We got our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving this year, in our own backyard like last year. Jeff was bent over cutting down the tree in that picture, which you can’t really see. We took a break from our work that day to cut down the tree, but that’s all we had time for since we were wrapping things up for market the following day. We saved the decorating for later. I remember that day we discovered there were still some huckleberries on the bushes as we walked through the woods. We also saw a woodpecker and it’s home in a tree. Bracken loved that.
There wasn’t a good place in our living room to put our tree this year, so we put it in the room between the kitchen and living room. It’s up on a table so it looks really tall. Since it’s been up for awhile the needles are starting to fall off and it’s a good thing it was as far away from the wood stove as it was or it would have dried out quicker. I snapped a picture of our living room one day after I’d gotten it all cleaned up. I remember I had just folded all the laundry and was about to hang another load. It had taken me quite some time to get it to the point where the floor was picked up enough to sweep and vacuum. Our house probably gets the messiest in the month of December. Jeff has things he is in the process of finishing covering every flat space in the house, and Bracken usually works on art projects while I ship out orders. I was so happy to have it all cleaned up, I wanted a picture to remember it by!
sometimes often feel that we aren’t able to celebrate the holidays, namely Thanksgiving and Christmas, like “normal” families are because it’s our craziest and busiest time of year for our business. Thanksgiving for us is a special meal enjoyed together. Christmas for us is a day of exhaustion after the whirlwind of the season. We got our tree up on Thanksgiving, so I thought we were doing pretty well, but I told a friend just the other day that we hadn’t put all of our ornaments up yet. There’s still a box of ornaments next to our tree, waiting to be hung. I joked that maybe we’d get the rest of our ornaments hung up on Christmas Eve! But in all honesty, our tree can only hold so many ornaments and it’s already pretty well covered.
We don’t have days of decorating and baking, we have pockets of time tucked in here and there. With each thing I do for the holidays, I give an inner cheer. Hanging the stockings, wrapping the presents, and stringing up the holiday cards where we can all see and enjoy them all feel like little victories to me. A fellow market vendor asked me how I was able to get holiday cards made for our family this year since this time of year is so busy she hardly gets anything done for the holidays and I explained to her that I had been addressing envelopes on the car ride to market that day.
I want the holidays to feel special for Bracken and while we may not have been able to spend as much time doing projects with him as I would have liked, I hope he will have some fond memories from this year. I hope he’ll remember playing with the ornaments, just like I did when I was a kid. I’ve loved watching him bring the ornaments on visits to his dollhouse and have them all in conversation with one another. I hope he’ll remember the night when I opened the front door and a tiny bird flew in the house and landed in our Christmas tree. How we shut all the doors and sat quietly waiting for it to fly back out, while he told me that he wanted it to live there forever. I hope he’ll remember painting ornaments together all cozy by the fire and listening to Christmas music and making candies. Maybe we’ve done more than I thought.
Bracken’s great Grandma and Grandpa Baker sent him a package with instructions to open one gift every day starting December 1. When they were all open he would know it was Christmas. Oh my goodness, how he has loved that! Waking up each morning and getting to open a present has been so much fun. He has gotten some sticker books which has been his very favorite thing. He told me in all seriousness recently that it’s really hard for kids to wait for Christmas to open all their presents. He said it to me like something really needed to be done about it, whoever made that rule needed to do fix it for kids everywhere. Then he looked at me and waited for me to remedy the situation. Jeff and I said it was hard for us when we were kids too and his Grandpa told him the same thing as well. He’s been lucky to have a gift to open every day up till Christmas and we open a gift early on Christmas Eve, so he’s counting down the days.