Decorating the Tree / by Leslie

After bringing home our real tree, we set it up in the stand, wrapped it in lights and hung almost every ornament that we have. Milo has always loved decorating the tree. When he was three he especially loved to put ornaments on and then take them off again, and was pretty much continually decorating and redecorating the entire season. Last year his favorite part was opening each box to see what ornaments were inside and before there was even one decoration on the tree the floor was covered with open boxes and tree trimming treasures. This year was the best yet. For the first time this year he patiently helped me untangle and change about 50 bulbs on our strings of lights. He opened just one box at a time, putting those on the tree before opening a new one. I really enjoyed decorating the tree with him this year.

Quinn placed one ornament on the tree and luckily I got a picture of it, the rest of the time he sat on the couch watching Christmas movies. We saved the classic Rudolf show for the end when Milo and I were done and could watch too. We have little figures from that movie and Milo would hold whichever character was on screen at the time. Check out the shot of Milo watching TV with his Santa hat on, there is a tiny Rudolf in his hand.

The next day Chris and the kids put the lights up on the house. I left it mostly up to Chris and he did a great job planning it out and making sure that everything was linked together and set on a timer. It's colorful and crazy and magical. The kids love it. Milo was air kissing the lights when they were finished. He'd been waiting and waiting, hearing about the kids at school who already had their tree and lights done and finally, we had ours too, and they were perfect. 

Our decorations are fun and a bit wild too. I love ornaments that look hand made. Felt and sewn are my favorites. We are also starting to collect hand made ornaments from the kids and I have a few precious ones from when I was young, made by my Aunt. I love birds and there are quite a few of those, this year we got a few new ones, red cardinals made of feathers. 

These pictures were taken over a few days. Our tree is right next to a window so we get amazing light on it during the day. The natural light filters through the tree and back lights many of the decorations so perfectly. You could mimic this look by placing a spot light opposite from where you are shooting and let the light shine through the branches. Watch for lens flare! I also used a gold reflector, to put a little light back onto the tree. 

What are your favorite decorations or ornaments? Are they handmade or store bought? What kind are you drawn to? Do your favorites share a similar color or materials? Do you have any from when you were a child? I encourage you to take pictures of your own favorite decorations and share them with us, or simply describe them in the comments. 

Here are a few posts from last year's Christmas season:

Books for Kids: Christmas and Winter

Gifts I'm Giving (Under $20)

Cynical About Seeing Santa

Favorite Things: Christmas Decorating

Wishing you a fantastic holiday and precious time with your family. Have fun, sing, be excited and most of all I hope you gets lots of love and joy. That is what we really need. xo