Tuesday, November 29, 2011

O Christmas Tree...

Hi, friends! If you're visiting from TDC you can scroll to the bottom to see the tree my two year old decorated. :) But it's cool if you read this whole post...in fact, I encourage it!


We have been totally rockin' around the [proverbial] christmas tree for weeks now. I admit it. Well before the Thanksgiving turkey was served we busted out the Now That's What I Call Christmas iTunes playlist and we haven't looked back. (However, it should be known that we always reserve our festivious dance parties for when Eric is not around. I don't want to call my husband a grinch or anything...but when it comes to Christmas music...he's sort of a grinch.) And yes, I made a word up. It's cool. Shakespeare did it, too. (That one's for you, April!)

The girls and I find that no other activity on the planet is superior to blaring Christmas music and spinning on the kitchen floor until sugar plums dance around our dizzy little heads. I'm fairly certain that Evelyn knows each and every song that is playing by just the first resounding note. And Celine Dion's saucy rendition of Feliz Navidad puts a shimmy in Grace's shake that I didn't even know existed. Somewhere buried deep within her soul is a feisty senorita waiting to break free. I just know it.

Shakin' it with Celine. 

Teehee. :)

So because I had been living in a Christmas fog for quite a while, I was chomping at the bit to do one of my favorite kick-off the Christmas season activities on the day after Thanksgiving. Eric had to work on Friday, but the markets closed early, and so the plan was that he would get home and we would spend the afternoon and evening hauling out the holly. And like most of my Rockwell family fantasies those dreams were dashed when Eric walked through the door and said, "Oh my gosh. It's really nice outside. We should go for a walk."

If there is one thing I am willing to concede to, it's a family walk. And especially when it's the day after Thanksgiving and unseasonably warm outside. (It was a glorious day. I still don't regret it.)

When we finally strolled back through the door Eric could no longer put off what is surely his favorite job of the season. *Cough, cough. Sarcasm. Cough.* Seriously, I swear he's not a grump, but the longer we're married the more I realize that there's only enough room for one crazy cracker in every relationship...and holidays make us crazy crackers really crackalack, ifyouknowwhatimean.

So Eric set to the task of putting together all three parts of our pre-lit Christmas tree. The hardest job is finding all of the plug-ins for the lights to connect. Eric would have totally adored the tree I grew up with, which was colored coded and put together branch by branch by branch. And forget about pre-lit. What was that?? :)

Eric hard at work. And a rare peek at our un-slipcovered couches. The covers were in the wash, because of course the whole house needed to be spotless to welcome Big Bertha for the holidays. ;)

Evelyn is a big helper these days.

Last year Evie thought it was too funny to jump on daddy when he was under the tree, but this year....

...Gracie was all about it. Another torch passed.

I was in a great mood at the moment, so I offered to let Eric be completely done with his part of the chore and I fluffed to my little heart's content until it was time to dress the girlies in real clothes and head out to Friday night dinner with Eric's parents. 

And here's where I feel the need to insert a little extra information. Because I could tell you stories about how wonderful and perfect our day was, but it wouldn't be the truth, and really, what's the fun in that?

Once again Evelyn was having a particularly bad day that day. It's really hit or miss anymore which Evelyn I'm going to wake up to in the morning. And I can tell by the way she greets me what kind of day we're going to have. If it's a "good morning, mommy!" it's a good day. But if it's a "Ugh, I want some juice!" kind of scenario, then we're definitely headed for trouble. Let's put it this way...we were having a grunt for juice sort of Friday. 

Someone tell me again if "two year old" is actually code for "sixteen year old" because the highlight of my afternoon was when Evelyn got up from the lunch table, sat in the living room, and just glared at me. I had no clue what was going on, so I asked her, "Evelyn? What are you doing? You need to come finish your lunch." To which she replied, "No, I don't want to eat with you. I hate you." What the what? 

It was scene after scene of this bizarro kind of behavior all day long, topped off by a huge fit thrown in Country Kitchen that evening when we had to leave a box of toys behind to go home. Before going back to our quiet house and our waiting Christmas tree Eric needed to stop at the store, and I decided to have a little heart to heart with my daughter while we had a few minutes alone in the car.

There were still tears rolling down her cheeks from her traumatic toy leaving experience, and she sniffled as I tried to gently explain to her how she had a really bad day and didn't deserve special treatment after the way she had treated me. But I told her I was going to give her special love anyway. I told her that I loved her and that I would show her grace (the mercy kind, not the sister kind) if she promised to make the last two hours of the day before bedtime a good two hours. I promised that we could forget all of the bad stuff that had happened that day if she could turn it around and decide to obey. 

Evelyn looked intrigued. :) And when I threw in Christmas music and hot cocoa and tree decorating, she smiled and said, "Okay, mommy." They were the two sweetest words I had heard all day. So now I can show you these pictures with a smile on my face, because the memories that they hold in my heart are special. They are memories of a little girl trying her very best to please her mom and have fun. And we really did have a great rest of the day.

Gracie had fallen asleep on the car ride home, and Eric had show prep for the radio the next morning, so it was just me and Evelyn left to do all of the tree decorating. 

