I like Christmas... I really do.  I have to say that early because I'm afraid any complaining I do right now will be misunderstood as a dislike of the season and that is not the case.  I think some people spend way too much time and energy on the wrong things this time of year, but that's a choice they make and I'm thankful for the freedom.  As I've said over the last few weeks, I'm beginning to understand that I have some pretty serious connections to rituals and traditions that I had not understood before.  I'm going to embrace them. Decorating is not a do or die thing for me.  One confession I have to make right here... (are you sitting down?)  My least favorite Christmas tradition is the Christmas tree.  I know, I know... that is a sacred cow for most people, but I guess it just never made much sense to me.  Even as a kid, I thought it was odd that people would cut down a tree, light it up, decorate it, worship for 3 weeks and then throw it outside in the gutter for the garbage man to pick up.  I despise the sight of used trees, outside in the street in the weeks following Christmas.  They just look so pathetic.  When I was growing up, my parents always bought live trees and then would plant them in the yard afterward.  That was great, but a little, live tree with a big old pot of dirt was not the prettiest thing to look at in the living room either.

I could have easily done without the decorating this year.  And, it's not because I'm in a bad mood. (Although, I AM in a bad mood.)  It's just one more thing on an already, over crammed list of things to do.  When I presented this option this weekend, we all agreed, except for Sierra.  She pointed out the fact that this could quite possibly be our last Christmas in this house and she was willing to do the work.  How can I turn down an offer like that?  We divided the duties (Leroy hauls in the stuff and sets up the tree (artificial), Sierra and Steel put the stuff out... All I had to do was buy the fake snow and replacement bulbs.  We were especially blessed to have my nephew Brandon over this weekend and he was a willing volunteer to help.

I went into work for a couple of hours today.  I left just as the commotion was beginning and when I returned, it was all done.  The house was decorated and the boxes were put away.  It was magical.

The tree is still bare... but that's another story.  Look for an update in a few days.  That story is a tradition and a blessing every year.