugar cookie that stays soft but it is baked in rounds. The kids would love a cut out recipe. send it on to me. We'll make it in your honor


Jenny @ Words on Wendhurst said...

Yay for your first married Christmas! And, yay for new posts! I love reading about your new life, and I love that you have been having too much fun to blog about it! :-) Also, this year we did a fancy tree at the top of the stairs, and a normal, un- color-schemed tree in the living room. The best of both worlds. :-)

Victoria said...

I remember those tree trimming parties!:) We had kind of the same idea this year, except our party was 12 years in the making (63 months pregnant, 7 deliveries) - I'm thinking it would've been easier to do it your way and invite people and not breed them. HA!

I love the picture of the little one enjoying the train. Very nostalgic - your evening must have been a blast. I'm kind of sad I missed it.

So glad you had a wonderful Christmas.

And, that pic of you and Dave - beautiful!

Shannon said...

All of this (your recent posts) makes me happy. There is just nothing like Christmas at home—your own. We traveled our first married Christmas; I still hadn't understood that ours was a 'real home' enough to stay put for Christmas, but if I could go back and do it like you did, I would!

Shannon said...

Oh, I forgot to mention how cute you look in the photo of you and Dave in front of the tree! And the top you're wearing—might it just be possible I have one similar:)?