Christmas Tree 2016

It’s hard to wrap my mind around how fast time flies.

We’ve been in Ireland almost 6 months.

We’re getting ready to celebrate our first Christmas in this beautiful country. I’m convinced that the true beauty of Ireland is not its scenery, but in the spirit of the people who have welcomed us with open arms.


Now, let me segue out of the mushy stuff into some practical matters.

We downsized DRASTICALLY when we moved from the United States to Ireland.

I cannot emphasize how drastically.

Have-no-furniture-to-sit-on drastically.


One of the things left behind in the downsizing was our fake Christmas tree.

Haters can hate, but I am firmly in the fake tree camp when it comes to Christmas trees. Not because I don’t like the smell or look of real trees. I do. So much.

I just don’t like the mess. I have enough messes to deal with around these parts. And Handy Husband likes the idea of getting a strong ROI on a Christmas tree investment. It’s so romantic when he talks that way. *sarcasm alert*

From a practical nature, getting a real tree home, not to mention disposing of a tree without a car requires more ambition than I’m ready to expend.

I did see a family carrying a 6-ft. tree down the sidewalk the other day. I’m not sure how far they had to walk, but they were already a 1/4-mile from the nearest tree stand. The dad had the tree. The mom had the crying toddler under one arm and the toddler’s bike under her other arm.

I’m thinking the dad got the better end of that deal.


What I did spring for this year was a basket instead of a tree skirt to go around the base of our tree. It was like a present to myself that I get to stare at with big hearts in my eyes for 4 weeks.

The basket actually came in 3 curved sections that are bound together with leather ties. That will definitely make the basket easier to store until next Christmas. See how practical I am? Tell my husband, will you?

Being away from family and friends during the holidays is bittersweet, as many of you have experienced. We’re happy to be where we are, but pieces of our hearts are definitely left behind in Georgia and Oregon.

The other day the kids put together cards for some friends in Georgia. They spent time writing their messages and drawing pictures. More time than I anticipated they’d spend on the endeavor.

When it was all done, my son said, “you know what my favorite part of the day was?”
“No,” I replied. “What was it?”

“It was sending happiness to my friend.”

It’s not always easy to teach a 6-year-old that it is better to give than to receive. In fact, there have been times this season when I was sure we were failing miserably on that front. There will probably be more of those moments, but my encouragement to you today is to keep trying. Those brights spots are worth it.

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