Saturday morning, Joe took J.J. to the bear's basketball game. That gave me time to go out to the shed and drag my Christmas boxes in and finish setting up the tree, add a couple of strands of colored lights to complement the white ones, string the garland, and start to get the ornaments on. A trip to Lowe's for a skirt (I've never needed a tree skirt, since I usually have a live tree and the skirt to me just got in the way of adding water) and tinsel - the finishing touch.
By the afternoon, Joe left for work and J.J. was determined not to take a nap, and I thought finishing the tree would have to wait for a future evening when he was down for the night. But his Bammy (Joe's mom) came over and kept him occupied while I was able to work.
Of course, once I "finished" the tree, I found one last box of Christmas stuff, including more ornaments, so I'll have to sneak them in behind the tinsel.
I made a bow to top the tree, but took it down as soon as I fastened it on. It just wasn't right. I've looked for years for a star, but still haven't had luck finding one (and as you know, I'm not about to just get one to get us by until I find the right one). I do know what it will look like, though - it will be silver filigree. You know, almost like the gold filigree one that mom still uses to top her tree, but silver.
To me, Christmas is all about tradition. Keeping the traditions I've known in my life, sharing them with my family, sharing Joe's family traditions, and starting our own. I'm already enjoying sharing this season with J.J. He's mesmerized by the lights on the tree (even though the picture is deceiving, the colored lights outshine the white ones) and has taken a strong liking to tissue paper. Next year, he'll leave a plate of cookies for Santa on the hearth along with a carrot or two for Rudolf.
Mom and I finished our (traditional) holiday baking and treat making today - between last Sunday and today, we made fudge, chocolate bark with toffee, white bark with peppermint, rosettes, peanut brittle, date nut bars, butter press cookies, anise cookies, cream cheese dainties, Polish rugelach and spiced pecans.
Not bad when you consider we had to also tend to J.J. half of last Sunday and all of today.