Sunday, December 5, 2010

Decking the Halls

The merriest month of the year is here!  As many of you know, I love Christmas and Winter is my favorite season.  "Let it snow" is practically my motto!  I would gladly give up my sundresses for a scarf & mittens anyday.  So while I am having a bit of hard time getting in the Christmas spirit down here in AZ, I will still go all out to decorate this time of year.  I have been acquiring my own Christmas decorations since college and have made my way to quite the collection.  When Conor's dad was helping us load our moving truck for our trip to Delaware, I think he was a little surprised with all the bags filled with ornaments, lights, stockings, garlands, etc...He had no idea these were essential items for a cross country move!

The day after Thanksgiving, Conor & I began our Christmas decorating.  I used to wait until December to do this, but since I still go home for Christmas every year, I like to get the place decorated right after Turkey Day so that I can enjoy it until I leave.  Our tradition for the last two years has been to go to a pub for lunch & drinks (nothing gets me in the spirit better than an ice cold pint of cider or two), and then go cut down our Christmas tree!  I love the experience of picking out your own tree in the middle of the woods.....on a farm.  We found a great place close to our house in Delaware called Schmidt's Tree Farm.  You take a hayride out to huge fields of trees, where you have hundreds of choices to pick the perfect one.  Clark Griswold is my inspiration.  While I am constantly looking for a bigger tree, Conor is trying to steer me towards something a little more reasonable.  He is the tree cutter after all, and typically gets the last say.  This farm shakes & bales your tree for you...which is great and lowers the chances of scary spiders and what not coming home with you.  They even have real reindeer which were usually losing their velvet when we visited each year.

Sadly, this year we were not able to cut down our own tree.  Apparently, Christmas tree farms are not in high demand in Phoenix....or it could be all the hot weather.  So I had to give up one of my favorite Christmas activities, and instead drive to a lot on the side of the road.  A really strange experience if ya ask me.  And a really expensive one at that!  I guess since they're shipping in trees from Oregon, you're gonna pay the big bucks.  On the positive side, our tree is beautiful!  And since we have high ceilings in our house, I was able to get a 9 foot Christmas tree!  We had to move around some furniture, but it fits perfectly in our family room. 

Every year I love going through all the ornament boxes.  There's something so exciting about coming across an ornamet that you have completely forgotten about and having it feel brand new again.  Obviously, some ornaments are better than others, so we hide the ugly ones in the back.  Last year, some crazy guy in DE saw us taking our tree into the house and came over with old ornaments for us.  I could not turn down his generous gift; however, they aren't the best lookings things I've seen on a tree.  So they sit in the back where they can barely be seen... A gap filler if you will.  I also have various other decorations courtesy of my mom who gives us something every year.  Can't wait to see what it'll be this year....

Next on the list, outside lights!  It always a challenge deciding how to put up lights when you move to a new place.  This year we were lucky because our landlord has had lights professionally put before, so there were still hooks in place all along our house.  In true Keenan Family form, Conor is the illumination tech, and I am the maker of drinks, holder of lights, and getter of tools....a pretty good supervisor if you ask me!


Our neighbors are finally following in suit, and lighting up their houses this weekend.  I might have to start taking some nightime drives to check out what Phoenix has to offer me in the way of Christmas lights.  There has to be a candy cane lane around here somewhere!

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