Around here I am still taking pictures of fall leaves.
It seems to me that once the calendar turns over to December then it’s all Christmas all the time. But in my neck of the woods, Autumn is still hanging on and the trees are putting on their finale. So as long as the leaves keep showing off, I’m going to keep taking photos.
Around here it actually happens quite often that Autumn and Christmas overlap in my corner of the world. And I’m totally OK with that.
A couple of weeks ago Tripp took advantage of the nice weather and put up the outside lights. This year we had to bite the bullet and buy new net lights for the front bushes. Because nothing gets us in the Christmas spirit like a trip to Home Depot. <<insert eyeroll here>>
Around here it’s looking very festive on the inside of the house too.
Last weekend I made this cute little garland with some twine and these darling ornaments that I’ve had forever. As usual, I blame Pinterest.
Also, thank you for not asking me how much money I spent on new batteries for all my little battery-operated twinkle lights I have strung around the house.
And speaking of twinkle lights…
Last weekend we also put up our Christmas tree. For the past several years we have been putting up an artificial tree. This one in particular though, we ordered from the interwebs back in 2020 after our previous one bit the dust. It was obscenely expensive but it has LED lights which should hopefully last until at least the second coming. Plus it came with “branch fluffing gloves” and a handy little duffle bag to hold said gloves, the stand and extra light bulbs, so there’s that.
Please…I know…don’t say it.
Tripp did the heavy lifting and put the sections together and I am very happy to report that all of the lights were working. No cursing or jiggling with branches or fiddling with fuses necessary. Unlike the front door garland and both outdoor wreaths, but that’s probably another story for another day.
Sidenote: If Tripp was writing this post he would probably tell you that this is third year of our “investment” in this tree, and we need seven more years of operation for it to pay for itself. He even made a little tag on which he checks off the years that we keep in the handy duffel bag. Naturally. As one does.
Anyway, after Tripp finished getting the tree set up, I then went to work fluffing the branches. And before you ask, yes I wore the gloves. Then I got to work adding the ornaments. I got to say hello to my cherished collections of ornaments. Gifts from friends, souvenirs from our adventures, dated clay ornaments with our names on them.
As you can see, I also have a thing for pinecones and acorns.
While I was decorating the tree, Tripp sat in the living room with me with his laptop and a giant coatings catalog and entered formulation data into his Excel database. The whole time we listened to my 90’s country station on Pandora and I sang along to every. single. song. because I knew every single word of every single song. Nineties country will always have my heart. It’s like the soundtrack to those precious years of my little family’s life together. And combined with all of the warm fuzzies I felt when put on the ornaments, it was sentimental walk down memory lane that made my heart so happy and so full.
Now I know what you might be thinking….Tripp working on his laptop and me hanging ornaments and us listening to 90’s country music might sound like an odd combination. And a very unfestive one at that. No doubt the Hallmark Movie version of this story would have us decorating the tree together – both of us drinking eggnog and listening to holiday music and staring lovingly into each others’ eyes. But that’s not real life. Or at least not my real life.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in the past ten years is that the surest way to suck the joy out of something is to compare it to something else. Whether it’s comparing your something to that of someone else, or something from the past, or some made up idea idea of what you think something should be. Or could be.
Trust me when I tell you that I know this from personal experience.
For me, the antidote for comparison is gratitude. Because when I view my life through that lens, everything changes. Well, my physical circumstances don’t necessarily change, but my mindset – the way I think about my circumstances changes. And that is where hope and peace and joy live.
I love your point about comparison robbing our joy. We took bought an Uber expensive tree with gloves. This is year two. Bob set it up and promptly called his job done. Th4 girls came home from work and were sick. So there I 3as, me,myself and I decorating the tree as I watched Days of Our Lives on my iPad…..not a Hallmark scene by any stretch, but the tree looks great!
Glad to hear the tree is still working Susan. And yes to not living in Hallmark movies and creating our own magic! xo
Mary in IL says
Is it possible to take a bokeh effect picture with a cell phone? I love the way your home is decorated for Christmas Kelly!
Thank you Mary. And yes, you can achieve a similar effect with a cell phone. What I typically do is hold my left hand fairly close in front of my phone’s camera then tap and hold down on the screen to activate the AE/AF LOCK. then, when you hold your camera towards your tree (or other focal point) it should be out of focus. let me know how it goes!
Mary in IL says
Yay! It worked! Thank you so much for the instruction.
yay! so happy to hear it!