I am not anal retentive about much in my life, I wish I were. But the one thing I will admit I am anal about is my Christmas tree. I do it a certain way, in a certain order, only certain things on it, and through out the month of December, I tweak it, always moving an ornament here or there, moving a string of beads up or down. And it has a theme, angels. No other ornaments on it but angels. It was the way I was raised, our tree always had a theme. There is a right way to decorate it, lights first, only white lights, put up and down the tree, not around it. Then balls on the back of the branches which reflect the lights. My mom uses red, I use gold. Then the garland, mom uses wooden beads, I use gold. Then the ornaments, then ribbon going up and down. Last of course is the topper, mine being an angel obviously. There have been a few years where I didn't put the tree up because I knew mentally I couldn't handle the stress I put on myself to have the tree perfect because of how old my kids were at the time.
So, we put the tree up yesterday, and sadly for me, my kids wanted to help for the first time. Cooper did a great job putting the tree together, then he lost interest with the lights, then picked up interest again with the ornaments. So I had to go behind him secretly and move them where I wanted them to go. Then it dawned on me to let him decorate the boys' tree. Yes, I am not a horribly mean mother, they do have their own 4 foot tree with all of their ornaments on it. So he and Jason decorated their tree while I finished mine in peace. This year I added color to mine, it has always been just gold or clear ornaments. But I broke out of my shell and added red and gold ribbon and I absolutely adore it. I don't like the top. I need a big bow and I am not a bow maker. But hopefully by Christmas I will find a friend who can make me one. So here are pictures of the tree decorating process. I did not include pictures of the rest of the downstairs which is covered in boxes and paper.