I remember being young and watching the Christmas tree come in through the back door of the house. It was always a real tree which took some finessing to make sure it was secure in the stand and stood without leaning. (My kids don’t even know some people use real trees!) And then I’d patiently wait for my mom to string the lights. It was a painful process as a kid to watch that tree come in the house and not immediately get to put on our special ornaments. I couldn’t understand why it took my mom so long to get the tree ready for the next step where we could help.

And now I understand!

Although we don’t have a real tree, I do have to manually string all the lights which I somehow manage to drag out over multiple days because it takes so long. My kids were chomping at the bit the minute they saw the tree come in the house and then I had to fend them off for days until I was ready for their help.

I’m happy to report the tree is up, lit and decorated – in a record time of four days. Our tree doesn’t sit up against any walls, so we fully decorate all sides. I decorated one half and the kids decorated the other half.

As I was sorting through the ornaments, I came across one of my favorites – a hand-painted family picture Steve’s sister gifted us a few years back. It hangs prominently on the tree at my eye level so I can see it every time I walk by the tree.

Despite my disdain for putting up the tree, I sure do love sitting by it at night with it’s soft glowing lights.