Monday, January 10, 2011

the tree lighting.

after returning from a somewhat bummy ending to the thanksgiving weekend, it was time for one of my favorite things to do of the year, put up the christmas tree.  while driving home i had seen all kinds of friends posting things on facebook about their trees and could not wait to add mine.  we had already decided to put up the tree and decorations when we returned from california, which i could not be more excited about!  plus i was excited about really having our apartment decorated.

we had been buying for awhile, as you know.  but it seemed like when we really thought about it, we didnt even know what we had.  we finally purchased our last piece, the tree while in california.  we were definitely ready to put all of our things together.

once we got home we unloaded the car, we tried to get a few things organzied before completely undoing a whole nother set of things.  putting together the chirstmas tree with my dad and brother has always been one of my best childhood memories.  after that my dad and i always put the lights on together.  and by lights, i mean tons.  i was really excited to start this new tradition with richard.  we had returned home with chick-fil-a that i knew richard would eventually be taking over to friends that evening as well, we had a lot to do.

we decided to put the tree together first, as it was the biggest and the most center piece.  finally opening the box we realized this was going to take awhile.  there was metal pole, a topper, and each row of branches had 6 pieces to attach to the center pole.  im pretty sure there was at least 8-10 rows.  about an hour later...we finished the tree, there was so much fluffing once all the branches were attached.  this tree had also pretty much taken over our whole living room.  we knew the measurements of the tree, but didnt really understand what that would look like until we had the tree assembled.  it was right about that moment richard realized it was already time for him to go.  i hadnt realized he was going to leave so soon after we got home or i never would have started the tree process.  however while he was gone, i was very firm on not doing anymore without him.  this was our first decorating together.

once he got back he decided to put the lights on the outside while he still had warm clothes on.  we had rope lights to go around the pole on the balcony and blue and white icicle lights to hang off the edge.  it was so much easier said than done.  first we couldnt get the rope lights connected to light up.  then they kept falling apart.  the 2 of us are damn near hanging off the balcony to get the rope lights to wrap around the pole.  and every time we do they fall apart again.  then there is no way to attach the icicle lights.  we have a drill that we borrowed from my dad but he is sure the stucco is going to break.  then he is drilling on the bottom of our wall to see if it will even work.  im telling him he needs holes on the top of the ledge for the nails to hold the lights there and he is telling me none of it is going to work.  needless to say it was your typical first decorating experience.

after we decided the rope lights were wrapped around good enough we started with the lights on the tree.  i have been doing this part every year, forever, while it had been a few years for richard. we had quite a few strands of different lights between the multi-colored, blinking, and white, they overlapped a lot.  we also realized we did not have nearly enough for such a large tree.   i will say, he did a very good job.  except for the fact he kept saying we needed to turn the lights on before putting them on the tree because then you could see where they need to go.  and i kept saying you do the big lighting at the end.  either way the tree came out beautiful.
we didnt have any ornaments for the tree that day.  in my family every year while growing up you got to buy one new ornament for the tree.  this way when you moved out you had your own starter collection, which had not been unpacked at my parents house yet.  richard and i decided to make it a blue theme this year, thinking we wouldnt have enough ornaments to really decorate the tree, we just hadnt purchased them yet.  we placed our other decorations, the train, the gingerbread house, and a few other things, but realized that we really didnt have that much.  it was becoming more and more apparent that this is really one of those things you acquire over time.

looking back now, im realizing i could have been a lot more flexible.  like who cares if the lights are lit when you decorate the tree.  or if he wants more white lights, it doesnt matter.  or if the ornaments he does put on there hang off the bottom all awkward.  and yes a pre-lit tree would have been a lot easier, but that takes half of your memories away.  for our first christmas together, it was perfect.

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