Christmas Tree!

“Mom, can we set up the Christmas tree?  Mom, can we set up the Christmas tree?  Dad, is it time to put up the Christmas tree yet?”

Maybe it’s a little too early for this, but we DID wait until after Thanksgiving.  Is it really possible to have too much Christmas?  Besides, I don’t think Eli and Jake would have been able to handle waiting one more day.  It’s so fun to have 7 year old kids who are excited!  They are even pretending to be Santa in the bathtub.

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With Thanksgiving safely one day behind us, we woke up early this weekend to reacquaint ourselves with our Christmas tree.  We never would have believed how much we could love a pre-lighted artificial Christmas tree, but it was the best gift ever from Oma and Opa a few years ago.  Thanks Mom and Dad, we still love it!  In minutes we had it popped open.

In a few more minutes, Eli had us wondering why we never thought of doing this with Christmas stockings before?

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Daddy unwrapped all the ornaments and Jake was his usual Worker Dog self hanging them up on the tree.  Most of them ended up on the bottom third of the branches, so Mommy’s job was to discretely re-distribute when he wasn’t looking.

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Years ago we started buying an ornament whenever we visited another country, which means decorating the tree is also a trip down memory lane, through Ukraine, Latvia, Poland, Namibia, Mozambique, Santa Fe, New York, Zanzibar, wow this list is getting long.  Eli’s favorite ornament is the trolley car from San Francisco, Jake’s is a red and gold ball made from puzzle pieces, and Daddy’s favorite is the ceramic blue tree from Estonia.  I can never decide which is my favorite, but I think it’s a competition between the glass tree from Lviv and the little blonde girl with braids from St. Petersburg.

Eli was busy finding new ways to ornament himself.

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He also made a little house in the tree for Doggy and Lobstery.  Lobstery is from Boston.  I think Thanksgiving all those years ago in Boston is when the ornament tradition started!

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We celebrated dinner night with Steak Soup, an Olson/Gower family Christmas Eve tradition.  Since we won’t be here for Christmas this year we get to do things a little out of order.  Which means more celebrating!

Wonderful.

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As delicious as Steak Soup is, it unfortunately doesn’t photograph very well.  Brown with little orange bits floating in it… maybe putting it in something other than a white bowl is the answer?  We also had salad with dates and parmesan and Eli picked out a crocodile bread from the bakery.

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We might never again live somewhere where we can eat crocodile bread for Christmas.  Seize the Day!

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And while you’re seizing the day, seize the moments too!  We are blessed right now with the magic of Christmas viewed through children’s eyes.  Jake is confounding us with his Christmas List:

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Eli is making Christmas Oatmeal for his cats.

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All is Calm, All is Bright.

I don’t think it needs to be any better than that.

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