I didn't give Evie any directions at all. She seemed to know what was going on without my help. :)

That would be the tree topper, haha. But I wasn't about the stir the pot at this point. The carolers were crooning, the mood was light, and I was getting a kick out of Evelyn's exclamations of "I just love Kwissmiss!"

And Gracie just snoozed away....

If you look closely you'll notice that I was trying to sneak a few ornaments up at the top when Evelyn wasn't looking, haha.

But the vast majority of them found a home in Bessie's bottom right hand corner. 

Nice, eh? :)

Admiring her handy work.

And now it's time for a little game. Try to guess what Evie is eating as she gazes at the Christmas tree.

Is it:
a) An old candy cane from last year
b) An apple half the size of her head
c) Fried chicken swiped from a take out box

The answer after a word from our sponsors:

Is your tree blindingly bright? Are you getting a tan from all of those twinkling bulbs?

Solve all of your problems with "Glare-Be-Gone!" One pair of glasses for all of your light gazing needs!

What a goof. :)

And the answer is....

c) Fried chicken swiped from a take out box!

I lasted a lot longer than I thought with all of those ornaments and bows smushed down at the bottom of the tree, and I only started rearranging after the girls were tucked in bed, fast asleep. Score five mommy points for me! We sat down and shared a big cup of cocoa, Grace woke up from her slumber, and we watched Christmas tv beneath the glow of our twinkling tannebaum. :) 

Sometimes you have a bad day. Sometimes other people are snarky and mean for no apparent reason. Sometimes you just want to throw in the towel and sulk. But in every situation there is always the ability to stop, breathe, and turn it around. Even if there are only two hours left in the day. If you are kind to those who persecute you, and if you choose to have a good attitude on purpose, it can change your entire course. And it can change the course of those who are mean, too. It is very hard to show grace, but I've always found it to be totally worth it. :)

So is there anyone out there who doesn't have their tree up yet? I couldn't wait a day longer! I always enjoy the calming experience of hanging ornaments on every bough and deciding where every sparkly bauble will rest for the season. And I can't help but think I have at least one little holiday lover in the making right by my side. *Sigh* I love it!

Hope you have a great day! Cheers!


Amelia said...

Love your post today!! We did our Christmas decorating over the weekend even the lights outside! It was more difficult than usual with mike out of town for so long, but we persevered! I'm gonna have to start the Christmas music though, it would be so cute to see your little girlies dancing around. We should have a little girl party soon! We could use a little company with daddy out of town : ) btw, love your tree!

Ashley Mitchell said...

Oh ours is up! I couldn't wait! This is my FAVORITE time of year!!

Adrien said...

Yes, Amelia, we definitely have to get together!! Is Mike going to be home for the holidays?? You are super mom!

I'm loving it, too, Ashley!

Cassie said...

my tree isn't up yet. boo. it will be up soon though.

i'm cracking up at grace's big ole jammies. lol. too cute.

i heard a mom the other day put her kid acting out in a really good way, she said "she has just run out of good for the day." ha, PERFECT way to explain it. i have already started using it.

and props to you on the "talk" a VERY good way to put it momma!! cheers to you!

The Pettijohn's said...

Vince and I are having the same issue with Wyatt. We just wake up and see how he is when he gets up and roll with it.

I still have not put my tree up yet but I think it is in order for this weekend. Oh and now I am craving hot chocolate.

Katie said...

We haven't gotten our tree yet :( My family always had a fake tree and Jake's always went and cut down a real one so we've adopted a real tree tradition for our little family....which I still have mixed feelings about. I'm jealous that you've gotten yours up already! The most Christmas-y thing we've done was drinking hot chocolate with peppermint whipped cream while watching it snow yesterday :)

Heather said...

I don't have a tree up yet...because I don't have a tree. I'm still pouting about my near-throat punch-incident with the cashier at Garden Ridge for not letting me have my black tree at the sale price. So no tree unless it's a black one.

Emily said...

Our tree is not up yet... and I'm not sure it will be this year. Caleb is gone until the 17th, I leave for home on the 16th, we won't be home for Christmas anyway, and my allergies are CRAZY this year for some reason (we have a box tree), so I'd rather just not mess with it. It is also too early for me for Christmas music, but I CAN'T WAIT to take Clara to see Santa for the first time. Call me a Grinch if you want to, but I really do LOVE Christmas!

Adrien said...

Haha, lack of tree and Christmas music before December does not a grinch make. It just means you probably have a harness on your holiday fruit cake...which I obviously do not. :)

Heather, I now feel it's my personality responsibility to find you a black Christmas tree.

Emily, if I had allergies and wasn't going to be home for Christmas, I would be tempted to leave it down, too. But maaaybe you could go to Walmart and get one of those cheap little trees and put it in the kitchen or something. ;)

annewalker said...

The images amazingly captured the moments... I so love your cute kid, she's so precious on those photos. you've got a very nice family and of course that was an awesome Christmas tree.

Thanks for sharing inspiration this holiday, feel free to stop by sometime.

Anne walker
Christmas tree decorating ideas


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