So, Any Trees Up Yet?

Tree

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Mine was twice as festive, as my mother’s birthday landed on Thanksgiving this year. We had a lovely day, and as usually happens on this day of festive family dining, by the time the stuffing has cooled and pies are cut, conversations tend to drift to holiday shopping, Day-After-Thanksgiving sales–and the onset of the Holiday Season has officially arrived.  Somehow, I always feel as though I’m starting out behind.  I have friends and relatives who begin their holiday planning and shopping way back in August, while I, at this point, have hardly thought past carving the turkey.  It does seem fitting that the holiday hustles begin with a day of rest and nourishment, especially for those who partake in the early-morning Day-After-Thanksgiving sales. I ventured out into that morning madness only once. Oh my goodness…I wasn’t sure wading through the masses of sleep-deprived holiday shoppers was worth any additional savings. In fact, I decided I’d rather stay home and put up a Christmas tree  😉

Growing up, it wasn’t uncommon in our house to set up the Christmas tree Thanksgiving night or the following day. My older brother having asthma, our tree was artificial so setting up the tree was always a fun family project of sorting limbs and sticking them in place. Last year, my hubby’s allergies put an end to our fresh-tree tradition, and I find I’m destined to follow my mom’s tradition, so my men and I will be brightening our living room today with tree and lights. As for the holiday shopping, over the past few years my hubby and I have narrowed the shopping part down to two days–our initial shopping trip sometime during the second week of December where we do our best to grab everything on our list and wrap it that night–and then a quick trip for everything we’ve realized we’d forgotten.  Whenever I try to do that early-buying, preplanning stuff, I tend to forget what I bought and find gifts at the back of my closet sometime in April…which leads to gloves and stocking hats in Easter baskets  🙂 

So, how are you faring on this first day of post Thanksgiving holiday preparations?  Any braving the After-Thanksgiving-Day crowds?

My holiday season has gotten off to an extra bright start–earlier this week, after turning in my fourth western historical, I accepted an offer to write four more westerns for Harlequin Historical–one of which will be a Spring Bride anthology in June ’09.  I’m excited!  I’ve also launched a new look for my website–stop in and take a look around if you get a chance.

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30 thoughts on “So, Any Trees Up Yet?”

  1. We had such a long (but so much fun!) day yesterday, that we slept in this morning instead of braving the crowds. Besides, it’s so much easier to shop online!

    We’ll probably put up our tree and decorations this weekend like we always do. Plus, the kids love to “help”.

    Stacey, your new site looks great! Very lovely and I love the colors. 🙂

  2. Hi Stacey! We travel out of town for Thanksgiving, so we’re always exhausted the next day. My hubby had to work today, anyhoo. I have done the Friday shopping many a time, but part of the time I offer to be the one who stays home with the kids. That was my relaxation plan this year. Want to shop? Drop the kids off with me.

  3. Stacey,
    Your tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving? Oh my, how organized you are. I used to have my shopping done by the end of August, unless something spectacular caught my eye in December.
    There’s no way I’d get caught up in the madness on “Black Friday.” In this areaa, today most stores are open at 4 and 5 a.m. I don’t think so!

    Guess I’ve adopted a “Bah! Humbug!” attitude at the ever-earlier Christmas ads. Please, not before Thanksgiving, and this year I saw some Christmas glitter in some stores before Halloween.

    Congratulations on your 4-book sale. A lot of work, but so much fun to put your tales on paper and then see them in print!

  4. I avoid putting up my tree as long as possible. It is seriously in the way, there’s just no perfect place in my house for it. Now, with the kids all grown, I hope to put it off until about the twenty-first. And, since I’m leaving on a trip on the twenty-sixth, I’ll have to deal with taking it down on Christmas day or facing it when I get home a week later.
    But I do have my Holiday scented candles going right now and we’re having company today, my girls still slacking over a long Thanksgiving weekend, so chili soup simmering on the stove and maybe a movie marathon.

