Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve traditions and a pictorial ode to Christmas trees

As I write this, I'm listening to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King's College. Aaron printed out the program so I can follow along. I do this every Christmas Eve at 10:00 a.m. EST, even if I'm at work (which thankfully, I'm not this year). This afternoon, wrapping will be accomplished (mostly by Aaron because I suck at wrapping). Tonight we'll go to Trattoria Roma for dinner before heading to church to sing two services. When we get home after midnight, we'll sit in front of the fire and drink white Russians (no idea why, but it's our tradition and it's the only time we drink them). This year, for the first time in a long time, we're also exchanging gifts with each other. I'd tell you what I got for Aaron, but unlike Facebook, he actually reads my blog.

Let's talk trees and decorations. We usually have three trees: an all white tree in our FROG (Finished Room Over Garage); a real tree in the living room; and a small artificial tree in the foyer. There's a really great story behind the last one, but I'm going to wait to tell it until maybe next year because this year we didn't put that one up, in fear of what the cats might do to it.
See how pretty it is...
...until SeƱor Gato Negro gets into it.

On our real tree, we had gotten in the habit of just putting all red balls on it. This year we decided to incorporate our traditional ornaments in there. Here are some of them:
I think this is from the year Aaron was born.
Aaron usually gives me an ornament each year. Two very appropriate ones for me:

"Our First Christmas - 1991;" From Lucca, Italy when we were there in 2010;
An ornament from my young friend Josh the year he was six;
Mickey Mouse ornament from our trip to Disney in 2011
Some ornaments creep us out, but we still put them on the tree:
I'm not a fan of birds, so I don't like the bird
ornaments, but strangely we have several
Aaron hates this one; he says it gives him


We currently have three cats, but our first two cats were Mingo and Wrigley. They were littermates. We lost Wrigley in 2009, and Mingo just died this past February. So we got a little sentimental when we found these:
My brother made wooden ornaments for each
cat. This is Wrigley's. We got a little teary.
Mingo loved this ornament. He would get it
off the tree and carry it around. Often I'd wake
up in the morning and find it next to the bed.
This one made us outright cry.


This is a classic each year. We laugh like
fools every time we go to hang it. Why?
Because the first year we hung it, I tried to
hang it by the reins, which looked
ridiculous. You probably had to be there.


One of two sets of bells which we consider
"tree alarms" because we know the cats are
under the tree when we hear the bells.

The finished product

A couple years ago we got these large ornaments that we hang from the ceiling. Since the ceiling is basically sub-flooring, we can do this with a staple gun. Pretty cool, huh?

I've had this rug since I was a baby.

I hope you are celebrating old traditions this year as well as making new ones.
Merry Christmas!

The Gila


  1. Absolutely beautiful. Merry Christmas to you and Aaron. :)

  2. I love the ornaments from the ceiling.

    Mingo's ornament is a great great story, but a total sob inducer.

  3. I love the pics of all your ornaments, and I totally get you crying over the Wrigley and Mingo ones. I also love the big ornaments hanging from the ceiling.


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