Christmas decorating brings real joy

Many of us have had a Thanksgiving when we didn’t feel particularly thankful. For us, that came this year. If you’ve read any of our posts, you know that we’ve got IVF on the horizon and on top of that we spend most hours of the day wondering how to live despite misophonia.

This year’s Thanksgiving was extremely low-key. We spent the holiday at home, bought ready-made meals from Mariano’s, and just tried to keep one another entertained (football helped, Kelly opted for some much needed Harry Potter therapy). It’s been an all-around difficult year, and having yet another difficult holiday season underway isn’t helping much.

So today we decided we needed a day off from feeling terrible. Kelly and I love Christmas time. From the music and the smell of neighborhood fireplaces to the chill in the air, it’s definitely an amazing time to be alive. We got up early (well, early for a holiday Saturday) and headed to Target shortly after it opened at 8. Saturday was Target’s buy-$100-of-holiday-stuff-get-$50-off sale. Since we’ve spent most holidays decorating at families’ homes, we haven’t had much time to collect our own decorations. That meant it wasn’t too difficult to spend $100.

The beginning of our Christmas fireplace mantle
The beginning of our Christmas fireplace mantle

We got a bunch of exterior and interior lights as well, a fun garland for the mantle above our fireplace, and a cute little reindeer decoration to go along with it. After that, we got down to business. We headed straight for the gym, and after a quick workout we took our first trip together to buy a live Christmas tree! The city’s zoo always offers a ton of trees for sale, and it felt like we got there earlier than the rest of town because there were rows and rows of fully stocked fir trees for us to chose from. It didn’t take us long to find a great seven-footer and get it tied down to our SUV.

tie a christmas tree to a car

Within minutes, I was sawing off some of the lower branches and getting our first Christmas tree into a stand Kelly got at a garage sale for $1 in August. And, by the time I carried it inside, she’d already adorned the mantle with Christmas lights, candles, and our new stockings. We quickly learned we didn’t have enough tree lights, so while Kelly ran out to grab a few more strands, I took to stringing the colored lights up on our bushes and trees in the front yard.

The crisp cool weather and the sheer work required to get it right was truly cathartic, reminding me of working with my dad and brother when I still lived at home. Kelly got home and we decorated our first tree together. By the time we were able to stand back and admire our work, it was well into the afternoon, and we were tired. The feeling of having made our first Christmas together was one of the best feelings we’ve had in a long time. Our home feels warm again and ready for celebrating, even if it doesn’t seem there’s much to celebrate. It does, however, give us hope in the things that are to come.

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