[guest post] tree decorating extravaganza

Like so many others, I met Wendy through Snark Squad. She shares cute animal pictures of your favourite animals with you on Twitter, which is in itself enough reason to follow her and also offers baked goods. Of course, those can only be collected in person and while I haven’t made it to Texas yet, never say never. You better be having that cheesecake ready for me when I get my ass over there. Oh, and she also has a blog, if you don’t know this already.

Hello, all, I am today’s guest poster on celebrating Christmas and what it means to me. I was very happy to get this invite, because the Christmas season is pretty much like crack to me. I adore Christmas. I go all out with decorations, I love buying presents, and I enjoy the general good will that should be happening all year round but often isn’t.

Bit of background for those who don’t know me. I have lived in Texas all of my life, with the exception of when I was in the military. The South tends to take Christmas a smidge more seriously than other places might, which might explain my adoration for the holiday. There is also the fact my mother always tried to make it extra special, I think. I have lots of happy memories of decorating and school holidays. I think my favorite memory from my childhood might be sitting with my brother and going through our stockings on Christmas morning.

For us, Christmas always started early. My mom always hated to have the tree up after the presents were gone, so we took it down Christmas day. Which meant it went up the weekend after Thanksgiving. I have kept that tradition in my own family. For a while it was just me and my son, but last year his friend Liam joined us, and this year we had a small group of friends come over and decorate. It’s a family thing, and for me family is not always blood, but the people you love and make you feel comfortable in your own skin. We put the ornaments on the tree, then had a big spaghetti supper. We were going to watch the Muppet Christmas Carol, but we ran out of time. I always try to have at least a couple of presents wrapped to put under the tree, because I don’t like a tree without presents.

tree
This years tree

Another tradition I have is going and picking out a new ornament each year. We have a huge Christmas store not too far from where I live. We go through the store, get our new ornament, then have hot chocolate. Looking at all of the pretty, shiny stuff gets me in the mood for the decorating and the season in general. This year I got to go with my son’s girlfriend, and we had a great time. Even with the super creepy elf display.

Nothing worse than a creepy elf.
Nothing worse than a creepy elf.

I also have a Christmas village I put up every year, because for some reason miniatures have always made me insanely happy. I have a ski lodge, a decoration shop, and a wine store. When I made my purchase for this year’s building, I bought a library. Because I clearly can’t have a village with no library. But when I got the display arranged this year, I realized I am creating what my twitter group jokingly calls Sheep Village. In miniature.

The village
The village
The library
The library

For the actual day, it’s not very big. My family does a big extended meal at Thanksgiving, so Christmas is usually a smaller affair. We never really had a huge meal, or went to church. That’s strange in the South, but my dad doesn’t like organized religion very much, and I like it even less. But on Christmas Eve, we read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and go to bed early. My son, who is 20, still likes to have it read to him, and I’m going to do that as long as he lets me. On Christmas morning, the kids (me and my brother first, now my kid) gets up and goes through the stocking. Then we open presents and have breakfast and eat our stocking candy and play with our new toys. Nothing original, but we spend the day with people we love and eat junk and maybe watch movies. I love it. I love finding the perfect present to surprise people I love with, and all the decorations make me happy, and spending time with my family (whether it’s family of blood or family of choice) is always welcome.

So there are my few traditions. I guess I don’t have anything really out of the ordinary, except maybe the tree decorating party. But it’s mine, and I share it with the ones I love. And isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Family
Family

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Thank you so much for the post and the lovely pictures! It’s weird to me, to have the tree up before Christmas as we always put if up in December 24th and I kept that bit of tradition even though these days it’s just me and I have a decorating pity party of one. It’s not too bad, I have booze and Christmas songs, sometimes I put in Astrid Lindgren movies because they belong to Christmas for me. I actually love the way you include so many people in the whole decorating business and yes, family doesn’t have to be blood. And yay for Sheep Village!

P.S. this was my 400th post, which is completely crazy!

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  • wlreed

    Thank you so much for inviting me to do this. It was an honor. And if you ever get to Texas, of course there will be cheesecake.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      The promise of cheesecake, hmmmmm :-) Btw, this is my love letter to cheesecake I mentioned a while ago http://williesun.com/2012/05/16/dear-cheesecake/

      You’re very welcome, I loved your post and the pictures.

      • wlreed

        That letter is the cutest thing ever. It’s just adorable.

  • This was so sweet and fun!