As I leisurely drive down the streets of my neighborhood, I already notice bright, colorful holiday displays peeking from half-drawn curtains in the large picture windows of several homes. I can only imagine the hustle and bustle of busy holiday cheer, excitement and preparations taking place inside - activity I assume began before Thanksgiving.
For me, however, now is about that time to bring home the star of this year's holiday season. Our home seems so empty without it; I can't help but compare it to our neighbors' next door. I anticipate the evening I drive home to see an illuminated tree through the window pane of our living room.
Our Christmas tree is December's source of decoration, festivity and big, bright lights - my favorite part. I just love the way the lights sparkle from the depths of the branches and reflect in the shiny ornaments I use to adorn the entirety of the tree.
But before I can simply take a seat on the sofa and enjoy the tree's beauty and brightness, I plan ahead to keep my tree healthy through the season. Just like I created a Christmas shopping list before the Black Friday deals began, I make a Christmas tree maintenance list before I start stringing the lights.
Christmas Tree Care Checklist
Until our Christmas tree is up, adorned and illuminated this weekend, I'll focus on the picture-perfect scene I've had on my mind for weeks now - ever since Christmas decorations began popping up throughout the neighborhood. I see myself slumped down into my favorite living room chair with a mug of hot chocolate in one hand and a book in the other, as the fire crackles and sends plumes of smoke up the chimney.
The ceiling lights are dim but in the corner of my eye I've got a constant glimpse of my holiday sunshine, my North Star - my Christmas tree, embraced with sparkling strands of light from head to toe.
DID YOU KNOW? This week marks Rockefeller Center's 80th Christmas Tree Lighting, which featured a tree that survived the wrath of Superstorm Sandy to get there. And next week, Washington, D.C., will witness the annual National Christmas Tree Lighting - stay tuned for more details!