Our household experienced a bit of a crisis over the weekend. I didn’t mention it yesterday because I was still in the processing mode of “omg, did that really just happen”. Our sweet puppy Ives unsuccessfully chased a very frightened black cat over our fence and into the outside yard, which could also now be called a world of hurt, because I’m sure it hurt him very much when he landed on the other side. Thinking he had dislocated his hip, I rushed him to the animal ER in a frenzy. Skip forward through a few hours waiting in the exam room and watching “Alaska State Troopers” on National Geographic with David and we find out that Ives broke the base of his femur at the growth plate. Ugh. A few days later and he’s been in and out of surgery, drugged up sufficiently, and now drooling over the side of his bed in a canine stupor. (secretly i wish he was this chill ALL the time)

I can assure you that the little guy’s leg isn’t the only thing hurting right now either. (was that an “ouch” i heard, mr. wallet?) It’ll be all sorts of “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” and “Gift of the Magi” around these parts this season. And that’s ok with us. As hard as admittedly it was at first to reconcile the sacrifices that would have to be made, I can see now that it will all be very much worth it! He’s a sweet dog.


All this personal anecdote to say that I have NOT put up my Christmas tree yet, much less any sort of holiday decorations. Don’t call me Scrooge just yet! I’d love to but it hasn’t been a top priority these days. You understand.

While my house looks very un-festive, however, Preston and Richard’s historical Tennessee home is quite the opposite. They’ve decked all their halls with a lot more than a few boughs of holly! My mother-in-law suggested that we visit their place while visiting Tennessee over Thanksgiving. What a fabulous idea!! Every nook and cranny of their 19th century home was nestled with holiday cheer. Although their trees – one for every room – were quite grand, I found myself loving the smaller details and quiet corners even more.

And so, now, I find myself back to the question of my own home. I love holiday ceremonies and traditions! They weave our lives together, year to year, with a rich heritage of memories and family rituals. But, they’re a lot of work and expense to recreate too!

You tell me… should I put up a tree or let the expertise of master decorators like Richard and Preston tide me over?




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