But the Prettiest Sight You'll See . . .

"But the prettiest sight you'll see is the holly that will be on your OWN FRONT DOOR!"
At the tree farm.

Helping Daddy saw down the tree.

A hay ride! Hooray for living in The Sticks!

Decorating the tree.

Finding the perfect spot for that ornament--probably about 1 inch away from all the others she hung. (We call that the "Charlotte cluster" of the tree.)

And another for the Charlotte cluster . . . .

All decorated!
Chris SWEARS that his 55" montrosity did NOT ruin my mantle decor. I beg to differ. At any rate, we have all three stockings hung. Charlotte's is the one on the far left. Chris's is on the far right, which I made him many years ago, before we were even married. I offered to get him a less hokey one, and he refused. And of course I was flattered by that.

A close up of the mantle garland, which I put together COMPLETELY from scratch every year. Also, you can see Charlotte's stocking hanger, slightly hidden, which bears her pretty name.

45 feet of garland later, I finished decorating the banister!

The really beautiful stuff, no? My Christmas Goofy (great sentimental value from my college years--don't judge!) and the Geico snow globe, which we've put out to be a tad snarky for 5 years now. 

The dining room. This is the table, until Christmas Eve . . . . . .

Is Christmastime not the VERY BEST season of the whole dang year? We’re only a week into the Official Christmas Season (now that we’ve gotten pesky Thanksgiving out of the way), and we Hofmanns are having SO much fun.

Last Saturday, we went to a giant farm to hunt down this year’s Christmas tree. Charlotte had a ball, traipsing through the wilderness (sort of) to find our tree. She was practically giddy. When Chris lay down to saw the tree, he asked Charlotte, “Do you wanna help?”

I imagine that he was kidding, as saws and toddlers seem to be an unwise combination, but Charlotte LOVES to help. (In her old class at school, she was known as the official class helper, and as we moved furniture earlier that day, she got on the sides of mattresses and beds and tried to lift when we did. She even made Daddy-like grunting noises.) So, Charlotte dove in—LITERALLY—to help Daddy bring down that tree. Meaning, she dove onto Chris and quasi-wrestled him as he sawed. “This—is—so—helpful,” Chris said with an impressive amount of enthusiasm as Charlotte bounced on him and that saw went back and forth. (I think she thought the back-and-forth movement was the necessary action. I (as well as an older couple nearby) laughed and laughed. I did not help—I took photos instead. (You’re welcome.)

Next, Chris hauled what he has now countlessly declared “the heaviest tree ever” toward a dirt road. There, our savior in the form of a tractor came by. The farmer hoisted what apparently is the Heaviest Tree Ever onto the trailer bed (with ease, I might add), and we Hofmanns hopped on and sat on some hay bales.

We then enjoyed a jolly, bumpy tractor ride all over the farm. Charlotte giggled and giggled, kicking her feet back and forth. I just loved watching her soak up all the outdoor fun, with one hand firmly holding on to Daddy and the other one gripping Mommy.

We paid for our tree, returned home, and set it up. I put on lights, but due to the tree’s insane fullness, we realized we needed to buy more lights. The four strands of 98-cent lights I had bought 5 years ago just didn’t cut it. We bought more strands, and finally got it adequately golden and lit up.

The next day we worked on more décor. I bought 45 feet of garland for the banister, which of course I spruced up with my own ornaments and picks. Now, as some of you know, I’m not too crazy about our banister. The stain color was the worst decision I made when we were building the house. (I have a reaaally good excuse, and it WAS the ONE time I listened to the staff designer, but these are things for a different post.) But with all that lit up garland? Why, I’m currently IN LOVE with our banister. Perhaps it shall stay up all year!

I decorated the mantle with the same garland I used in the DC condo for what used to be a loooong window sill. Last year, for a million percent off at the after-Christmas sales, I bought these subtle stocking holders, which I adore. They’re personalized with each of our names and are sturdy and HEAVY but don’t detract from my precious mantle décor. (I cannot say the same thing for the ugly TV.)

So, there we go. This is the first Christmas we’re hosting in our house, and I had the best time making everything festive and purdy. No matter how many pretty streets and windows and stores and houses you see, all dressed up for Christmas, the prettiest one is always your own. (Happy sigh.)


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