This afternoon we put up our Christmas decorations. With two toddlers running amok, we greatly scaled back the decking of our halls. Our tree, our stockings, a wreath on the door, and Julie’s big plastic Santa (rescued from the neighbor’s trash) placed on our stoop, and we were pretty much done.
Henry and Eleanor thought the Christmas tree was just the best thing ever. Henry watched us assemble it and would break out into giggles in random intervals. Both kids would say “tree!” as they helped us fluff out the artificial branches, and exclaimed “lights!” when they realized that the tree lit up. Andy and I combed through our ornaments and selected our favorites. No decorating the whole tree this year; busy baby fingers meant keeping the ornaments above arm’s reach. Our tree looks a little strange with a bare bottom half. We haven’t had to put panels from the baby cage (a.k.a. “baby jail”) around the tree yet, though, so hopefully Henry and Eleanor won’t cause too much tree destruction.
Henry and Eleanor liked to see each ornament before we hung it on a branch. First we did their initial ornaments—we have an H for Henry, Es for Eleanor and Emilie, and an S for Sam. We explained to the babies that some of the ornaments were for their brother and sister, but obviously they didn’t quite get it. They just thought the letters were cool. We showed them their “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments, frames containing a photo of Santa with the babies on his lap. Eleanor was very interested in Santa and kept pointing at him and saying, “Santa.” The Big Bird ornament was a huge hit, so we hung him front and center. “Big Bird! Big Bird!” the babies would shout. Eleanor even carried over her Big Bird stuffed doll and tried to place him on the tree. I enjoyed hanging my Pottery Barn reindeer ornaments and some of my childhood favorites, and Andy got out his Michigan State and Superman ornaments.
After decorating the tree we hung our stockings. I’ve had my stocking my whole life. It’s made by a lady in my aunt and uncle’s small town. She made one for all four of us grandchildren on my mom’s side, Andy got one when he married into the family, and Henry and Eleanor received theirs last year for their first Christmas. We don’t have a chimney (how is Santa going to get in?) but the stockings look nice hung in a row on our stair banister.
I’m not that big of a Christmas person, but Henry and Eleanor definitely make me more excited for the holiday. Seeing their eyes glow when the Christmas tree lights turned on made my whole day. It’s going to be so much fun establishing holiday traditions with them.
Tonight we attempted to take a family photo by our tree. That went well…*eye roll* I believe that Henry and Eleanor have an unspoken agreement that only one child will cooperate in a photo at any given time. A sampling:
Sigh. There’s always next year, right?