  5. Hi Stacey! Nope, no Black Friday shopping for this girl. I don’t do angry, sleep-deprived crowds. Rather pay a little more and have peace and tranquility. 🙂 I have to confess that I dragged out my Christmas decorations yesterday afternoon (no tree though) and made my house very festive. I doubt I’d have done it though if not for two of my granddaughters. They wouldn’t take no for an answer. I have to admit the beautiful colors do add lots of cheer. And I never tire of looking at my pretty angel above the fireplace. Yep, peace and tranquility are priceless. I probably won’t put up a tree though. Don’t think there’s any rule that says I have to.

    Congratulations on your four book deal!!! My gosh, girl. You’re really going to town. I’m so proud of you. Wishing you oodles of success!

  6. Hi Andrea! I agree about the ease of online shopping 🙂 My boys are 12 adn 14 and so much of what they’d like to see under the tree can’t be found at the mall. My oldest is a major history lover and I so enjoy ordering documentories and such from the History Channel 🙂

    Happy tree trimming this weekend–glad I’m not the only one 😉

    Thanks for checking out my new website design! I’ve wanted a custom site for a long time. Building my own site, I was never able to do anything beyond a simple table format. I really lucked out—my friend Rae Monet started her new website company and I told I wanted something soft, seamless and swooshy. She sent me that dreamy dragonfly theme and it was love at first sight *g* Did you see the cowboy on the Western pages???? *ggg*

  7. Joyce, I am so not organized–I think I’m just impatient *g*. And my mom’s a huge influence–she decorates her house from top to bottom with garlands and lights and wreathes and angels–her house is just breath-taking during the holidays and her enthusiasm is infectious 🙂 Although, I generally stop at the tree and maybe some poinsettias 😉

    I’m with you on the Bah! Humbug! attitude toward the shopping malls 🙂 They do seem to drag out the Christmas garland earliear every year!

    Thank you for the congrats on the new books! My initial reaction was chest pain *lol* – I was just shocked. I have a wonderful agent who set up some deadlines that got the breath back into my lungs *g* and now I’m just thrilled 🙂

    Thanks for your post!

  8. I’m with you, Mary. My artificial tree goes up about a week before Christmas and comes down a couple of days after. Except for occasional visitors, there’s nobody to see it but me and the cats. One thing is different–I decorate it with artificial butterflies. It ain’t very Christmas-y, but it’s pretty and it’s me. A couple of years ago, when my two kitties were new, I put it up and went for a walk. Came home to find tree and all on the floor. They were having so much fun…
    And online shopping is the way to go for me, too. People who brave the malls deserve a medal.
    Congrats on the 4-book contract, Stacey! That’s awesome!

  9. Decorating with your granddaughters–how fun, Linda 🙂 Decorations do add holiday cheer. There’s definitely no “tree” rule 😉

    Thank you for the book-deal congrats–and the cheer YOU add to P & P 🙂

  10. I don’t go near a store anytime over the Thanksgiving weekend. Too many crazy people out there.
    My birthday was on Thanksgiving last year.
    My kids took me to lunch today to celebrate this year.
    Our tree won’t go up for least another couple of weeks.

  11. Elizabeth, your butterfly tree sounds beautiful! My mom’s tree is mauve, burgandy and gold, and I love it. My tree is meddly of my boys. Each year we try to find an ornement that represents what they’re ga-ga over that year, so we have a tree full of Thomas the Tank Engine from the early years *g* and Star Wars orniments amid all the home-made decoratoins they’ve made in school over the years. One of my faves are these handprint reindeer they made in preschool—the antlers are thier hands and the eyes and red nose are thumb prints. Not really a “pretty” tree *g*, but it makes me smile 🙂

    Thank you for the book congrats!

  12. Congrats on the 4-book deal Stacey! Can’t wait for their releases! Very cool.

    No Black Friday shopping for us, though we did hit the post office for stamps and Food Lion for groceries today..that was it..but we got our Christmas shopping done early this year for once- only thing left is a shipment that should be arriving from Amazon in a few days- a couple of books for the kids stockings and The Santa Clause 3 movie.

    I need to get the kids a few treats for their stockings, but figure I’ll go with fruits and snacks rather than candy this year. As for the tree and decorations…I got those up last weekend-
    Here’s a link to my Myspace photo album of my decorations if anyone wants to see them. ;o)

    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewPicture&friendID=62433615&albumId=1436465

  13. Congratulations on all the sales! That is a great holiday gift!

    We tend to wait to put up the tree until mid-December. And it is always a real tree. I love the smell and growing up at the base of a mountain, we always had a beautiful tree when I was a child.

