Our usual tradition is to put up the tree the weekend of Thanksgiving, but with everything that was going on at the time...we were lucky to have our tree up on December 4th when we did! In the picture below, Marion had hauled the tree upstairs but dropped the base along the way...so as he was trying to figure it out why it wouldn't stand up...I went to look for missing parts!
When I came back...this is what I found:
Once we had the tree stabilized, we took Ethan in to explore the tree....since this is his FIRST CHRISTMAS!
Isn't this just a GREAT picture! Such a thrilled 8 1/2 month old!
Usually we leave our lights ON the tree between Christmas' but last year 1/2 the tree was out until right before we celebrated with my sister...THEN they 'magically' turned on after being out for WEEKS! Anyway, so this year we took off the old lights and put on brand new ones...and LOTS OF THEM...I think there are 4 strands of 100 lights...LOL!
After we got the lights on...Abi wanted to help put the garland on...so here is Abi and Mommy working on the silver garland!
Nathan's decoration of choice was the red beads...(sorry for the blurriness of the pictures...the photographer was not used to using the camera and was exploring with various settings)
Our next attempt at trying to get a picture with Nathan and 'his' beads!
After the beads were arranged, we started putting on the ornaments. Every child has their first ornament and a couple of them have more than one. We also have a 'family' ornament for every year we have a new addition. For some reason we didn't get a picture of putting on THIS year's ornament...but you can see it in a later picture...it is getting harder to find ornaments with so many members...lol!
Anyway, here is Ethan with his First Christmas Ornament:
Jonny with his...though we had to 'lift him up' to put it on...so he's just standing by it. (Again, in trading places, the 'new' photographer wasn't used to getting the picture WHILE they hung them...so we did lots of posing!)
Abi and her ornament:
Nathan and his: (note the 'rough' handling...that poor giraffe has been glued together so many time...lol...i.e. the reason for the more bulkier ornaments for the younger two boys...Abi's delicate elephant would NEVER survive a boy...lol)
Just a happy shot of Ethan while watching the older kids put on the felt ornaments!
Here is Daddy putting on one of the 'family' ornaments...if you look toward the top and right you can see this year's ornament...six little bears sitting in a canoe...each canoe paddle has a name on it!
Here are the kids putting on the felt ornaments...let me tell you: Those ornaments (which we got from a Down's Treefest Tree) have been SUCH a blessing...the kids LOVE them...and they are durable...MUCH more than the glass bulbs!
Our finished Christmas Tree!
Merry Christmas from the M & M Schlatter Kids: