We purchased our real tree from the store that inspires all Hallmark Christmas movies- Lowes. There was one random, lonely tree sitting out by the grills which is obviously where you would expect to find a tree. It was just the right shape, the perfect ratio of fluff to scraggly, and had the Christmas tree smell. I fell in love. 
Our theme for the year was Noah’s Ark. All the animal ornaments marched/swam/flew two by two around the tree. Our cats also showed up in a pair the minute I pulled out the roll of blue water ribbon. AB hasn’t played with our ark toy in years but I haven’t been able to make myself get rid of it. I pat myself on the back for being so sentimental and unable to get rid of toys because it’s the perfect tree topper. Noah and Mrs. Noah sit onboard and watch the goings on. I recently painted the mantle after no less than six trips to the paint store and trying five paint samples. I may repaint it in a few months but for now, it’s this unexpected hue. I painted the nativity sign with my friend at work last year. We got so frustrated doing it and there was a spot we could not fix even after hours of painting. Neither of us can identify the spot now and I love it so much. It’s on my list of items I’ll grab in a fire.

And so, they all followed the stick of butter until it stopped over the manger. There, they found Joseph and Mary engaged in a heated debate about why they suddenly had two babies instead of the one that Mary had told Joseph about. Did Mary misunderstand the angel’s words and, in her shock, forget about the second baby? Was Joseph too stressed by his sudden fatherhood that he zoned out when Mary told him it would be twins? Did someone lose the first baby Jesus under the couch, buy a new one, and then find the first, resulting in twice the holiness at the nativity? Who’s to say. Rumor has it all the guests at the manger were awkwardly silent except for a loud “Happy birthday” yelled by Pedro the wild-haired donkey on the left. Some people can’t read the room.