Fall is by far my favorite season, but Christmas, hands down, is my favorite holiday season. As much as I hate to say goodbye to fall and welcome the winter, I do love to get prepared to celebrate this special holiday.

My favorite part of the preparation took place the weekend after Thanksgiving. I am referring to putting up the Christmas tree and enhancing its beauty with lights, bows and ornaments. Since I was little I have always enjoyed this yearly task. Once I got out on my own I really enjoyed when I could buy my own decorations and select the perfect tree. It was especially meaningful when my roommate and I had our tiny sparkling tree in the corner of our dorm room during college those first few years.

I have found my tastes in decor have evolved over the years. When I was a pre-teen I enjoyed multicolored lights on the tree, then as I progressed through my teen years, for whatever reason, I insisted we have blue lights only. My mom, being the loving mother she is, let me have my way. I got my blue lights. Since I have been out in the world, I prefer strings of all-white lights. I can't tell you the reason why this is my preference. It is what it is. I am sure in the years to come my tastes will evolve toward another illumination selection.

My tastes in ornaments and decorations have also changed. I used to not be bothered by a hodgepodge assortment of ornaments - to me this was beautiful. Now, my type-A personality has kicked in and I have to have all matching ornaments. I have started to like the look of bows on our tree. I now have a huge bow on top, instead of a star or an angel, with little matching bows secured to the branches evenly (of course, type A!) all over the tree.

Another change in my preferences that has come with age is the proper time to set up said tree. When I was 10 or 11 years old I distinctly remember a trip to my uncle's home in southern Iowa for Thanksgiving. I also distinctly remember thinking he was crazy because he had his Christmas tree set up and decorated already. I found myself wondering why someone would do such a thing. He must be mad.

Let me tell you, I now have a better understanding of my uncle's thought processes. I don't have my tree up for Thanksgiving like him, but I try to have it all ready for Christmas the weekend after that holiday.

Well great, now some youngster may be thinking I am crazy, thinking that is way too early to be decking the halls!

It is all a matter of perspective. As the years pass, I have learned the only thing that changes as much as my taste in holiday decorations is my perspective.