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oh, Christmas tree...

Our Christmas tree has it rough. The bigger boys did a great job decorating it, but even they—to say nothing of Lijah—can hardly resist playing with the more interesting ornaments. So those move around; and then there's all the ones they knock down sword fighting, hiding under the tree, or just walking past on the way out the side door. So our display of ornaments is far from static.

the Christmas tree lit up before sunrise

what it looked like yesterday morning (it changes)

And while we can just put the ornaments back up—again and again—the same can't be said for the needles. At just a week out of the store, the tree is starting to look distinctly mangy around its bottom portions; there are twigs with not a single needle the last inch or two of their length. It gets plenty of water, and it's still soaking it up nicely, it just can't stand the abuse—the loving, adoring, abuse.

Of course, it was a very nice tree to start out with, and from a distance it's still perfectly beautiful. And even up close, the damage just gives it personality. It's like a well-loved stuffed animal with fur missing in a few spots. Its appeal may have been starting to wear off after a week, but today we restored it completely by starting to put presents out under it. Zion could hardly bear to stay at the table to finish his snack this afternoon. "I'm gonna go shake my presents some more!" he called over his shoulder as he ran off.

So the tree, it suffers, but it suffers for love. It only needs to hold on 15 more days... I think we're going to make it.

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