Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Decking the halls

When we were making decisions about what to bring with us to Italy and what to leave behind, I hemmed and hawed over our Christmas tree.  We have a pretty awesome 9ft pre-lit tree that the previous owners left in the basement of the house we bought in Logan. But it is 110V, and Italy runs on 220V electricity.  I didn't want to plug it into the big transformer for the whole month (WICKED expensive!) but I also didn't want to be without a tree.  In the end, it stayed; as did all of our holiday decorations except our stockings.  I do miss having all our decorations - ESPECIALLY my Halloween stuff - but it is for the best I guess.  Our entire house (like most houses in Italy) has only ONE closet, and it isn't very big.  It holds our games, cleaning supplies, cooler, and a few other random things I just didn't want sitting out all the time.  We don't have a basement or an attic so storing our monster of a tree and my tubs and tubs of decorations would have been tricky.  Although I suppose I could have fashioned some sort of couch out of them.  I kid, I kid.  

Anywhoo...Christmas rolls around and I know we need a tree.  Well, we don't really NEED one, but I need one.  You know, with being a Christmas Baby and all.  :)  We think about getting a real tree, but trees in Italy are legally required to still have roots.  So they come in HUGE pots.  And a big pot of dirt is NOT what I wanted to have sitting in our living room...Mario is a pest and we'd have dirt EVERYWHERE.  So we went down to our friendly local hardware store to see what they had in stock.

We found one that wasn't too pricey (we'll only use it a couple years tops) but was still nice looking.  They loaded it all up for us (seriously, there are times I feel so spoiled living here in Italy...people are SO NICE) and we headed home to decorate it. We had picked up a bunch of decorations at IKEA a couple days before...all their stuff was on sale so we snatched it up!

After we got it all decorated I had to take a picture before the cats and toddler ruined it:

Our cute little living room:

The Santa on the table on the right is our advent calendar.  There are 25 little boxes and we put white chocolate peppermint kisses in them.  Miles knows what it is and every day carries Santa to me so we can eat the kisses.  

And of course it wouldn't be Christmas in the Ward household without putting some ridiculous hats on our cats.  Winston looks thrilled doesn't he?   

Last year Miles was too little to really bother the tree.  He was sitting up but not crawling.  I was a bit worried about this year, but he actually does pretty good.  He thinks the lights are hot so he won't touch anything.  But Mario...oh man, that cat...Mario LOVES playing in the tree.  He climbs it and eats it and pulls at the strands of beads.  I am always telling him to "get out!"  Miles picked up on it and now when Mario gets in the tree he runs over and yells "deh uht!" (get out in Miles' jabber language)

I spy
For my Christmas present, I got this:

We were at the local mall and there were a couple young girls with a table in the hallway selling olive wood nativities of various sizes.  I loved this one as soon as I saw it.  But it wasn't until after we talked to them that we found out they are from Bethlehem.  A charity there sends lots of these nativities all over to be sold, and the proceeds go back to Bethlehem.  It has something to do with children...but the details were lost in translation.  (my Italian is coming but it wasn't quite good enough for an in depth discussion on charities).  An olive wood nativity was on my Italy "souvenir" wish list...and now I've got one!!  

Having all the Christmas stuff up has really helped my spirits.  That and learning that my parents are coming to visit!!!!  My dad - who HATES to fly - is going to fly over an ocean to come see us.  Poor mom will have to sit next to his jumpy legs the whole time.  They get here at the end of the month and will be here for a little bit.  We can't wait to see them and show them Italy!


The Grush's said...

Can I get one of those nativities also? I have always wanted one just like that.

It is so good to keep up with you. You look like you are having so much fun.

V said...

That is the MOST BEAUTIFUL nativity!

You have IKEA in Italy??!!

Very pretty tree. It looks tall too! We left our tree behind in the states as well but upgraded here.

Sheila said...

So glad you found a beautiful tree. The cat peeking out in that picture is adorable. I am with you, Christmas decorations make me happy! I LOVE your Nativity. When we lived in Japan, I got a Japanese Kokeshi Nativity and I love having it out every year. Reminds me of wonderful Christmases in Nippon! (Japan). Proud of your parents for coming out. My mom wouldn't even allow us to drug her to fly over an ocean. :) Have a great holiday! Merry Christmas!