Last night we decorated our Christmas tree as a family.
I’m not sure if you remember, but last January is when we started foster care classes, and one year ago is when we made the decision to go ahead and become foster parents. Jason and I had talked about being foster parents in our first date– it was always part of the plan. Doing it this early though was a direct result of our struggle with infertility. We always planned on having our own kids first and then when they got a little older we would begin fostering very young kids, raising the age as our own kids got older. Fostering before we had kids was never ever even thought about. When we went two years with no kids though we felt we were being led to start sooner. Why waste time when we have no kids anyway and there are kids out there who could need us now? That was our thought process, and I remember last Christmas saying that hopefully this Christmas there would be kids in our home, one way or another. God made that wish come true.
Decorating our Christmas tree is easily one of my favorite traditions every year. We go to the same lot every year, pick out a specific kind of tree and set it up the night before. White lights are a must, and though I’m not as precise as my dad always made me be growing up (we had to string each light to a specific branch. It took HOURS), I still weave the lights in and out of the tree to light the whole thing up. This year Cee held the lights behind me so I wouldn’t get tangled and we got it done in an easy 45 minutes. Steven Curtis Chapman’s old CD, “The Music of Christmas” is my absolutely-can’t-decorate-without-it-music-of-choice, and I continue my parents tradition of pizza and punch (made with 7-up and sherbert) for dinner while we decorate. Bee couldn’t believe I put ice cream in her soda, and Cee was singing along with the CD after the third round.
(Continued below. Sorry about the iPhone pictures…)
After the lights were strung up we put on the ornaments. I’m a little OCD about my ornaments, but I let Kay hang hers all in a row on the SAME branch, and then snuck them somewhere else later when she didn’t notice. She exclaims “I did it!” after every one and took a hug for that accomplishment each time. Cee wanted to reach to the top for EVERY ornament (just because she could) and we had to tone that down a bit, and Bee takes direction very well and carefully hung ornaments deep inside the tree as well as on the outside. We start with the generic ornaments, snap pictures, bump into each other, and drink more punch. As we go we start on with the important ornaments. The ones with our pictures on it, the ones we made as kids, Baby’s 1st ornaments, and of course a Hunger Games and Harry Potter ornament. Those ones we hang one at a time, and the girls love the special privileges of hanging those ornaments (Cee was thrilled with the Hunger Games one and Bee loved the globe topped with tiny presents I made one Thanksgiving in Maine when I was about 12 or 13). When its all done everyone gushes. Kay gives the tree a hug, and then another, and Bee says she’s never seen a Christmas tree as beautiful as ours. Cee adds that this is already the best Christmas she has ever had, and my heart is so so full. And I agree with her.