Trimming the Tree

One of my favorite activities during the holiday season is trimming the Christmas tree. I like to put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving so that we can get the most time out of enjoying our tree. 

Stephanie uses iLevel to decorate her Christmas tree

We always use a fake tree. In fact, I have never had a live tree in my 33 years and I have no regrets about that. I think fake trees are better because I can pull them out anytime and they never die. Last year, I bought a new tree for our house because our old tree started looking quite sad after years of our cats climbing in it. I was ecstatic last November when I found a gorgeous, pre-lit 7.5 foot Christmas tree on sale. My husband, however, was less delighted when he put it up and saw that the top of our tree was hitting the ceiling! I never thought to measure our ceilings before getting a tree, but I think it’s hilarious that we have such a giant tree in our living room. We can’t even put a star on top!

Despite being starless, I think our tree looks spectacular. The moment the tree goes up, I turn on Christmas music and my husband and I work together to add ornaments. This activity is especially meaningful to me because so many of our ornaments have stories behind them and I love reliving the moments that are connected to each one. 

For example, this year, we added a beautiful hand-painted wooden zebra ornament that we just got while we were on our honeymoon in South Africa. We also have ornaments from family members who created them with love (and a bunch of hot glue!), as well as a few broken ornaments which remind us of all the times our cats have knocked over our tree!

My absolute favorite ornament is my sparkly glass cat. It’s a white cat wearing a scarf and covered in smooth glitter. In December of 2014, a cute guy at my office asked me to grab a drink with him. When I arrived, he handed me a box that contained this beautiful cat ornament. That night ended up being our first date and that guy ended up becoming my husband. I love pulling out my glass cat every year and reminiscing about our first date and how far we’ve come since then. I look forward to adding new ornaments and new memories every year for the rest of our lives. 

About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador advisor for Quantum Rehab® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.