Thanksgiving is over and while we're all working off our tummies from that holiday we're baking cookies, putting up trees, and shopping for gifts in preparation for the next one: Christmas. I have always been a lover of Christmas, secretly harboring a smile in my mind as I pass Christmas Trees in the stores, even if it is November 10th. There are lots of fond memories of my family related to Christmas and many traditions that I hope to carry on with my own children. There are several songs, smells, and foods that will always make me think of Christmas, but strangest of all may be the orange reels that you can find in a home improvement store.
People often underestimate the severity of our Christmas decorating when I try to describe it to them. We live out in the woods and as a consequence my father always held the belief that just outlining the house with lights would never be seen from the road so he needed to take some extreme action. Things got serious years and years ago with the purchase of the orange reels. We have roughly 20 or 25 of them that have lights stored on them. We unreel the lights and they go up around the front half of our five acres, are strung about the house, and put up on a series of six arches. Yes, arches. Homemade arches, as in pvc pipe, screw hooks, wire, and black spray paint. Didn't I say things get real?
After going from this meticulous system (not to mention the chicken wire/pvc pipe frames that we created and wove Christmas lights across to create patterns like candy canes, stockings, angels, snowflakes, and even Santa with his team of reindeer) it was a challenge to come to see Noah's family who wrapped lights around a piece of cardboard and spent fifteen minutes undoing knots!
Do you decorate with lights? Candles? Wreaths? What are some of your decorating traditions?