But to get back to the tree, we live within spitting distance (almost literally) of half a dozen tree farms. We like Hagg's just over the hill from us. Take a look at this image and see if you can guess why we head over there year after year:
Mike takes bagging the elusive Christmas tree very seriously...and when you're getting your tree for ten bucks, it's going to be a Charlie Brownie one.
Did I ever tell you that I played Sally in our production of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" when I was in the 9th grade?
And if you don't think it was a challenge getting my fine and straight hair teased up and looking like hers, then you are seriously underestimating how uncooperative my hair is. I wish I had a picture of the cute costume my mom made for me. We were into Polaroids back then, and those pictures just didn't stand the test of time.
So here it is...a Charlie Brown Christmas tree if I've ever seen one. It just needs a little love.
I like going here too because they have a gift shop set up in their barn. You can find decorations for your home and table.
My pictures didn't turn out very well in here, but they have tables of hand-made items. I'm always threatening to start in January and make up a bunch of stuff for next year. So far, I haven't made a single thing. Also, I enjoy looking at the "vintage" items. And it always irks me when I see "vintage" items from my own childhood. Who're you calling vintage? Coke in glass bottles? Really?
And given that it was burr-ass cold, it was a perfect day to go home and have Spanish coffees.
And I made some cranberry salsa, which was somewhat disappointing...and now I have six jars of it. It's fine, but it doesn't hold a Christmas candle to the chutney I made a couple of weeks ago.
So, while I was doing that, Mike was getting the tree in the stand. He had so much spirited help too!
It's been too cold for Smitty to be outside, which has caused him no small amount of disappointment. But this tree business...now this has some serious potential. And these lights! Well, here, let a cat help out.
"Wow! And a bed right under the tree!! This will be a great napping spot! Thanks!!"
So, in addition to having a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, we are still putting up the same ornaments we had when we celebrated our first Christmas together in 1975. Ours is a "traditional" tree with traditional ornaments. Nothing fancy and matching for us...no siree. Here's Erik's little ornament he made while he was in kindergarten. With his October birthday, he started kindergarten a year late, so this would have been Christmas of 1985.
This one is from Matthew's preschool, about the same time.
And this one is Matthew's too.
Erik made this next one when he was in cub scouts.
This is our ornament to remember our daughter, Holly, who was with us such a poignantly short period of time in 1983.
I used to be involved with an organization for folks who had losses in pregnancy many years ago. We made these tissue paper ornaments as a fundraiser one Christmas. We made ornaments every year, but this is the only one we hang on the tree any more.
This next ornament is older than I am. My mother never wanted to put it on the tree. She didn't like it because it was old and not as fancy as the newer ones. To this day, I don't understand why she didn't like it, but I always loved it, and I always begged her to let me put it on the tree. When Mike and I got married, she gave it to me, and I still love it as much as ever. It always makes me think of her. A lot of family garbage meant that I received almost nothing of her things after she passed away, and so this ornament is special for many reasons.
(I always like it when I see a picture I've taken and my reflection appears somewhere in the image.)
Of course, there are the cat ornaments. This is Gracie's ornament...it fits her perfectly for so many reasons.
This is George's ornament, aka Captain Cattastic. (Sniff.)
This is our sweet little Krissy ornament. She went to the rainbow bridge before I started blogging, but she is one of our most memorable kitties. We had her for 19 years, and so we had her longer than any of our other kitties. She was a tortie calico and very talkative. She had a lot of personality.
Some of you might remember the travails I went through trying to find an ornament for Smitty's first Christmas last year. I ended up getting this one online.
I can't even remember when I got this one, but I think I bought it just because I liked it.
When I was a working person, I used to provide clinical supervision to other social workers who were accumulating clinical hours in preparation for taking the national licensing exam. One of my supervisees gave me this next one.
And for all his helpfulness, Smitty seemed to know that batting at the ornaments was a no-no. He was as sweet as can be while we decorated the tree, hanging out on the tree skirt the entire time.
And there it is. The Stanbro Christmas Tree 2013.
Of all the Christmas trees we've had, I think this one is the Charlie Browniest!
So it's just about time for me to get my winter woollies on and pick out something from the grocery store. It's a busy day ahead. I hope you have a great Monday!