Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas is Coming!

Curled up here with Christmas carols playing, cinnamon candles burning, and my newly-decorated mini eating disorders awareness Christmas tree beside me, I'm feeling quite ready for Christmas! If you have yet to decorate your Christmas tree this year, consider using a purple decor for eating disorders awareness, hanging purple ornaments and awareness ribbons, and making a big purple ribbon for the top!

The day after Thanksgiving, my family always jumps into preparing for Christmas, so on Black Friday, we're gathered at home amidst piles of boxes, covering the house with decorations. For us, there's quite a few traditions that have accumulated over the years: the first present under the tree is a gold box that contains the Christmas story - also the first present we take out on Christmas; the strange brown banner, from which no one knows where it came, is always hung at the landing of the stairs; the same figurines are always placed on the fireplace mantle; the wreath that we've had for as long as I can remember is hung on the front door; and the old "Holiday Mail" bag is hung on the door handle, waiting for this year's holiday mail to join letters and cards from many years past. While many of our family traditions are preserved, we also did some new things this year: my dad finally caved and bought a new tree skirt to replace the fuzzy white one with ten years of tinsel and pine needles embedded into it; having bought a new Christmas tree last year, we decorated two trees this year, I set up one in the living room with white and gold decor, and my younger brothers took over the one in the den, covering it in colorful ornaments and candy canes; never having been a "hang up the stockings" kind of family, I decided to pull out our stockings to hang above the fireplace this year, only to find seven beautiful red stockings with each name painted on the trim...and one plain white stocking with "Teesh" (my nickname) scribbled, crossed out, and then written again, in black permanent marker. I guess I missed that decorating day! Oh well, I hung them all nonetheless.

I also got to kick off the Christmas season in Gering with the annual Christmas parade on Friday, and then in Scottsbluff on Saturday! After forgetting gloves for the first one, I quickly learned my lesson and stayed nice and warm the second evening. On Sunday I headed to North Platte after church for the 2nd Annual Festival of Trees. If you're in the North Platte area and have not attended, be sure to make it next year! Various area businesses decorate and donate a Christmas tree to be auctioned off on Sunday afternoon. The trees were absolutely beautiful, and all 18 were so creative! I definitely got some good ideas for our trees next year, and had a great time auctioning the trees to raise money for Children's Miracle Network.

It was a great weekend to start the holidays, and there will be much more to come over the next month!

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