And the stockings were hung.

The day after our Thanksgiving feast - 
we did this.  The morning after, in fact.
This year, Sam said he wasn't really interested...until
we brought the first box up.
And then he joined in - he carried the heavy tree tub
and got down to business.
They must set up the train first and give it a good test.

Oh, this tree tells such a tale.  
From its fat and furry branches and ever leaning top all the way down to its
 homemade (by my mama in 1970 something) tree skirt.
Most years I long for the beautiful trees of pinterest with the ever matching ornaments and perfect topper - but I always end up back at this ever familiar (from my childhood) and full of memories tree.
It is covered in ornaments, the oldest I am aware is from 1968 - it was my mom and dad's first ornament, documented as such by a tupperware label on the bottom in my mom's handwriting.  And each year the boys look for their specific ornaments from each year.
It was Joe's turn to add the topper. We might have staged the photo and then I helped him.
Sam got to plug in the lights after they were hung.

My favorite night of the year.  All snuggled in beside the tree, the room lit by the glow of the tree.
And, yes, it really does lean that bad this year. It is slightly more broken than last year.  My friend Lauren says if your tree leans it is just a little reminder that we are not perfect either - a gentle reminder that we need to lean on Jesus.

Each boy has a small and special tree for their room.