There is a family owned farm market near where I work that sells Christmas trees every year and is where we like to buy our trees from. We tried once or twice to all go out as a family through the years to pick out trees, but trying to coordinate our schedules to do that was very difficult. A couple of years ago, I swung by the farm market after work, picked one out in two minutes, it was put on my car for me and I brought it home to decorate on a weekday night. It worked out so well that we've done that year after year. Cody and I drove down earlier this week and picked out a tree (it was the first tree I held up) and went to Kailey's school to pick her up. I told her I had a surprise for her (they had been asking about a Christmas tree for awhile) and I knew she would be excited.
Her reaction when we got out to the car was priceless and she literally jumped up and down for joy.
Chris had been away with work for days and didn't get home until too late in the evening that night to decorate, so we left it out in the garage until the kids went to bed. We got it up in the stand that night and the next day when Colin and Kailey woke up, they were so excited to see it up in their living room. They were pretending to decorate it before school.
It was difficult to hold them off until after school, and then we had some technical difficulties getting the lights on the tree (we always do), so they could barely contain themselves by the time it was ready to decorate.
They went and picked out their own ornaments, happily posed for a picture, and then very excitedly ran to put it on the tree.
Each time they would exclaim that it was "just perfect" and then would run back for more.
Last year they liked to clump all of their ornaments right in the front bottom of the tree but this year, they expanded their "clumps" to other areas of the tree. I actually haven't moved too many because I love the way THEIR arrangement of decorations look and think it gives the tree a lot of character.
Despite the stresses and challenges from that day, it was easy (for the moment) to let it all disappear as I watched the two them excitedly decorate their tree. It truly is something to see how much happiness pours out of them through different traditions so far this holiday season.
Now we just have to remind them of their daily "rules": 1. Don't touch the tree. 2. Don't touch the ornaments. (Rules 1 and 2 are broken daily.)