It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Saturday we ventured out to procure for ourselves an arbre de noël.  We bundled up against the cold and traveled to the conveniently nearby Wilson Hill Tree Farm.  We looked at {nearly} every tree on the farm, and finally picked a nice smallish Frasier, which Tom then cut down for us.  Ella and the Rico-chico were exuberant helpers (though Rico's frog boots are a few sizes too big {they are Ella's} which slowed him down a bit).  Lou opted to ride in the baby bjorn, so she wouldn't have to help carry the tree. {Maybe I should try that next year!}
Mr. and Mrs. Claus were quite happy with our choice, and even let me take their pictures!

I put the lights {white only!} up Saturday night after the kids were in bed, and we set about bedecking it with ornaments Sunday evening after dinner.  Once more we had enthusiastic little elves, who shrieked with excitement over each decoration.  I was surprised how much they {particularly Ella} remembered from last year.

Tonight I added the finishing touch: icicles.  In my book, no tree is complete without them. {I would like to state for the record that I would be happy if these were the only kind of icicle I ever saw.  I do not have a need for a house trimmed with their frosty cousins.}  I don't know where the tradition started, but both my parents and paternal grandparents have had them on their trees as long as I can remember.  In fact, I may have helped make the ones that now adorn my tree--back when I was two!

They are super easy to make (I'm told--I don't remember) and are so perfect and festive {in my humble opinion}.

Should you desire to add them to your Christmas decor (so you, too, can look like ME!) all you need are a few simple materials. (Like I mentioned, I haven't actually made these in my memory, so these are my grandma's instructions, but they seem pretty clear to me!)
  • Glitter Sticks (silver pipe cleaner things) cut in half (about 6")
  • Craft glue (optional)
  • Clear beads (AB finish, if desired) in the following sizes:
    • Large (18mm) and small (12mm) "cartwheel" beads
    • Large (8mm) and small (6mm) round beads
    • Tri beads
    • Faceted or plain spaghetti beads
Place one spaghetti bead on the end of the glitter stick and glue if desired.  (If kids will be touching these, save yourself some grief and glue the bottom one!)  Follow by three small round beads, three large round beads, four tri beads, six small cartwheels, and six large cartwheels.   Bend the remaining stick in half and attach an ornament hook.