Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tis the Season!

Ahhh...Christmas has officially arrived at the Taylor house.

Christmas is my FAVORITE time of year. Well, the season itself, what it represents, and the fact that I get to be with my friends and family - especially the ones I don't get to see often. I could skip the angry and rude shoppers at shopping malls and other retailers ( I will never understand that as long as I live. Seriously people, its the holiday of love and giving and it feels more like MMA tryouts if u venture out to shop any time after Thanksgiving, and through the New Year). Christmas decorations that pop up like two days after Halloween, and "politically correct" -- someone give me a break with this crap PLEASE -- references to the "holidays" in an effort to avoid insulting people just irritate me to no end. I cannot understand how a holiday - whose entire reason for existing is the very essence of Christianity - is being turned into a generic "Hallmark holiday" because the constant religious references OFFEND some people. Are you KIDDING ME? Sorry people, just because you want to take advantage of the pretty lights and the idea of getting lots of presents (for apparently no true reason in your world) doesn't mean that the entire reason for the season isn't Jesus. You need to get on board with that, or seriously just make up another holiday. Say on like the 26th and call it All Snowman's Day and celebrate it however. For those who live in non-snow climates, well I hope that doesn't make you feel "left out", "offended" or "discriminated against", but well, a) it was just a suggestion and b) well, I don't honestly care. Life's tough, get a helmet. Do what you will, but leave my CHRISTmas alone.

Ok, off my soapbox - sorry, that devolved quickly.

Annnnyway, like I was saying, I love Christmas. Decorating my house has always been my favorite part. I have this sick obsession with Christmas tree ornaments. I literally have HUNDREDS. Growing up I remember always having tons of ornaments. Then again, they were acquired over years and years, many of them hand made by my sisters and I and, well, that just adds up quickly. It made sense to have lots.

But I sorta skipped the handmade-by-children part and the slowly-acquire-many-over-the-years concept. In the five years that Chris and I have been putting up a tree together I have purchases literally hundred of ornaments. So many that I have already gone thru and purged some and given them to Kellyn for her and Ronnie's first tree together. Having to decorate your very first tree isn't cheap, especially when you like a tree full of ornaments and you are starting at zero. Not that that stopped me that first Christmas (altho when Chris found out that was almost the END of Christmas that year lol). I was all too happy to donate some to Kelly and Ron, especially since that meant I got to go out and replace them!! ;)

I have a sickness when it comes to ornaments. A true love affair with these beautiful, sparkly, shiny globes, crosses, snowflakes, reindeers, Santas, and every other unique little dangling pieces of lovely. I treasure every single one and love to just look at them. As soon as retailers start putting them out, I'm there, picking out new ones every year. Generally I don't like spending a lot of $$ on ornaments (I mean like individual prices), although I have been known to cave in the past and scoop up a variety of $8-10 (each) pieces of unexplainable dangling happiness. But that is the exception, not the rule. As much as I love quality, I'm also a QUANTITY person. I like my tree so full of ornaments you can barely see the tree itself. Hobby Lobby has been my best friend when it comes to quality ornaments and prices that promote quantity, LOL! They ALWAYS have great prices (most are listed $5 and under) and are ALWAYS 40-50% off. So I mean lets be honest. Getting ornaments at the $1-2 mark -- well lets just say it can get a little cray cray.

