Decorating around the house for Christmas this year has brought up some bittersweet thoughts for me. Since I'll be married and in my very own apartment by Christmas 2012, this is sort of my "last" Christmas here. I know, I know...I'll be coming by on Christmas Eve to celebrate with my family (we no longer celebrate on Christmas morning) for years to come, but I probably won't be here when my mom drags all of our Christmas decorations up from the basement and turns our autumnal living room/dining room into a winter wonderland. And I probably won't be decorating the Christmas tree with my mom either, after which we always ask my dad "How does it look?", to which he always responds, "It's beautiful!", and then we glow with pride. I'm excited to decorate the apartment I'll be sharing with Luke, to have our own tree, to watch Christmas specials together on our own couch. But there is a part of me that will be sorry to leave these traditions behind. So even though I'm excited for Christmas, I know that this is the last one of its kind for me. So I want to treasure it even more for that.
One of the traditions that I'm definitely going to carry on with Luke, and with our future children, is buying a new ornament for each of us every year. That means that each of us have (or will have, in the case of my younger brother) twenty-one ornaments from Hallmark. It's so fun to pick your ornament each fall, and see the way our tastes have changed over the years. I went from Precious Moments-esque angels, to goofy Santas (one of which is pictured below), the lovely bird ornaments. My older brother, collected fishing Santas, Snoopy ornaments, and even has a Muhammed Ali ornament (which, I'm afraid, always gets relegated to the back of the tree because it doesn't go with my mom's decor). And may I also add that the annual advent calendar is always something to look forward to?