It's our seventh Christmas tree, Levi's third, but the first one he's really seen.
The tradition in the Suereth household is that the tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving. I'm usually exhausted from shopping all night. Herb is usually exhausted because he works really hard with little breaks and then chooses to go shopping with me. To say the least, we're not always in the best of spirits when we put up the tree. Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn't just wait a day or two and spend that black Friday afternoon napping instead.
In fact, our first epic fight as a married couple came about as a result of the hanging of the greens. It was a time when a certain president was coming under harsh criticism, the economy was about to blow, Pinterest was not invented yet, and we thought it would be super patriotic to have a red, white, and blue Christmas tree. You know, honor God and country at the same time? I don't know what we were thinking, in hindsight it was pretty tacky.
So that first Black Friday we stopped at Walmart (our first mistake) to buy red and blue plastic ball ornaments for our hand-me-down artificial tree, and a string of each red, blue, and white lights. When we got home to decorate the tree, we discussed lighting technique and came to the conclusion that the lights would look MUCH better if each strand alternated red, white, and blue, rather than just having a string of each solid color. We proceeded to pull out every bulb from each of the three strings and separated the colors onto respective piles. It was only then that we realized the bulbs weren't all exactly the same, therefore not being interchangeable. Things only escalated when we couldn't agree on small white lights or large colored bulbs to string from our 5 linear feet of patio space. We didn't speak to each other after that fight until the next Christmas.
But I digress.
This year's tree decorating was fantastic.
I mean it, it really was.
Maybe it was the fact that Herb and I only did a small amount of shopping during semi- normal waking hours Friday morning and therefore weren't as devastatingly exhausted. But I think it has more to do with the little boy who constantly exclaimed, "Hey! I see a kihmih tree!!" And with every little job we gave him to do to "help," he said, "Thank You!!" For example,
"Levi, can you go put this string that was holding the branches together back in the tree box?"
"Thank you, Mommy!"
We were pressed for time on Friday night and only got the tree put together and lights (small colored, a comprise) strung before the little guy went to bed. The next morning when Levi woke up, he barely noticed the tree in his tired, grumpy stupor. But when breakfast was over and we walked into the living room, the flood gates of excitement exploded.
A deep breath. An exclamation.
"I see.... A KIH-MIH TREE!"
"I see a ball!"
"I see a red ball!!"
"I see more ball!!"
"I SEE A FIREWORKS BALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (an ornament with glittered snowflakes painted on)
"I see a drum! I see a guitar! Mommy, a piano!!"
Seriously, this tree is like the best thing that ever happened to Levi.
A few minutes later we went upstairs to get dressed. I turned my back for a minute and Levi was gone.
"Levi, where are you?"
Halfway back down the stairs he replied, "I go see the kih-mih tree."
We've also had some nice talks about the nativity - the kings with the birthday presents, the mommy and daddy, the angel with good news, and of course the little baby Jesus. Although if you ask Levi, the baby's name is Charlie. (And we did have to tell him that baby Jesus is not a golf ball, so please don't hit him with the golf club, thankyouverymuch.)
Christmas through a two year old's eyes. Simply amazing.
Click. click. click. Mental pictures hopefully engraved on my heart forever.