Oh Christmas Tree!

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
Not only green when summer’s here,
But also when ’tis cold and drear.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging!

Our leaves are so unchanging and green because we have an artificial tree.  And that makes me happy (find out why here).

This year for the first time in a long time, we did not put the tree up over Thanksgiving weekend.  We started that tradition when the kids started going away to college so that we could continue to decorate the tree as a family.  It is also when we took our annual Christmas picture to use on our holiday cards.

A few years ago, our parish priests and deacons took the war on Christmas to new heights by suggesting that no one should start decorating, buying gifts, baking, or sending cards until AFTER the fourth Sunday of Advent which is when the “true” Christmas season starts.  That would leave families (particularly the women and mothers) with only a few days, depending on the way the days fall, to pull it all together.  Uh huh.  I think most of the congregation was just speechless.

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can’st give me;
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can’st give me;
How often has the Christmas tree
Afforded me the greatest glee!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can’st give me.

After Thanksgiving, DSH put up the tree and made sure that it was straight and that all of the lights were working.  He even fluffed the tree for me!

I decorated the tree alone.  It didn’t make me sad or happy that I did it alone.  It was just different.

I put red bows on our tree because that is what my mother-in-law does, and I think it looks pretty.  She has been putting up her Christmas tree alone for years.  Once upon a time, she had two trees – one upstairs that she decorated and one downstairs that the kids decorated.  One of my favorite ornaments on her tree is a rattle that was given to her as a baby.  She put a bow on it and places it at the same spot on the base of the tree each year.

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!
From base to summit, gay and bright,
There’s only splendor for the sight.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!

I added our ornaments.  Each of our five children had their own box of ornaments.  There was never any fighting over who got to put which ornaments on the tree because their boxes contained mostly the same ornaments that they received or made as gifts over the years.

We are down to two kids left at home.  These are their Christmas ornament boxes which I left out for them to put their ornaments on the tree when they get home from school.

But we have special ornaments, too.

Here is a Mizzou ornament that was given to DSH by his sister both of whom are Mizzou graduates.

Here are some Mom and Dad ornaments made for us by the kids many years ago.  Well, I was “Mother” that year and DSH was “Daddy”.  Guess they were not happy with me about something that year.

A few years ago, we were back to “Mom” and “Dad”.

One of my favorite ornaments is this funky and sparkly Santa Claus.  It has no particular sentimental value.  I just like it.

We have always adorned the top of our tree with an angel.  This one lost her wings a few years ago.

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee!
Thou bidst us true and faithful be,
And trust in God unchangingly.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee! !”

Our Christmas Tree – waiting for the kids to come home and to finish decorating it.

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