We had a date planned for Thursday night to make pizza, sip wine, and watch a Christmas movie while putting up our holiday decorations. Then life happened in the form of resume deadlines and networking phone calls for him, and a giant, un-mendable hole in the pizza dough for me. At nine, we ordered a pizza with only sauce and topped it ourselves, watched an episode of House of Cards, and postponed the decorating until Sunday.
On Sunday, we each had homework that kept us up until midnight. On Monday, prospects for the nice, festive Holiday Decorating Date still weren't looking great--maybe if we waited another week, it would have worked out--so at 10 pm, I decided to just go for it. We put up the tree, arranged a few village houses, and decided where the stockings will go. The parts of the house that aren't decorated are still cluttered with papers and clothes that need to be put away, but our favorite decorations are out and bringing a bit of extra cheer to the apartment.
I learned a couple of things:
Instead of waiting for the perfect time, make the most of the time you have. 10 o'clock on a Monday is as good of a time as any to decorate a Christmas tree.
Don't take the holidays too seriously. I've seen themed, color-coordinated Christmas trees that are true works of art. My tree is unusually skinny, some of our ornaments are brown, and the lights cast disco-ball reflections onto the walls--this is what Target had in stock the year we got married. I couldn't find a star or angel topper that wouldn't change the whole tree's center of gravity, so I bought a bow at the grocery store. It perfectly reflects who we are at this point in our lives--new (relatively speaking), growing, a bit non-traditional, and making our way with what we have (which is plenty).
I'm baking cookies this afternoon for a party. Something will probably go wrong. At the very least, there will be flour and sugar on the floor. But my mom taught me something when I first started to bake cookies with her: It's ok. We get to eat the uglies.