I love decorating for Christmas. Normally I am not a decorator. I like the idea of decorating - having a lovely house is a pleasant thing - but the mentally energy, time, and money required to do that are beyond what I want to invest.
But Christmas is different. I love the coziness of a house decorated with all of the Christmas things that my conscience can allow me to fill our allotted HHE with (luckily globe ornaments are mostly air).
As an added bonus, Brandon loves Christmas decorating every bit as much as I do and so he is completely behind spending money and weight on things we only use for one month out of the year. Sometimes we like to sit down and browse Pinterest for new Christmas decorating ideas. Now that's perfect compatibility.
Every year we decorate it takes longer because we have new awesome things to do. Last year we added a globe chandelier.
Brandon likes to joke to guests that we opened a box of ornaments and they just flew up into the air. Which is kind of true, but only a lot more slowly - like three hours slowly. But that's what we have children for, right? Everyone was very happy to finish after six hours of decorating. But it was completely worth it.
We hosted a caroling party this week and I finished the decorating with greenery. Normally we visit our local park and help prune the trees and bushes, but recently it got bulldozed.
Instead I actually had to buy the stuff. But, at less than ten dollars for enough greenery to decorate the entire living room, it was a bargain. I should have been buying it all along.
During college I spent a semester in Vienna. We took trips on the weekends and I started collecting Christmas ornaments as souvenirs. Fifteen years later, I've collected a lot of ornaments and love remembering all of my travels when we decorate every year.
Last year I started a new Christmas tradition, making ornaments with the children. I found a lovely beaded snowflake pattern online and tried to teach it to my family. By the end, I finished all of them as everyone else complained about how hard it was to make ornaments.
This year I got smart and we made icicles. It turns out that everyone can get behind stringing a variety of beads in a wire, and we made over thirty before the children got tired.
I started collecting nativity sets here in Tajikistan, and so far I have one made locally and one from Kyrgyzstan. The angel in our Tajik set is riding a two-humped camel (bactrian, which are the ones you can find in Central Asia) and Mary has a unibrow.
Our Kyrgyz set is made of felted wool, also has a bactrian camel and instead of a stable, Mary and Joseph have a yurt. As a bonus, both sets can be played with by the children. Often I'll pass by and find some new strange combination of figures adoring the Christ child.
This year I am determined that have eight completed stockings before Christmas Eve. A long time ago when I only had two children and a lot more free time, I hit on the brilliant idea of making handmade stockings. And each stocking would be hand beaded in individual patterns.
Thankfully I've gotten faster at beading over the years, and William's stocking is only missing two lines of beads to be finished, which is a record. He will be the first child to have a completed stocking for their first Christmas.
Years ago I also bought stocking holders from Target (our bookshelves stand in for the fireplace as we've never actually lived in a house with one of those). They came in sets of three, so I bought three sets. We now have eight in use, which means that we can only have one more child.
Of course all of this decorating will have to be taken down in less than a month (last year Brandon did all of the un-decorating alone and it took him ten hours), but I am really enjoying it right now. Hooray for excess!