Parts of me never grew up. Don't get me wrong. I AM a grown up and have grown up responsibilities and do grown up things, like eat a Snickers bar for breakfast just because I can (I AM a grown up), but for as long as I can remember, and this is going back to early childhood days when we lived in Centreville, Mississippi, I've "played with" our Christmas trees. The magic likely started when we would, as a family, traipse through someones pasture into the woods (with permission) and hunt for the perfect tree. We would then kill it, drag it back through the woods, tie it to the roof of the car, and like good taxidermy, mount it in the living room.
We lived in the parsonage in Centreville, my dad was the Presbyterian preacher, and the home provided to us by the church was vintage. Older homes in the South had enormously high ceilings to collect the hot air in the summertime, so that ladies could sip their "ice tea" and not have the ice melt before the tall glass reached their lips. It also meant that when going in the attic to retrieve the Christmas decorations, one would have to use a tall ladder just to REACH the attic stairs ladder. It was scarily thrilling to climb into the attic.
Plus, in that house, we kept the living room and dining room closed off to presumably save on heating and cooling bills, so putting the tree in the chilly living room only added to the wondrous mystery of Christmas for me. The tree drew me to it like a magnet. Ornaments, colorful lights, tinsel, and presents, oh, the presents, it was so exciting. I would re-arrange the lights, ornaments, pretty presents, and play with the tinsel, (nobody sells tinsel anymore) over and over and over.
The excitement of finding just the right tree and all the fun of decorating it has continued (for me) to this day. The Amazing Reese and our daughters have been amused, if not slightly annoyed, when, as a grown woman, I continue to play with the Christmas tree. The family joke is not if I'll do it, but when. But this year, THIS year, I have vowed to not rearrange one thing on the tree. My only delight will be to plug in the lights first thing in the morning, and say good night to the tree at bedtime when we unplug the lights. (Goodnight tree!) That's all. Nobody believes me. Hence this photo. Anna took a picture of the tree lights right after they were put on so that they can compare it to a photo of the tree at the end of the season....just to make sure I have not rearranged anything.
It's really not fair, because this is our first Christmas with Tilly, who doesn't seem to understand the word "no", and who thinks that the tree is her personal playground (a girl after my own heart) and who keeps collecting ornaments off the tree (look! new toys!) and subsequently eating them. (Aw, that poor angel is decapitated.)
Ah, but she seems to be enjoying the Christmas tree magic. I completely understand. Good girl, Tilly.