At any rate, I love the way my house looks at Christmas. I never want to take the decorations down. If it wouldn't be weird I would leave them up year round. I love the feeling of warmth and fullness my house has when all the decorations are up. A few years ago I learned I was allergic to trees (which when living in NC was a def issue). We had to commit to all fake trees at that point. That was a sad time for Chris and I. We LOOOOVE the smell if Christmas trees. However, I have learned that the advantages of the fake tree has begun to outweigh those of a real one. No more throwing $$ down the drain every year, no never-ending battle against the falling pine needles, the leveling and re-leveling, the army crawl under the tree to water it constantly... sorry but just thinkin about that now makes me totally over it. Not to mention the utter failure of our very last real tree. We attempted to "choose and cut" our tree that year. Unfortunately I was very sick and we couldn't travel up to Boone to do it properly. So we decided to stick around town and visit some of the (very) few tree farms in the Stanly County area (piedmont region) of North Carolina. Needless to say, areas that have high heats in the summer around the 100 degree mark doesn't lend itself to quality Christmas trees. The one we purchased (despite my protests and a loud and slightly embarrassing yellin match between Chris and I over the tree I did NOT want) was half dead the day we bought it and was not the type of pine tree I liked. By the time we got it home and set it up, it was well on its way to resembling one of those Charlie Brown trees. I'm talkin we lost more than half those needles just gettin it set up. My mom was over helping me and was laughin so hard I thought she would pee in her pants. Which just made me more and more angry, which would just keep making her laugh even harder. It was a vicious cycle.

At any rate, by the time it was almost up and finished, the unmentionable happened. The damn thing fell over. Yup, just fell right on over, ornaments and all. I was livid. I had never wanted Christmas to be OVER so badly in my life. Well, here I am tryin to prop the tree up and am cussin Chris for all he's worth (gotta love my holiday spirit, right?). Mom is LESS than useless at this point. She's laughin so hard all I want her to do is get off my couch cause Lord help her if I hafta clean up cause a grown woman wets her pants on my upholstery. Luckily - VERY lucky - that didn't happen. Long story short (or not), that was the last real tree the Taylor house ever saw.

While my initial reaction to no more real trees was slightly disappointed, I realized quickly how utterly fantastic fakes are. No needles to clean up, not watering, no leveling, and best of all most come prelit (never something I was good at - that was always Kellyn's part of tree decorating). And while I missed the smell, I realized there was a number of candles, sprays and now even these little green things you hang in your trees to simulate that Christmas tree smell. So thank you retailers everywhere - I officially want for nothing when It comes to my tree.

So today, I finally got all my Christmas decorations up. And I did it allllll by myself. Got the tree out, put up, lit and decorated. It's been years since I was physically able to do all that, and even when I was feelin ok I still just didn't have the physical capabilities for all that. So while my original plan was to just get all the stuff out and then I'd wait for Chris to get home from work to help me. Well, that idea sorta flew out the window once I started. It felt so good that I was ABLE to do all that I couldn't stop. I'm tellin you people -- the things you don't realize you miss out on when your as sick as I was is crazy. I don't think I even realized exactly how sad my life had become. Not until just recently a is it all REALLY coming into focus. It's so easy to take advantage of the simplest things - like decorating a Christmas tree. I'm tellin you, as long as I'm livin, I'm never takin advantage of the small stuff again.

I have a feelin this might just be the best Christmas EVER! :)

Tree 1 in the front foyer ( yeah u read that right...)

Tree 2 in the living room

Tree 2 (again)

Annnnd Tree 3 (small, but cute - in the dining room)

YUP, I have three trees this year! (It was necessary in order to be able to hang all the ornaments ;) )

One of Chris and I's wedding pics on display.

Dining room table - hangin the stockings on my bar cause its FL and I don't have a fireplace :/

View from kitchen into dining-living room

Front foyer (with tree 1) is where my new nativity scene is (thanks mom - I love!). I've never had a nativity scene of my own before and I just love this one. So perfect :)

View if the living and dining room from the front of the house looking back. Tried to get all three trees in one shot. Not the best in terms of that, but it still looks super pretty ;)

Ahhhhh I just love Christmas. Hope everyone is enjoying their CHRISTMAS season so far. Don't forget the REASON FOR THE SEASON FOLKS!! <>

Much love...



  1. A Blessed Christmas to you and Chris.

  2. Your home loos beautiful! I'm sure that this is going to be an awesome Christmas for you two!!

    And yeah, I vote in on All Snowman's Day!

  3. I totally get your "holiday" gripe--I hate that it's turned into such a generic thing too! But, I often choose to put that on my card since I have so many Jewish friends that I like to send cards to. For me, Happy Holidays includes Christmas as well as Hanukkah for my friends that celebrate that and the new year :) xx