Last year I was the ultimate scrooge. I didn't put up a tree for fear that a certain one year old would terrorize it and also because I just didn't feel like it. That is me being honest. I also waited until Christmas Eve to shop for everybody in the family. And I had little motivation to decorate because I knew we wouldn't be home on Christmas morning and Clark was way too young to know any difference.
But this year is different. I believe it was the day after Thanksgiving that I was bitten by the Christmas bug and busted out the tree and what little decorations we had. Let me clarify: my Christmas decor is and never will be impressive, but that doesn't matter. It got our family in the spirit and I am so unbelievably excited for Christmas morning to roll around. The difference in this year and Christmas's past, besides the addition of a new Griffin, will be the lack of Rice's. Due to all these little babies being born and the fact that four out of five Rice kids have moved out of the great state of Mississippi (crazy, I know), it just wasn't possible to make it happen this year. So Aaron, Kelly, Clark and Griffin Rice will wake up in our house on Christmas morning, make some breakfast and hot chocolate, read the story of Jesus' birth, and then open presents. And then hopefully Clark and Griffin will want to take a Christmas morning nap at the same time. But I seriously doubt that will happen.
I love our tree. It is extra special to me this year because of the addition of 25 new Jesse Tree ornaments. We are doing the Jesse Tree as a way to really put the focus of Christmas on Jesus. I'll have an entire post dedicated to this in the very near future.
I won this bad boy playing bunco last year. It might be my favorite piece of decor I own.
Our mantle. Mantles are intimidating to decorate, if you ask me. Especially when you have to work around a Direct TV box and dvd player, and even more when you are creatively challenged, as I am. You can't see it, but there is garland up there and the words "Joy" and "Believe" pop out at you every time you look at the tv. I did the best with what I had, and maybe next year somebody can help me make it look better.
Up close view of the stockings my 91 year old grandmother, Yaya, recently stitched by hand. She's so talented and thoughtful, and these two little stockings will be in our family for the rest of our lives. You wouldn't believe the detail if you looked at it even closer. I am 100% positive I could never do that.
And we even have some presents under the tree. I'm only semi-embarrassed by the cheap bows I stuck on them. You would think after living with Megan for three years, I would have learned how to tie a pretty bow around a gift, but that is definitely not the case. I'm just proud of myself to have (almost) finished my Christmas shopping in advance and even get them wrapped before Christmas morning, which is much more my style.
And these little guys are our temporary centerpiece. I had them stuck in a box and didn't know what else to do with them. I hope it's not too tacky.
So that about covers it. I realize that whatever decorations I put up will have to eventually come down, and since procrastination is one of mine and Aaron's biggest gifts, I have a feeling we will be celebrating Valentine's Day with our Christmas tree up. I will pay somebody to take this tree down after a reasonable amount of time has passed. I will certainly not be up for the task, and I would put money on Aaron avoiding it like the plague.
Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family. To all you Rice's around the globe, it just won't be the same without you. We hope you enjoy your Christmas morning. Please take pictures. Love y'all!