I love Christmas trees. I could capitalize, bold, and underline the word love, then add two dozen or so exclamation points, and it still wouldn't be an exaggeration.
Putting up the Christmas tree, more than putting up the lights, baking cookies, or completing laps around overflowing store parking lots, marks the official start of the holiday season.
The tree gets put up (with only a little disagreement about what "straight" actually is). I wrap branch after branch with white Christmas lights. At that point, I think I like it best like that, and maybe this year we will only have lights on our tree.
But then I open the boxes filled with ornaments (all non-breakable, of course.) And then I let the boys decorate to their hearts delight.
Giant silver balls, small shiny gold ones, sparkly pears, glittery pine cones, copper wire stars, red and white (non-peppermint) candy canes.
Pipe cleaner wreaths, construction paper frames with smiling school pictures, a zoo of animals made from clay, puzzle pieces, paper, and Popsicle sticks.
Now, it is complete.
All the ornaments are hung as waist height or lower. After Roman and Blaise are tucked in bed and sleeping, smears of Advent calender chocolate still on their faces, I rearrange and spread out the ornaments.
Our glittery, gold and silver tree is beautiful.
But then again, that's what I thought about our tree last year too. Poor little thing.
The glow of the lights fills the living room and twinkles through the window at me when I come home from work. The fresh smell of pine is subtle, but refreshing and homey at the same time.
And every 30 minutes or so, a Tonka truck, sword fight, or football reminds me of why I'm grateful for shatterproof ornaments.