There have been years that we were gifted trees, and there have been years that we have only decorated with live trees, and some years where we only decorated with artificial trees. There were some years that we never put up a single tree, however somewhere over the last 24 Christmas's I have accidentally acquired a bundle of trees.
Now you wonder how does one accidentally acquire so many trees? I can't say that I really have an answer to that. Not all of the trees are large, as a matter of fact there is a good portion of the them that are tall skinny pencil trees and another portion of them that are under two feet in height. However the end result is the same, the halls are all decked and there are,when I count them all up, 16 Christmas trees decorating my house.
Here is the run down of the trees:
2 tall thin lighted trees flanking my Christmas carolers with
2 one foot shrub like trees by their feet,
2 gold lighted trees standing at attention at the charging/docking station in the kitchen,
2 small trees on the table as center pieces, (mind you it is a 12 foot table)
1 three foot gingerbread/cookie cutter themed tree in the kitchen window,
1 music themed tree in the music room,
1 live family room tree, with all the sentimental/family ornaments,
1 silver tree in the middle female dwarfs room,
1 hunting themed tree in the male dwarfs room,
1 Steeler's themed tree in another male dwarf,
1 tall skinny tree in another female dwarfs room,
1 small tree in a pot, in the master bedroom.
Double check my math, because any friend of mine knows that math is not my strong suit, but I get 16. Counting from upstairs to down or down to up the number I arrive at is 16.
While most people would say that 16 trees is indicative of some sort of ailment or illness. I would like to go on the record and say simply, I love trees! It is not a problem. I actually love Christmas and decorating for it. I have many Nativity scenes, tons of angels, several antique Santa pieces, a pile of gingerbread items and a host of reindeer, rolls of ribbon, piles of wreaths, yards of fabric and tons of twinkling lights!.
My most favorite thing about decorating for Christmas is that I find great joy in it. It is relaxing. Yes, I recognize that many it seems excessive and over the top, and to be honest there have been years when I have done hardly any decorating because of the stage of life that I was in, but the joy that it brings to me is the reason that more years than not, I go all out for the season. I enjoy removing my normal household decorations and boxing them up to replace them with the themed items for each room. I enjoy unpacking the items that have been collected over the last 24 years, and reliving the memories that go with the decorations and the ornaments. I love sharing the stories with the children, so that some day when I am gone, and they separate all my things seven ways, they can share the stories with their children, my grandchildren.
Do I think that everyone should go all out for Christmas decorating - No. However I think that if it brings you joy, not stress, and helps you focus on the wonderful memories of holidays past, and is part of creating good memories for the current day, then YES, by all means go all out! Decorate until your heart is filled to overflowing!
There are no rules for the holidays. We are the ones that impose these crazy traditions on ourselves and implement to do lists that are unreasonable, as we try to be all things to all people. It is okay to let things drop. This year I am not sending out a family Christmas card. I was becoming crabby and stressed over trying to organize 8 kids, 2 adults, matching outfits (or at least coordinating) and a photographer for that "perfect" holiday shot. I caught myself mid rant about this impossible task, and realized, that indeed this year, with so many of the kids working, playing basketball, and other outside responsibilities, a family photograph this holiday was impossible, or at least not possible without a significant portion of my Christmas joy being sapped, so I scrapped the whole idea. No card.
I know this is common sense, but I think it bears repeating, the problem becomes when this activity or any other, causes you to lose your focus. If you get stressed out because your can't get it all done, or because your children or spouse are in the way, or just the thought of the prospects of doing this project brings a grimace to your face not a smile, then perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the situation.
Really 16 trees, and I don't make this stuff up!