Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Oh, Christmas tree

Pat and I always get a live tree for Christmas. This year I thought it would be a great idea if we went and cut down our own Christmas tree instead of buying one that was pre-cut. And by "we" I mean, I will pick out the tree that I want and then Pat will do all of the work to cut it down and get it back to our car. That probably goes without saying, but I just wanted to be clear.

Last Saturday afternoon we loaded up the car with a few different saws, some rope and work gloves and headed to the destination I found online for cutting down your own Christmas tree. As we were driving by the very busy shopping plaza in the busy part of Avon and the map on my phone showed that we were less than a mile away from our destination, I did question where there could possibly be a tree farm close by that was big enough to go out and cut down your own tree. But I found the place on google so it must be real, right?

Lucky for me, Pat thinks through situations better than I do so when we pulled into the parking lot filled with trees that had already been cut down, Pat knew better than to jump out of the car with his saw right away (that probably would have scared the teenage girl half to death). Instead, he assessed the situation first and asked her where you go to cut down your own tree. "Oh, we're not doing that this year. Sorry."

As someone who is responsible for updating the website at work - and get numerous phone calls if there is old and outdated information on the site (and by old, I mean like a few days or a week old) - I find it pretty unacceptable that a business has had 12 months to update their website with important information about whether or not you will be allowing people to cut down their own trees. Anyway, in the true Christmas spirit we decided not to boycott their business and not buy one of their pre-cut trees and instead set out to find somewhere else where we could cut our own tree down.

Turns out, unless we wanted to drive 45 minutes away (which we did not have time to do), we were out of luck. So instead we went and got some lunch and then stopped at the first place we saw on our way home. And we ended up with this beauty right here. I was a little disappointed we didn't get to cut it down ourselves but it is the prettiest and biggest tree we've ever had so I was still quite excited about it.

And when we got home, Pat had to cut a little bit off the bottom of the tree anyway so if you look at this picture, it almost appears as if Pat actually is cutting the tree down himself, right? Disregard the fact that the picture is taken in our front yard. Minor detail.

So it turns out the bigger the tree, the heavier it is. Who knew? It was a little bit harder to get this bad boy into our house and up in the stand so we didn't have enough time to do anything else to it in order to make it to our couples bowling league on time (yes, this is what happens when you get married - your Saturdays turn in to cleaning your house, buying your Christmas tree and participating in a couples bowling league equipped with your own bowling shoes, ball stored in a couples bag).

The next day was Pat's birthday so the tree wasn't going to get decorated until at least Monday night...

To be continued...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Tis the season

I had am amazing Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite holidays. Such a relaxing day filled with great food and even greater family. We were able to squeeze in some time with all three of our families and it was great. The five days off of work wasn't awful either. :)

Now that Thanksgiving is over, the Christmas season is officially here. I've never been one to mix the holidays so I don't like thinking about decorating for Christmas or listening to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving is over. And now that it is; it's game on.

I have already listened to the complete album of Glee Christmas no less than four times. And this morning, I reached an all-time low (even for me) when the song on the album, "Last Christmas" actually moved me to tears. I know. I'm a loser. This point was proven a few weeks ago when one of the students at the school where I work told me I was a loser because I like Glee. I put my L to my forehead and proudly proclaimed my Gleekiness. I love the show and I love their Christmas album and I'm not ashamed of either. What I am ashamed of, though, is that the album has not left the CD player in my car since "last Christmas." Am I lazy or what?

Once again, I am hand making my own Christmas cards. Each year I get really excited to start them and then when I'm about halfway finished, I ask myself "Why didn't I just buy my cards?" But, when they are all finished (all 60 of them!), I will once again be glad that I took the time to make them.

Do you make your own Christmas cards? Better yet, do you even send Christmas cards at all? Many people don't. Personally, I am still a big fan of snail mail and keeping that system going. I love checking our mail every day and I love it even more when there is something other than bills in there. Postage is expensive and making and sending cards is time consuming, but it's a labor of love and one that I'm not quite ready to give up. Hopefully people enjoy receiving them as much as I enjoy making them. That's what it's all about, after all!

Once I'm finished with our Christmas cards, I really need to get moving on my Christmas shopping. I am usually one who tries to Christmas shop throughout the year. Not so much this year. I have one gift. Just one. Every time I come home from the store, I come with more wrapping paper and no gifts to wrap in it. I'm really particular about my wrapping paper. I like it to be really bright and fun so when I find something that meets my criteria, I snag it. In addition to the six rolls I've purchased this year, upon getting our Christmas decorations down from the attic, I found nine more rolls from last year. Pat asked me if I plan to wrap up a roll of wrapping paper and give it as a gift. At this rate, I just might have to.

And last, but certainly not least, I have A LOT of baking I want to get done. As some of you may remember, it literally came down to the wire last year with my baking (read about it here). I even thought by starting the Sunday before Christmas that I was starting early and I would be done long before Christmas Eve. That wasn't the case so I guess I know I need to start even earlier this year. And I have two new desserts I want to add to the list: peanut butter fudge and these cute little things I found on Pinterest.

We did get our Christmas tree, too, but I'm saving that for my next post. Now that you're all caught up on where I stand with the holidays. What are you up to? Are you done with your Christmas shopping? If you are, keep it to yourself. We don't need any gloating. ;) Do you bake or cook around the holidays? If so, what? And when do you start baking? How early is too early?

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, do you have your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day outfits picked out? Or am I the only one who plans that type of thing? Any excuse for a new outfit, right?