We drove out to the tree farm as soon as I could pry Drew’s butt out of bed Sunday morning. Christmas magic could not wait! Within 24 hours, the house was transformed by rainbow-lit piney goodness.

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This particular tree farm boasted both a meet and greet with the man in red himself, and real, live reindeer. Real being the operative word there. (Spare yourself the embarrassment: no, the antlers aren’t strapped on, just the flying part is make believe). Junip was not the least moved by Santa, but give her time.

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Eating snow. Always eating snow.

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And although there was only Drew to appreciate it, I totally redeemed myself on my tree-to-car-ropework. Drew’s family was less than impressed with my under the hood/ trunk tying technique, but I blame the middle men (aka, the professionals, who were equally confused about my methods, but tried to carry out my wishes nonetheless). This time, I had a plan, I tied that sucker on myself with only four knots, and it was TIGHT, like, interstate travel tight.

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Sometimes it’s better not to see the bigger picture.

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The sad, green, half-naked bigger picture. I admit, only getting to hang half my ornament hoard was a bitter pill to swallow, but the Nipponator will not rest until every fragile, pretty thing in this house is crushed between her tiny fingers.

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The putz village has also migrated to higher ground, but I think for the best. It’s so glowy and cheerful in the window.

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Little sparklies.

And the lights are up. I calculated we have about 2,200 tiny little bulbs illuminating our downstairs now. I wish I could get a photo that really captures how it feels in here at night; everything is so warm and safe, but this is the best I could get.

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I wonder what it is about certain types of light that affects us so deeply. My poor high schoolers, looking like they were ready to start banging their heads on the tables after just 90 minutes in my windowless, intensely fluorescent-lit classroom. Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, the way that even, diffused natural light at a museum makes you feel so collected and contemplative. These little rainbow strands never get old to me; there’s just something so reassuring and childishly exciting about sitting in a room lit by them. I hope Junip gets that same feeling.

Anyways, merry Christmas season kickoff!

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