He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress and for his children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Decorating Day

 Do you ever have one of those days where you've planned everything out in your mind to be just so, and it's going to be a wonderful, magical day full of family memories that will be treasured for a lifetime, and then it's just, well, so NOT that.

That was my day yesterday.  Or at least the first part of my day.  

I'd been working all week towards Friday being our Christmas decorating day and was SO proud of myself as I don't think I've ever managed to decorate for Christmas before December 1.  But the fact that we kind of had an extra buffer week thrown in there between Thanksgiving and December gave me a little room to work with.  So I had a plan.  The Christmas footlockers were down from the top of the closets and brought in from a friends' storage closet that she so generously allowed us to use and we were ready.  Jason had an all day conference Friday and Saturday (that's our weekend here), but I was actually very much looking forward to a day home with the girls on Friday, staying in PJ's, drinking hot chocolate, listening to Christmas music, decorating the tree etc. etc.  The plan was to get most of the preliminary decorating stuff done and then when Jason got home we could finish off the tree, drink more hot chocolate maybe watch a good Christmas movie, sing Kumbayah and go to bed.  You get the idea.  Picture perfect day.  In my head.  

Then Friday morning came and I woke up.

Jason left early to get to his meeting, Maddie got up with Anabelle and I got to sleep in until 9.  Should be the perfect start to the perfect day, right?  Well for whatever reason I woke up very grumpy, and even though I got to sleep in, waking up to my house looking like a hurricane hit was not great.  The girls are usually great about getting chores done and cleaning up but not this particular day.  Didn't sit well with me, and I will confess that I didn't react very well.  Which led to us all having a mammoth case of the grumpies as we cleaned up in order to get ready for hurricane Christmas to hit once we opened the footlockers.   I huddled the girls up, called a truce, apologized for being so grumpy, explained that I was just trying to make this day extra special and fun and we all agreed to start over.  

I now as I'm writing this, I can't even really remembered specific things that happened, I just know that it was NOT turning out like the picture perfect day that was in my head.  

Anyway, we finished chores, got Anabelle down for her nap, and were finally ready to start decorating the tree and house.  The girls starting unpacking and sorting our artificial tree...

Only to discover that the center pole for the tree was missing.  AGHHH!  I called my friend who stored it for me and she was actually free and offered to drive me out and see if we could find it in her storage area.  Bless her.  I think she could tell that i was on the verge of a breakdown for a reason that I'm realizing I can't even really begin to describe...  (have I mentioned that Anabelle really has not slept this week and I am way sleep deprived so maybe that explains my fragile emotional state).  Anyway.

Pole found.  Crisis averted.  

Another round of apologies from mom to girls for her irrational, highly emotional state.  We actually even sat down and prayed together for the Christmas season in our home and the hope that as a family we will keep the real meaning in front of us.    And the day really improved from there!  Jason even came home early from his meeting and got to join in the tree decorating fun.  

Anabelle was WAY excited about the Christmas tree when she woke up from her nap.

So the Cox home is now ready to usher in the Christmas season!

Yes, our Christmas stockings are way pitiful.  Every year I've said I'm going to make them and I never have.  Maybe it will happen this year but considering it's December 1st, I probably shouldn't count on it!

I love my Fontanini nativity.  If I lived in the states I would probably add a lot more to it, but it's not something I ever remember to get.  I do want a more kid friendly nativity and almost ordered one this year but then, well, I didn't.  Maybe next year.

 Now that we live in Jordan, I really want to get a natural olive wood nativity.  They are beautiful and I would love to add that to our Christmas decor.

We also have this fun nativity from Jason's childhood in West Africa.  If you look at it closely it has some really interesting weird pieces...

I've never been able to identify Mary, and quite frankly Baby Jesus looks like a dying martian.  Or E.T.  

So despite the rocky, emotional start to the day (shocking in this house full of women!), our house is now decorated and we made lots of fun memories.  Even got Abbey out the door to a school dance (that I'd forgotten about thus creating some of the stress mid- day as we weathered an "outfit crisis") by 4:30 and she still participated in all the tree decorating.  

AND, I am officially ready to begin our Jesse Tree TODAY, DECEMBER 1!   That means I have at least 1 ornament done and the tree to hang it on and hopefully this year I'll stay a little ahead of the curve and we'll be able to complete it!  

Merry Christmas Season to all!


Paige said...

What is a Jesse Tree? Sounds fun.

Kelli said...

Here's a link to Ann Voscamp's version of it-
It's a catholic tradition (I'm pretty sure) but it also goes along great with a Creation to Christ type concept. It's an advent devotion that goes through the entire scripture showing how it points to Jesus. You have a different ornament for each day that you put up on the tree that day

Kendra said...

I'm doing Advent (something Jesse-tree-esque, but not;) for the first time this year. I'm excited - I can't believe I've never done it before - puts the focus where it ought to be for the season! Your house is purdy. I'm going to need help with paint colors in a few months...;)