This time of year we're always keeping our eyes peeled for a suitable Christmas tree. Last week while walking the dogs along the bottom of our property to check the fence lines, we noticed this specimen:
We went ahead and cut it. Because we have no snow at the moment to drag a tree over (believe me, it's a whole lot easier to drag a tree several hundred yards if you can skid it over snow), we utilized our neighbor's rocky access road and simply drove the truck to where the tree was (immediately next to the fence line). Much easier.
Trimming the lower branches and trunk:
Set up without lights in the living room:
A cute miniature nativity set the kids got in Sunday school a few years ago:
We invited our doctor friends and their kids over for a tree-decorating party. This is a terrific excuse to get the adults together for some nice conversation while letting the kids do all the work decorating the tree. In fact, the adults were having such a nice time yakking that I didn't get any pictures of the kids decorating the tree.
Our nativity set:
A word about this nativity set. When I was growing up, I simply adored my parent's nativity set. It was a modest plaster set they purchased on their honeymoon in Europe back in 1958. Every year we set it up underneath the tree, and I used to lie on my belly, chin in my hands, and just stare at it. I would joke that when they died, the only thing I wanted from the house was their nativity set.
Fast forward to when I was about 23 years old. I came home for Christmas, and along with my brothers we had the whole family together. Under the tree was a large box with my name on it. When I opened it up...there was my own nativity set! It came complete with the holy family, the three kings, an angel, and assorted shepherds, peasants, and livestock. I was thrilled to tears. It remains one of the most cherished gifts I've ever received.
Younger daughter had been practicing her violin when our guests arrived, so she put the instrument on the kitchen table (covered with Christmas hats and ornaments) while everyone arrived. I thought it made for an artful tableau:
The tree always looks so pretty when the house lights are off and the tree is lit. I always try to get a photo but it never does the tree justice. As I post this, it's 6 a.m. and still dark out. As soon as it's daylight today, I'll take a picture of what the decorated tree looks like.
The kids are thinking in terms of presents for their friends. Here's a doll Younger Daughter made for a little neighbor girl. I thought it was wonderfully clever.
Speaking of Younger Daughter, here's Lydia helping her do her geography lesson:
Some neighbors came over to visit last night, and here's one of them outfitting a very patient Lydia with antlers: