November 30, 2010

The Perfect Tree

Trimming the tree is no fun when you're the only one doing it. When I landed my first job out of college and moved several states away from my family, I didn't buy a tree. I lived in a small apartment. I'm allergic to real trees and the fake ones are expensive, especially when you're a recent college grad trying to make ends meet as a news reporter. And, quite frankly, I thought the whole process would be lonely by myself. When Hubby and I married, one of our first purchases was an artificial tree. Finally! A tree of my own to decorate and someone to help me do it.
Decorating the tree is one of my favorite things about Christmas. I love unwrapping each ornament and remembering certain events... the penguin driving a car that I received right after obtaining my driver's license, the ornaments that hung on my grandmother's tree, the ornament my sister and I fought over every year because we both wanted to hang it.
This year's tree trimming was a fun day. My daughters are now at an age where they want to hear about the ornaments. They understand that some decorations are fragile and no longer complain when Mommy hangs them high so no one can touch them. They even have ornaments of their own... special mementos from their first Christmas, decorations they made at school (I don't save very many things from school, but the ornaments are a must-keep).
You can definitely tell which parts of the tree were decorated by a bunch of five-year-olds. This is what you'll see throughout our tree:
It would be easy to redo all their hard work and make the tree look organized, but what's the fun in that? When I was little, my mom let me (and later my sister) have free reign decorating the tree. Whenever my grandmother came to visit she would try to de-clutter the ornaments. I could tell right away if she moved something and would always move it back to the spot where I had it. So to me, this tree with several ornaments hanging together is perfect.
(Don't forget to check out my review of Bare Bones, the latest album from Bryan Adams. You can also enter for your chance to win a copy!)


MaryAnne said...

I love Christmas trees that have clearly been decorated by children!

Mrs. Werginz said...

Great post! The husband I got an artificial tree and I have to say it wasn't fun shaping it! Oh how I miss when my mom did that boring part and I could just put on the ornaments with my sisters!

I love that the girls put the ornaments on top of each other! so cute!

Quadmama said...

We ended up ditching our original tree last year. Fake trees can only handle so much shaping. Hubby had a great idea last year... our new tree is pre-lit, so I bought a tree bag and we simply kept it covered in the basement... minimal shaping and minimal setup!

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I just love ornament traditions, too. A lot of my ornaments I haven't seen in a long time, as we haven't put up a tree in about 10 years. We didn't want to tempt our kitties, and we were always out of town for Christmas, so I didn't bother. This year we're staying home, and I am so looking forward to putting up our tree this weekend...and I can't wait to see the girls' delight when they spy the tree aglow. :)

Quadmama said...

When my girls were younger, we had a "tradition" where every night they had to say good night to the tree. It was pretty funny.

Christina said...

Last year the girls helped me decorate the tree, and it was so much fun. I can't wait til this year!

PS-we will probably say "goodnight tree!" every single night at our house...we look at the stars and moon before bed and always tell them goodnight. Its super cute!

reanbean said...

I love tree decorating too. I'm also allergic, but love to have a real one in the house, even for just a few days. T and I used to get the tree on my birthday (the 16th) and then take it down right after Christmas. But since the kids have come along, we've relied on an artificial tree that my aunt sent me a couple of years ago.

When I was growing up, my grandmother would get ornaments for me and my cousins every year, and often, our names and the year were on them. I've continued that tradition for my kids. This year, I let the kids pick the ornaments themselves. They seemed to enjoy being a part of the process and are already asking about putting up our tree so they can hang them.

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