Mama's tree

Christmas.  I just love it.  First and foremost there is taking time to reflect just how much God loves each and every one of us ~ that He would give the most precious gift ever to the whole world.

It makes my heart smile when so many open their hearts and are generous to those is different stations of life (though I long for the time when folks are generous ALL YEAR round).

I cherish extra time with family, both those I'm 'related' to and our extended church and China families.  

I enjoy quiet evenings and mornings at home using the Christmas tree as a source of light.  (In fact I'm sitting in the dim glow of it in our living room now).

And then there are the traditions...

Of course picking 'the tree' and getting it decorated are part of the set of traditions that I anticipate each year as well.  This year I found myself looking forward to them even more as we had several new additions to the greater family (Darcy and my niece and nephew).  Since we were in the mountains (at my sister's father-in-law's house ~ long story) for Thanksgiving, we decided to go ahead and get a tree before we headed home.

I'd like to say one of two things about the weather the day we headed to the tree farm.  One, that it was lightly snowing, or two, that it was a beautiful day.  But if I said either, I'd be lying.  The weather was in fact rather dreadful.  There was a pretty miserable, heavy mist going on when we got out of the car and the temperature was right around 40.  It was a 'get into your bones' kind of chill and we were ill prepared for wet weather.  Determined not to let the drizzle put a damper on our plans, we climbed out of the warmth of our van.  After briefly chatting with one of the workers (as it turned out whose parents live on the street that dead ends into ours ~ small world!) and were directed to the area with trees the size we were looking for.  As proof that the weather was lousy, Kylie declared she'd found our tree quickly.  (It was the first one she came to on the edge of the 'forest.')  As it was more of a 'Charlie Brown Christmas tree,' we tried ~ and thankfully were able ~ to encourage her to continue the search.  Luckily it wasn't long before we found one the whole family agreed upon and we could head into the shed for hot chocolate.

From there it was down the mountain to Mama's house.  As we passed through Blowing Rock we caught glimpses of why our NC mountains are named The Blue Ridge.  Only a divinely creative creator could have come up with a color palate for mountains that we saw that afternoon.  Even our children were stunned by the beauty.  Kylie summed it best when she said, "Oh Daddy, we have to come hiking in these mountains.  They are so beautiful!"

Once we got to Mama's house, our tree went in a bucket, but Ian and Adam worked on getting Mama's tree in her stand ~ with a little help of course.

don't think that plastic shovel was gonna do much, but good try baby doll!

pierson decided to take matters into his own hands.
And then it was time to decorate.

Such sweet memories.  Pierson was asked if they had ever had a Christmas tree in their house before.  His eyes got so big and solemn as he said, "No, we not have Jesus in our house before."  He took putting ornaments on the tree so seriously.

In fact, they all took looking at Mom's ornaments pretty seriously.  Many times they'd stop to ask where the ornament came from or who gave it to Mom and it was a fun time of reminiscing all the years she was children's choir director at our church or telling stories about my grandma who made many of the handmade ornaments for the tree.

Darcy carefully studied each ornament and told us each letter (and the sound it makes) that was written on each one she touched.

And there was some help from each generation in the family ~ the daddies made very good ladders.  Gotta make sure that all the ornaments aren't at the bottom of the tree!

I have no idea why I didn't get a shot of mom's tree when it was finished, but it was beautiful.
(And I'm pretty sure that she's probably sitting in her living room right now with only the tree lights on lost in thought of Christmases past and those that are no longer with us.  I love that she and I have that little connection).

Of course at the end of our time with family we were sad to leave.  But we knew that once we got home we had decorating our own little tree to look forward to...


Our Journey said...

What an amazing little statement from Pierson. The things we take for granted living here. That is a beautiful tree!!! Love the pictures daddy helping his girl put those ornaments up top.

Ann Marie said...

Such a sweet time isn't it? I wish I could bottle it.

Rachelle said...

Loving Christmas this year. The kids are really understanding it and it melts me heart. Tree looks great!

Larry and Carol said...

What a beautiful blog. I can't wait to see that tree.

Laine said...

Oh Kristi that is so sweet. I share your thoughts about Christmas! LOVE IT!
I bet Miss Darcy is soaking all this celebrating in!
Kevin LOVES all the decorations and incessantly sings Jingle Bells and Gloria. Oh my! It is hysterical!
Love yall!

Heather said...

What a sweet memory you have now. And Pierson, how sweet! I love a child's faith!

Nancy said...

What great memories you are all making! Love that Pierson. (BTW, I'm catching up on reading blogs by just the glow of our Christmas tree).