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We are but a week from Christmas and the house is just today finally decorated.  When we had kids or a grand in the house, I was always anxious to get the decorations up, but this year the spirit has been lacking.  After Thanksgiving, I did unwrap my collection of Tom Clark gnomes and Santa gnomes, put up the two foot artificial tree with the Hallmark mini ornaments that used to adorn my office when I worked and pulled out the quilted and cross stitched wall hangings that my very talented sister in law and step mom had made for us years ago.  Then I stalled.  There was no Christmas music in the house, we weren’t listening to it in the car.  The CD player took a power surge sometime after Christmas last year and quit, I changed to an Iphone with only 4 g memory and it is full of my non Christmas music, we don’t have a radio in the house except one that gets weather stations and emergency info, so no way to play the Christmas CDs.  Today we finally decided to go out to get a tree and run some other errand and while I was in a store, Mountaingdad found the radio station that plays all Christmas music this time of year and I began to feel some spirit.  The same SIL and step mom over the years had also given us a collection of cross stitched and quilted ornaments.  Before we moved to the mountains, we had a 5 foot artificial feather tree that I decorated in the den with all of those ornaments given to us and our kids.  Two of the kids have taken their box of ornaments, the third one is stored here and for the past several years, I have tried different ways to display those beautiful hand crafted gifts.  The first year, I draped the loft railing with cut pine swag and hung them from that.  The next year, I bought a vine swag and hung them from it, then left the vine swag up year round, changing the bows securing it to the railing with seasonal bows.  Last year after Christmas, it was taken down as it had gotten so dusty and covered with dog hair that it no longer was attractive.  While visiting family last week, I mentioned to step mom that I was thinking of getting a huge wreath and putting them on it.  She asked why I don’t just get an artificial one and secure the ornaments well enough that the whole thing can be taken down after Christmas and put in a big plastic bag to store it until next year.  Today, I did just that.  We bought a huge wreath, a spool of red, green and gold plaid ribbon to make a bow and once home, I secured the ornaments to the wreath and fashioned a large bow.

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It was hung on the center post of the loft this afternoon.  While we were out, we went to one of the local tree farms and selected an 8 1/2 foot tree and a new stand as our old one had the screw in pins that had become so bent they wouldn’t hold up the tree.

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A walk on a chilly day to pick the right one.

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Waiting for the tree to be cut and taken to the car.

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Home, in the stand and watered.

Each year since we met in 1977, we have bought an ornament for our tree.  Sometimes they are Hallmark ornaments, but in recent years, they more likely represent a trip we have made or are hand crafted wood, pottery or metal.  The years that one of our children were born, a baby’s first was also added and we have been given a dozen or so by parents or grown kids since then.  The tree decorating was always a family affair and as it is just the two of us now, we joined together to get the tree decorated, joking about a few ornaments that one of us doesn’t like and where it will go on the tree.  There are ancient strands of candy cane yarn roping that always results in a joking playful fuss.  The lighted tree top star failed last year and we had returned from a cruise with Son #2 and family with a huge dried starfish.  That became our new tree topper and was used again this year.

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While preparing to get the decorations up today, I remembered that I could play the CDs on my laptop plugged in to my speaker that I bought to play music from the phone, so we had Christmas music!  I even unpacked the rest of my Santa collection for the first time in several years.  The house is decorated, awaiting Son#1 and family sometime next week to have Christmas dinner with us on the eve, a turkey and ham purchased today, and to be here for Christmas morning.  The decorations will remain up for the grands from Florida to see when we arrive here on January 2nd or 3rd from helping them move.  Daughter and I will pack them away after the first of the year.  I finally have some spirit, but I still don’t know what Mountaingdad is getting for Christmas this year.

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