Growing up, decorating the tree was one of my favorite things. Picking it out (the rule was that it had to be taller than me with my arms stretched out) and of course decorating it.
The lights for the LONGEST time were my dad's parents lights. Big and beautiful, with foil surroundings that made it glow prettier than anyone else's tree. The ornaments were all special. My favorites then are my favorites now. Nothing store bought, but a few remaining beaded stars, bells, and angels that my Grandma made. And the starched snowflake :)
There seems to be a pattern of actions that happened when we decorated our tree. Dad dug out the stuff from under the stairs. Mom organized what went where, and Dad and Richard untangled the lights. Once the lights were up, somehow Dad's job was done. Richard, Mom and I put up the decorations. Tinsel was the last to put up. By this time, it seems that Richard was done too. Strand by strand Mom and I made the tree sparkle. Even the old Angel at the top looked better with the lights bouncing off her.
Music needed to be playing. Specifically Sunshine and Snowflakes. In fact, if you were to pick a tree decorating album, that would be it. Eggnog also needed to be part of the "event".
We have a lot of the same traditions today. So our tree isn't real anymore (there was a post last year on that), but it's still taller than me. My lights are new this year, and while aren't classic like the ones I grew up with (much less fire hazard though), they still make me smile. Eggnog and music go hand in hand with the evening, although tinsel seems to be something only in my past.
Chris puts up the lights, both kids help untangle (or help tangle....not sure what is more true). Our ornaments are a mix of mine and Chris' from years past, all of which are carefully unpacked from their 11 months of storage. My favorites are still there, and will always be on my tree. We have new ones, and they are part of my favorite Heal tradition. Each year, Chris goes out on his own and picks out a new ornament from Halmark for each of the kids. I have carefully dated them so when they have their own tree, they too can have their memories to share.
I still love decorating the tree night. And let's face it, I always will.