Hello! I hope you all had a great holiday weekend. We had a wonderful, relaxing, fun time spent with family and friends. I don’t know about you, but I am increasingly thankful for time, time with family. I am so richly blessed! One of the highlights of the weekend was going to see The Peanuts Movie with the family. One of my boy’s invited my grandparents to come along because he knew they loved Peanuts so much. And I cannot begin tell you, how sweet that memory is, sitting with family spanning the ages, sitting inbetween giggles from a seven-year-old and chuckles from my grandparents. There are moments when I am impressed with the incredible heritage and legacy I have been blessed with, and I am ever so grateful.
Also, I want to apologize to those of you who tried to visit my Happy Thanksgiving and a Thoughtful Thankful List and couldn’t get to my site. My site completely crashed for a couple of days. But hopefully all is well now. If you still want to print the thankful list and do it as you approach Christmas and the New Yyear here is a link to the PDF Version – There’s So Much To Be Thankful For.
It seems that Christmas decorating creeps up sooner and sooner with each passing year. It doesn’t bother me when other people decorate for Christmas, I just prefer to wait until Black Friday. Plus, this little introvert prefers the blissfulness of decorating in the comfort and quietness of my own home over masses of crowds.
Of course, the biggest chore each year is the tree. I love a real tree, from Oregon, however by the time they are shipped here they are mostly dead. Then the Alaskan trees, well, let’s just say Charlie Brown and move on. So we end up with artificial. Much to my delight, we got a new and improved artificial tree this year, that was actually called a Noble Fir — from Lowes. So as artificial goes, I think that’s about as good as it gets. The one advantage to the artificial tree is that I leave it up well into January. I know weird, but until you live in the darkest of Alaska in December and January, just know that a little extra sparkle and lights are a nice touch to the impending darkness.
My goal, as with all decorating has always been to have a pretty tree. In the early years, I would put up the few ornaments my husband and I had, and tie it all in with deep red glass balls and a coordinating thick wired ribbon. It had beauty and continuity in the décor tying it together, even with some miscellaneous ornaments.
Every year, each of my children gets a new ornament from their Grandma. I love this tradition, because, it’s like a history of the loves and interests of the child, and it is something my Grandmother did for me and my siblings. However, about three years ago, the boys finished decorating the tree, and I rearranged their clumps of unbalanced beloved decorations. But instead of excitement, I felt chaos. The branches green didn’t delight me, in fact, every time I looked, I saw crazy, chaos and it made me all stressed out and want to cry. I know, I’m weird, but décor matters a lot to creative types.
So I had an idea. Well, not an original idea, but I remembered how a friend of our family growing up would have a themed tree and a family tree. I had avoided the idea for a while, because I thought it would create more work, but I was desperate for peace in my soul. Luckily, we had two fake trees, thanks to my hubby’s Grandma, who must have loved Christmas trees. So I undecorated the living room tree and brought in the additional family tree from the shed.
The kids were thrilled, their tree downstairs in the family room was colorful, and had all their precious ornaments globbed unartistically together, colored lights, it kind of reminded me of the fair at night.
But, I must say, I love this little tree with so much personality. I love the fun colors, because my boys love them. I love the ornaments that represent who they were and what they’re interested in as the years go by. I think about 1/4 of them are broken because despite our relentless coaxing that they are not toys, the ornaments are loved, carried and dropped. Trains are missing smoke stacks, Snoopy no longer has a head, and a helicopter is missing the hook eyelet. But I love the colorful, delightful history that is recorded on this tree. And I love that it is in the family room and there is a pretty tree in the living room. One of my favorite ornaments there is this little s’mores guy (missing his nose), because we spend so much time camping in the Alaskan summers.
And upstairs in our main living area, I created a tree with a theme. And funny, it was a little more work, but I had so much more peace. Those of you with kindred spirits will understand.
I also made a new tree skirt that same year from a tutorial by Miss Mustard Seed. I used a paint drop cloth as a base, then scrunched and hot glued the gathered cotton strips. I love having a ruffley tree skirt! (Shocking I know).
This last year, since I now have my favorite blues in my upstairs decor, I found some blue shatterproof balls (very important when you have four boys). Even small relatively inexpensive changes can be so fun and refreshing. I found the white berry garland at JoAnns several years back. It was actually inspiration from my mom, and I love how it brings continuity to the tree and a hint of snow, without being flocked. I’m thinking about adding some more natural elements, like ponderosa pinecones…. Can’t do the same thing too many years in a row, this creative mind gets bored.
Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and enjoy the decorating! Thanks for stopping by!