A long-standing Brooks-Livingston tradition is to do all of our holiday decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving. This morning, after some super good baked blueberry oatmeal, we decided we needed to get going. First on our list: the tree. Our part of North Carolina has tons of tree farms – everybody from Raleigh west must come here for trees – every third car on the road has one on top lately.
We picked out a nice 7-ish foot Frasier fir and set it up in our living room – and then got out the vacuum. These things, even fresh, lose needles like nobody’s business. I kept imagining little tinkling sounds as they fell – like the needles falling off poor ol’ Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree.
I only remember one or two live Christmas trees when I was little – mostly because of stepping on needles stuck in the carpet – in January. Shag carpet. Bad idea. We stuck to a fake tree from then on, I think.
Though we had decorated a little 4-foot tree for many years, last year was the first time we’d lived in a big enough place to have a full-size tree, so *A* and I got our first real tree.
Since *A* and I are both the youngest, we’ve been the recipients of quite a few family ornaments over the years. We also have a tradition of giving each other an ornament each year. A few of our favorites:
This one’s been in my family for years and years – Mr. & Mrs. Claus caught in a smooch.
I remember playing with this little bear when I was very small.
From Krispy Kreme – where we went on our first date.
The little elf that’s a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – we saw him in person a few years ago.
Our merry little tree. 🙂
*A* also has a little collection of nutcrackers – the Nutcracker has always been one of *A*’s favorite Christmas traditions – we’ve seen it a few times live – once (probably the best one), we saw The Atlanta Ballet perform it at The Fox Theater in Atlanta. That was pretty cool.
*A* spent quite a while yesterday (when I was at work) working on the outside – hanging garland and lights. She did a great job! With only 6 extension cords! 🙂
We finished up outside today and hung up our Moravian star – probably my favorite decoration of all.
I first saw this star at a Christmastime choir concert that *A* performed in when we were in college, and I’ve been enamored with it ever since. When we moved to North Carolina, we started seeing the star on people’s front porches that first Christmas. I thought maybe it was just a North Carolina thing – but I thought it odd that so many people would like the same (rather obscure, in other parts of the South, I think) star. When we visited Old Salem, an historic community in Winston-Salem, NC, our first Christmas here, I learned that the star originated there – or with the Moravians, anyway. Salem was settled by Moravians in 1766 – they were a group of Protestants that began in what is now the Czech Republic. They settled in an area they called Wachovia in a town they named Salem. We’ve toured Old Salem several times – it’s a fascinating place that we love returning to. We saw this star on our first trip and learned that it was called a Moravian star – it was originally intended to teach Moravian children lessons in geometry. Definitely not why I like it so much!
We soooo look forward to getting ready for Christmas with our Littlest Brooks-Livingston – picking out that “first Christmas” ornament, putting up lights on the tree and outside. And, Littlest, just so you know, your Mom-to-be makes some awesome hot chocolate (with marshmallows…)