Today's Before and After Theme:
Our Christmas Tree.
Okay, TECHNICALLY, this is not OUR Christmas tree. I didn't actually take a picture of our tree before it was decorated because I didn't have the foresight for the before-and-after theme week on this blog. If I HAD taken a picture, it would look a lot like this one, only more real looking and full because this year I bought a new Christmas tree that kicks serious Yule arse in its authenticity, shape and fullness.
These pictures were taken DURING the decorating process. The same morning Grant found the tooth fairy did not indeed stiff him this time around, Gavin awoke to find that mommy had erected the tree the night before while they slept. The boys LOVE decorating the tree, but I do not LOVE their help assembling the tree in preparation for its adornments. They THINK they would love this part, but I know them well enough to know it would NEVER be good enough for Gavin and Grant would start decorating it well before it was ready.
I insist upon listening to Christmas music and drinking
Baileys on the rocks hot chocolate during this decorating process. The boys love to hear stories about Christmases past while we do this. They love unwrapping each ornament and hearing the possible story that explains it. This year, Grant had one meltdown when he came across this ornament from 2001. He could not understand why his name would not be on it. I explained that in 2001, this WAS our family. He threatened to break it and went upstairs to his room and cried for a several minutes.
I captured these next two during shots as the boys were busy decorating. I think these two shots could not better describe my boys personalities without their actually being present in the picture.
Each year my mom gets the boys a keepsake Hallmark ornament. Often, they get ornaments from Brian's mom, too or various great aunts and uncles. My mom writes what year from Memaw and Papa on each ornament for the boys to remember whose is whose. They LOVE opening and putting these ornaments on the tree. These are their favorites because they know these ornaments are THEIRS FOR LIFE. I take great care in storing these ornaments in their original packaging (plastic, bubble wrap, box and all) so that when the boys are older, and these ornament go with them some day, they will last, because again, THEIRS FOR LIFE.
The first shot is how Grant opens and cares for his ornament packaging.
The second is Gavin.
After all was said and done, here is our tree:
Some day, I may have a Martha Stuart tree or a themed tree with coordinating colors. For now, it is filled with homemade clay sculptures too heavy for the branch, pieces of paper with doodling on them from the boys preschool years, star wars, scooby doo, spiderman, indiana jones and robots. It is quite perfect. In fact, I will be sad when those Hallmark ornaments go with the boys some day. I will be sad when one branch does not contain 5 ornaments. I will be sad when my ribbon is symmetrical and evenly spaced.
I need to remind myself of that lately.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Today's Before and After Theme: