Wednesday, December 23, 2009

O, Tannenbaum

I've enjoyed getting glimpses of other people's Christmas trees on various blogs, so here's ours (filling up with all the packages we've received so far in the mail):

Here we are at the tree farm where we go every year, cutting the "perfect" tree. It takes us ages to agree on just the right one. It has to be very skinny to fit into our small rooms. And not too tall--I can touch our ceilings without standing on tiptoe. But we don't want it to be too sparse. This year, we think we got a great one.

Between both of us working full time, and raising a baby, and trying to keep the house neat enough to present to parents each morning after 6 kids trash it every day, and trying to make all our gifts, there's no time for decorating. We set up the tree and it sat for a few days with only lights, while the kids kept asking why we hadn't decorated it yet. Finally, I decided to have them do it (if you're new to my blog, these are not my kids I'm talking about; they're the 1-5 year-olds in my early childhood program). We left the very lowest branches bare to protect the ornaments from cats and babies. (I might have done a teensy tiny bit of stealthy re-arranging of ornaments...)

It was only mostly decorated at that point, because I saved our "special" ornaments to put on later with Andi. These are the ornaments that represent our years together; I've given one to her every year since our third Christmas together (1992), reflecting something important from that year in our life. Here are a few of them...

The chicken I made last year, when we added 3 chickens to our household. This one resembles Gertie, our Black Australorp:

The board, sandpaper, and saw ornament I made the year we spent doing nothing but major DIY home renovations (boy, is it hard to photograph these well!):

A rowboat we bought on the vacation we took to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary. The cottage we rented had rowboats available, and we spent one lovely morning rowing on the cove there.

Otherwise, our tree has a very Scandinavian look, mostly red and white and straw. That was my parents' aesthetic, so now to me, it's the way a tree "should" look. Also essential to me are these crocheted snowflakes, made by my grandmother and her sisters. Her tree had them, as did ours and my aunt's, and to my childhood mind, every tree. I inherited a lot of them and love them so much.

I also have a lot of Dutch-themed ornaments, reflecting the heritage of my mother's side of the family (the only side I really knew). These wooden shoes are one of three pairs. I have 2 sisters, and growing up, my mother always bought ornaments in sets of three, so she could eventually divide them among us. Again, that feels like the way it "should" be, so when I buy ornaments or make them, I do it in threes.

I love our tree. I love that it looks like our trees growing up, but also reflects our own little immediate family specifically. It looks nothing like the trees of anyone else I know, and as much as I like and admire other people's beautifully-decorated trees, ours feels exactly right for us.


Luisa said...

Feels like Christmas!

P. J. Grath said...

Your tree is beautiful, Lise. I like the overall look with all that Scandinavian red. And of course the pretty baby! Merry Christmas to you all!

Laura @ Getting There said...

I love your tree Lise! It looks so homey and friendly to me. I especially love those crocheted snowflakes--I wonder if I could ever figure out how to make those.

Of course, that chubby baby is the prettiest thing of all...