    I hate the after-Thanksgiving shopping. My oldest daughter and I tried it one year. WE lasted one store and went home. I don’t like crowds and nasty/mean spirited people.

    The day before Thanksgiving I put up some Christmas decorations because a daughter who hasn’t been around for Christmases the last few years was here for Thanksgiving. She’s never seen all sixteen stockings hung from the loft! She was impressed!

  14. Hi Stacey! WOW! Huge congrats on the 4-book deal! That’s great!

    No Black Friday shopping for me. You couldn’t pay me to get in that mess. I actually got my Christmas present a couple of days ago. A new computer! Did y’all know they’ve ALL gone to flat screens? I didn’t and I’m lovin’ it!

    My son and his girlfriend are supposed to put up our tree and decorations this weekend. He asked if they could because, for some reason I haven’t discovered yet, his girlfriend’s family never puts up a tree. We very eagerly said, “Sure, go right ahead!” LOL!

    We really do up the living room and transform it. I love sitting in there at night with the tree lit up and the fireplace glowing. We go with old-fashioned traditional stuff. Lots of red and green and bright colors. Old timey wooden ornaments mixed in with the sparkly glass balls and beaded ropes. Long knit stockings hang from the mantle and I have a big St. Nicholas in the long fur-trimmed robe rather than the red and white belted suit that stands at one side of the hearth.

    I’ve been AWOL the past couple of days, what with the holiday and switching out the computer. I had just started reading “Mustang Wild” when I had to put it aside and start cooking. :o)

    Congrats again on the new contract!!!

  15. There was an article called ‘How to Decorate Your Tree’ or something like that, in the Omaha World Herald today….egad!!!!…I’ve been doing it wrong all these years.
    I’m totally tearing this out, buying all the stuff they say (after Christmas for half price) and doing it right next year.
    Oh!!!!!!!!!!! Wait! I’m going on vaca the day after Christmas. By the time I get home all the good stuff will be gone.
    Okay, I’ll start doing it right for Christmas 2009.

  16. Thank you, Taryn!!

    You’ve already finished shopping?! Oh my gosh! I’m so jealous. Tree was up and decorated last week–WOW!! You are an inspiration 🙂

    I tried to look at your pics, but it asked me to log in, and MySpace is a cyber galaxy I’ve not explored yet 😉

  17. I’m impressed too, Paty! Sixteen stockings must be a sight! I love real trees—until last year we always got a noble tree–my favorite. I’m really missing that fresh pine smell.

    Thank you for the congrats and your post!

  18. Hi’ya, Devon. Thank you!! I hope you enjoy MUSTANG WILD 🙂

    Woohoo on the new computer! Flat screens rock 😉

    Your living room sounds lovely! I love to sit and look at the lights too 🙂

  19. I braved the crowds after the 4am rush..LOL! I didn’t get to the stores until 7am and still was able to purchase the items that I wanted. There is nothing that I want that badly that would make me have to sit in the cold for more than 12 hours!!! 🙂

  20. KUDOS, Kathleen, for braving the crowds!! Avoiding the pre-dawn maddness sounds like good strategy 😉

    And cheers for snagging everything on your list!

    Happy tree trimming!

  21. Thanks for the congrats, Stacy! Hope you had fun stringing lights 🙂

    I’m going to miss our yard lights this year–we’re remodeling the house and my hubby told me he wouldn’t be turning the trees outside into candycanes this year, since he’ll be bulldozing all the concrete from around our house–and likley pulling out some of those trees. But next year we’ll get to have a 9ft tree in our new 10ft-high living room. This year my boys are gonna make a tumble-weed snowman to go in the drifts of rubble and dirt 😉

  22. I was out the madness and took hubby with me too. we had a wonderful time from 6:00am til 6:00pm what a champ he was I was ready to move to next store and he still wanted to shop. The other shoppers were very calm this year it was the help that was very crabby. Congrats on the other 4 books, keep up the great work. What a special Christmas gift..

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