It's, officially, beginning to look like Christmas because we finally put the tree up, yesterday. I normally like to do it the day after Thanksgiving, but we got a bit busy this year. Nevertheless, now our house looks about as jolly as it'll ever be in that homey, nostalgic, mis-matched way.
We use the same fake tree every year. Although some people don't like fake trees and say that they don't carry the same Christmas-y mood, our tree brings back countless memories. I've never had a Christmas with any other tree and putting it up every year I remember all the holiday memories from years past. From when I was only tall enough to decorate the bottom of the tree, to being old enough to handle the glass ornaments, and all the fun and broken ornaments in between.
Oakley found a stuffed ornament, went off to the side, and quietly started chewing on it. Silent and stealthy.
We have quite a collection of nutcrackers but this one, bought from a thrift shop a couple months ago, is my favorite. Anything with horses on it is usually my favorite.
Evergreens, pine cones, and peppermint candles, all in one photo. This is like the spirit of Christmas in one photo.
It doesn't feel like the holiday season until the tree is up. Until the entire first floor is glowing with both white and colored lights at nighttime. Until there are stockings over the fireplace and wreaths on the front door. Christmas isn't about the actual day, it's about all the ones that lead up to it.