We headed back to Virginia with a car full of Black Friday Christmas decor finds, a fake tree, and decorations pawned from my parents basement. It was time to get down to business.
Now, before I go into details, I have a confession: I don't like decorating the Christmas tree. I never have. Ask my parents; every year, when it's time to decorate and watch White Christmas, I'm always the one who hangs one or two ornaments and then retreats to the couch to gorge on cheese and crackers and sing along with Bing. I would decorate the tree happily if everyone else wasn't so particular about where things go, and the order of where and how you hang things. There are some things that need to be analyzed and thought through, and to me, decorating just isn't one of them. You just do it!
So anyway, I thought that maybe since it was me and Ian's very first tree, that would change. Since it was on display in our first home together, everything would have to be perfect. So as Ian assembled the tree from the box, we popped in Miracle on 34th Street and I worked on laying out all the decorations and turning our little home into a Winter Wonderland.
So I decided to help and start spreading the clumped together branches on the fake tree. "Wait, but you should put the lights on first", Ian says. Cue grumbles from Bren, who thought the branches should be spread first.
Then Ian said we should also put the garland on before we spread the branches. I didn't think so--we would put them on, and then they would get all pushed to the back and we would just have to go back and readjust.
"But that's what you do when you decorate", said Ian. "You try something, and if it doesn't work, you go back and fix it".
"Well I think that's a waste of time!", I said, as I maturely huffed and retreated to the couch. As usual.
Next thing I knew, Ian was taking the lights down. "What are you doing?!"
"Maybe we should spread the branches first".
Time for a Christmas meltdown, one of those where I cried and then laughed that I was crying over the Christmas tree, but really it was so frustrating because there is no reason to cry over Christmas decorating. So I stuffed my face with crackers and cream cheese as the movie played on and Ian went to work on spreading the branches.
"You know, I could really use some help with getting these branches spread..."
I reluctantly slinked down to the floor to help. And then we had some beer.
Soon, the branches were ready, the lights and garland were up, and by golly, our first tree was looking really fantastic. And Julia Child was now on TV.
Next was the ornaments. Obviously our first tree had to have a red and teal color scheme. Thanks to some super cheap ornaments at Big Lots, I was ready to bring some Martha Stewart to our Christmas tree.
Once I got into it, the whole hanging ornaments thing wasn't so bad.
Especially with the help of Home Alone.
It sure is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Now we just need some snow...