Friday, November 26, 2010

Trimming the Tree

Cooper meticulously placing ornaments on the tree.

No shirt required when you're decorating a tree!

Caleb, after much coaxing, posing by the tree.

Chris sleeping through the process (or at least pretending to sleep).

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (at least according to all the shops). Feeling a little festive, the boys and I decided to decorate the tree. Every year, I envision this being a wonderful, merry process. I imagine the boys harmoniously placing precious ornaments on each and every tree branch, as we sip egg nog and belt out familiar carols.

If history is any indicator, I should know what to expect. Decorating the Christmas tree with the four boys never goes as smoothly as anticipated. In fact, I never imagined decorating the tree could be so confrontational or so very loud!

I started the decorating process by selecting some accompanying Christmas music. Of course, my taste in music was met by much resistance. (Chris and I are more of the Bing Crosby persuasion, and someone in the younger crowd prefers Christmas music set to a techno beat accompanied by animated voices.) Finally, we reached a compromise and more upbeat Christmas tunes swirled throughout the room.

With music selected, we began decorating the tree. At first, all the boys eagerly selected special ornaments, and carefully positioned their favorites among the pine needles. After a few minutes, three of the four boys lost interest (surprisingly Cooper was super into it!). Soon, I noticed boys were popping in and out of the tree box. Boys were wrestling in front of the tree. Boys were tossing breakable ornaments. Pretty soon, the Christmas music couldn't even be heard above the mayhem.

Once the last ornament was placed on the tree, I gazed at our finished product. It looked a little like the Charlie Brown tree. Multiple ornaments clustered around a few tree branches, and huge patches of the tree lay bare. Most of the ornaments affixed to the tree were hand made by little hands: toothpick crosses, clothespin reindeer, and painted glass balls. But, the tree reminded me of us: far from perfect, a little messy, but centered on family.

While I was partaking in a Thanksgiving feast with Chris's family, my family was celebrating in the hospital. My sister went into labor yesterday morning, and gave birth to my new niece, Savannah Lynn, just before lunch. Thanksgiving goodies were served in the maternity ward with the new addition to the family.

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