Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Maxey Family Christmas Tree: 2012 Edition

As I have posted before, we go out every year (seen here and here and here!) to help cut down a Christmas tree for my parents' house, and this year was no different.  We went to the same place we did last year, though our weather this year was vastly improved over last.

Mollie still didn't like the horses any better, though.

Baylor wouldn't even go near them and worried about his sister as Grandpa E took her over there.

She perked up, though, and was willing to join me in a little silliness at the Christmas tree cutout.

Baylor, ever fascinated with maps, helped Aunt Christine plot out where we would go to look for a tree.

Mollie, embracing her two-ness as much as she can, gave her new signature pouty face.  *sigh*

Even with me showing them how Grandpa E measures trees ...

... she was still unimpressed.

Aunt Christine, bless her heart, continually explained where we were and why we were looking for a particular kind of tree.

And, as usual, we analyzed every one to the max.

We finally got one chopped down, bound, measured, and paid for.  Santa was there, but the kids would have nothing to do with him; they really just wanted him for his candy canes.  So Oma decided to skip all the drama and ask Santa for some candy canes anyway.  He graciously obliged, but I question how long he has been a Santa given that he was actually surprised that some kids were terrified of him.  Isn't that a typical kid thing at one point or another?

Anyhow, candy canes in hand, we headed back to the car to commence the annual Christmas tree securing process.  The kids enjoyed the event from inside the car, stickily enjoying their candy canes as quickly as they could.

Searching for and chopping down a Christmas tree is hard work, so we head out to a sort of celebratory lunch afterwards every year.  This year, again like last, we went to Brandywine for a little brunch, which for whatever reason the kids find endlessly fascinating.  Baylor, still wanting to analyze the tree farm map, got a hold of a pen and made a few markings on it ... and on his face.  Oops!

After a nice brunch, we headed back to my parents' house and started putting up the tree.  And we finally coaxed a smile out of Mollie!

Baylor got to get up on the ladder with Grandpa E this year to survey the tree.

Meanwhile, Aunt Christine made sure all the lights were in working order.  Sadly, a bunch were out so a lot of our usual routine had to be postponed while Mom and Dad went out to get a few more strands.

Once the kids were down for a nap, I took a minute to snap a few pictures of my mom's Christmas decorations.  She always does such a nice job of making the house look amazingly festive.  Her Byers carolers are always some of my favorites.

Once Mom and Dad returned and the kids woke up/got up, we turned on Arthur Christmas and started decorating.  Bryson, never one for tree decorating, sat with the kids and looked over the Vermont Country Store catalog.  (Seriously, you have to check this out ... it is amazing.)

Once the bulk of the decorating was done, we joined the kids and Bryson and watched the rest of the movie.

Everyone really enjoyed it, even though it wasn't our traditional National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation ... that'll have to wait for quite a few years now.

Afterwards, the kids put up a few ornaments and checked out a few of their favorites (i.e., all the ones that make noise).

After decorating, movie-watching, and dinner, we settled back down and read some Christmas books.

As usual, it was a lovely time, and a great start to the holiday season.

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