Like many people, I love the holiday season. Not just love it, but REALLY love it. I love everything about it: the snow, the lights, the music, the atmosphere, the smells, the decorations, the general cheer that people seem to have. As a kid, and still to this day, sitting by the Christmas tree with a book is one of my most favourite places to be. But to do this, there needs to be a tree..
Nearly three years ago, after making the move from Montreal, Jay,his brother Jord and I embarked on a trip to Canadian Tire where we bought the necessities: a small tree, a few standard ornaments, a few special ones, some lights, and a star for the top. We decorated and I felt so much more at home. Last year, I fully immersed myself in the atmosphere, dragging myself out of bed early on Saturday mornings to read by the light of the tree (and the tiny lights I string around my bookshelves.) These solitary moments were a calm escape from the business of the days leading up to Christmas itself.
This year, I was determined to get the tree up sooner. I knew that Jay had a pretty firm date of December 1st as decoration day, but felt I stood a chance when he surprised me with a beautiful, delicate snowy white owl ornament at the beginning of November. I had a huge smile on my face as I cupped my hands around the gorgeous owl and asked if this meant I could put up the tree a bit earlier this year? To which, he smiled, and said .. no.
I secretly maneuvered Jord onto my side, picking November 22nd as our tree date. It was going up, with or without Jay! (Except, I would never decorate without him, so not really..) During a visit with my parents, I mentioned the tree. My mother gave a long sigh and explained to Jay just how crazy my younger brother and I were as kids about the tree. It had nothing to do with presents. There was just something magical about the tree. “They would get up every morning and run out to look at the tree. And just.. stare at it. I had to get up early each morning to make sure the lights were plugged in!”
I have such magical memories of my parent’s tree! It wasn’t real (we have a rambunctious [and adorable] dog) but it was perfect. I even remember being heart-broken one year when our boxes of ornaments got caught under a leak in the garage and ruined by water damage. The tree was everything. And thanks to having an amazing decorator (my mom) and the king of Christmas lights (my dad), I grew up with a good understanding of how to make a house go from being perfectly normal, to a hub of holiday cheer!
This past weekend, I decided to soften the deal with Jay and made Christmas cookies (pictured above.) I said nothing about the tree, but played my two favourite Christmas albums on repeat for 3 hours while I baked. Then this morning, as Jay ironed his shirt for work, I slipped in the question, one last time. “So.. Friday? For the tree? Maybe? Please..?” and I got the most magical word in response:
HOLIDAY CHEER FOR ALL! (There may be pictures coming.. perhaps!)
So, if you celebrate the holidays, when do you decorate? Let me know :).