It hit me today as I talked EB through how to hang ornaments on our little 3.5' tree, that I've never bought a Christmas tree alone. In college, my roommate and I bought and decorated the tree together and then the next year Finn and I started living together. So from 2010 until 2019, I've always bought and shared in the decorating experience with another adult. It is surreal to imagine that I'm in the last year of my twenties and somehow I'm still crossing small milestones off lists of firsts I thought were complete.
I'll also admit that this tree was a huge disappointment when it came out of the box. I am on a tight budget this holiday season and since Gray is an expert mischief maker and top tier explorer, I didn't see the point in investing in a tall tree just yet. Images of Gray gracefully toppling one over on top of him have literally been haunting my dreams. So, this little "pre-lit" (the lights didn't actually work and I'm too lazy to load two toddlers up again to go exchange it) tree was the right size and cost for my Christmas decor goals this year.
Luckily I had some left over lights from Christmases past and the colored lights help distract from the unlit white lights. I got to show EB how to hang ornaments and she thoroughly enjoyed instructing me on where to put them. And besides the fact that we have yet to get a star (which EB has already reminded me about 10x), I stepped back and was actually pleasantly surprised by how good it looked after the simple additions and some love.
These were our stockings last year - not much to swoon over and obviously not relevant in the cases of Gray's and mine (yes my family and friends call me Katye).
So obviously a stocking upgrade was in order. Now I may gush, so forgive me, but my amazingly adorable and already keen eyed for color and pattern daughter, picked out all of our stockings. I asked her to pick one she liked for herself and she chose the polka-dot stocking. Next, I asked her to pick out one for her baby brother and she chose the one with snowflakes and mittens. Lastly, she chose the Buffalo plaid for me and my designer heart was so happy and proud that all of her selections went so well together. When Gray gets old enough to care I'll let him choose between the one his sister originally chose for him and mine. All in all though, this little corner of our living room surpassed my expectations and actually made me smile. Add in an adorable elf and my smile and Christmas spirit multiplied.
I am grateful for this tree, the humbleness it brought me and for the opportunity to share in this memory with EB. I don't know what this Christmas season will bring, but I hope that this is an indication that even the unexpected or not so ideal circumstances can still be made beautiful with some extra (self) care and love.
Happy Holidays friends!