Monday, December 6, 2010

"With All Due Respect To Santa...

...The central icon of the season is the Christmas Tree. I can't imagine the Holidays without the magic of wonderfully decorated trees, each different, each special. Like the hearth or a dining table, a Christmas Tree draws people to it-and to one another."
From Christopher Radko's Heart of Christmas.

It was such a treat to get our Christmas tree with my parents this year. We like 'em tall and skinny...which is what I wish I could be myself! My mom is the one who actually found THE tree and it is by far the tallest one we have ever had.

Mind you, I said TALLEST, not WIDEST...the widest tree we had was in our first little apartment right after we got married. We were so used to picking out trees with our families growing up that we forgot to take into account that we had a postage stamp sized living space. When we brought the tree in and set it up we realized we were in big trouble. If you sat on the couch, your knees touched the branches! It made for a sweet and funny memory though. And it was also the year when we picked out our Angel Tree Topper.


We were fairly broke but we wanted something special to have year after year, so we scrimped and saved and took ourselves to Macy's to buy this angel. I think she was probably around $30 but that seemed like A LOT to us at the time!


 I keep things fairly simple on my tree. With all that is going on in this space, I like to not overpower it. Strings of gold beads that I have had for several years add just the right amount of extra bling.

Here is a great tip my mom gave me for decorating the tree...
TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!
It helps you to better see where the blank spots are as you are hanging your ornaments. Trust me, it really works!

This little collection of toile ornaments were a purchase from the Michael's after Christmas sale years ago. I have never seen any like them since. I'm sure all of you crafty people could whip them up in no time!





I purchased this pinapple ornament this year and love how it represents the warmth and hospitality I hope everyone feels when they come through our doors. I gave one to my mom too!


This is part of another collection that I love. The birds always remind me of my grandmother who dearly loved watching them in her beautiful gardens.


And, I found 4 of these beauties at a downtown boutique where they were marked 75% off after Christmas. I love opening them up the next year because it is like getting a present! Albeit one you bought yourself!



Atop the antique secretary desk sits this red glass hurricane. When it is lit, it gives off the most lovely reflection in the mirror.


This grouping sits on my "coffee table" which is actually 4 cubed ottomans pushed together.


 It is perfect for extra seating.
The reindeer has become a favorite of my daughter's and I find her hiding with him in various places around the house! Even without a red nosed he has been deemed "Rudolph", of course.



I found this strand of beaded garland at a second-hand store in town and just loved the size and color of them. Piled in a hurricane they add some sparkle!


This is the book that I referenced above. I found it at TJ Maxx last year for $4 and have loved getting great inspiration from it's pages. I'll have to show you more another time!


It sits on top of some of my most favorite Christmas books, all of which have been gifts from my parents over the years.
If you have never read anything by George MacDonald, well, you need to!


  The night we brought our tree home, we got the kids nestled into bed, hubby and my dad were watching football, and my mom and I tackled the tree. She carefully unwrapped each ornament for me to hang. As she did, we realized that about 80% of them were ones she had given to me. Each represented a year of my life...first as the daughter still living in their home, then as the newlywed just starting out in my own home, then as the mother creating traditions and memories for my own children. She picks out an ornament each year for me and my sister and this was what she gave me that night. This gorgeous crystal snowman complete with scarf and tassel. I will treasure it for sure. But more than that, I will always remember that night we spent together unwrapping ornaments and memories!



"How lovely are thy branches" indeed!


42 comments:

Karen said...

Vanessa, love the tree, but especially loved reading your special memories. Oh, but how you made me want to put my tree up. :(
Two weeks until we leave & we will not be here the whole week of Christmas. I'll be putting one up at our son's. But, unwrapping each ornament brings back a flood of memories for me too!

Mary Kay Andrews said...

Beautiful tree, beautiful stories, beautiful memories.

Val said...

G O R G E O U S!

michelle said...

What a beautiful tree Vanessa! All your ornaments are gorgeous and I love that they have special meaning!! I am coming over to sit in your cozy, beautiful room and have some drinks with you! :)

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh I love your tree, it is just perfect. The bead garland is so beautifully draped, and the angel topper is stunning. How wonderful that each of your ornaments has such special meaning and that you were able to get the tree with family and also have precious time with your mom. That's the really special time of Christmas. Hugs, Marty

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Vanessa, the tree is beautiful and sits center stage in the bay window. So pretty.

Michelle @ Sweet Something Design said...

Beautiful! I love all the details and the ribbon around the reindeer's neck is fantastic! Great job!

Rene said...

Tall and skinny for me too. I could only wish the same for my body. Your tree is stunning Vanessa!

-Rene

CAS said...

Oh, Vanessa, your tree is just beautiful! What a lovely relationship you have with your mother. It brought a tear to my eye -- some of us are not so fortunate. I hope & strive to be the kind of mother yours seems to be to my own daughter & daughter-inlaw.
CAS

Traci said...

What wonderful memories you're making! I love all of your decor. The tree is so pretty! My hubby says when the lights stop working on our prelit we need a slim one. I don't know if that will work because I have so many ornaments!!

Dayle said...

It's beautiful, Vanessa. Loved the walk down memory lane, too.

Judy said...

Beautiful tree. Even more beautiful story. Gorgeous ornaments. Love it all.

Tyla said...

What a pretty tree! And I love your window treatments! Thanks for sharing.

Sailing Simply said...

Gorgeous tree! Your mother did an excellent job picking that out. I have never seen a real tree so pretty in it's shape. You draped your beaded garland so beautifully too. I also just love your adorable reindeer, with it's bow. I can see why your daughter loves it so much, it looks sooo sweet!

Traci said...

What a gorgeous tree and sweet memories with your Mom....and what great advice about turning off the lights. I had never thought of that before. And I love the toile ornaments!

Heather@gourmet said...

Oh to have been there with you and mom. You know what I like best about your blog? That I get to see all that is going on in your life in pictures. It lets me pretend like I'm there. Now you have me curious about my ornament from mom...hmmm wonder if it's a snowman too? Haha.

Love,

Your sis

Kitchen-Dreams said...

This is all just so lovely!

Kathy said...

Your post is just wonderful _your home is beautiful -how wonderful that your family shared the day with your parents -pricelsss

craftmom said...

oh I love your blog! I just found it from another blog, and your home is gorgeous. I do have a question if I might ask where you got the flower prints? I have been looking for some reasonable priced ones for my dining room. Thanks so much!

Debbie said...

I just think it is simply superb. It really does look like a southern living magazine tree...you had the perfect space for it too. Such pretty ornaments!

Melanie said...

Your tree is beautiful and I want you toile ornaments! Lovely!

Betsy B said...

Your tree is so pretty. We have our biggest one ever this year. I love having tall ceilings. I turn the lights down as I put the lights on my tree. It does help you see where you need to place your next row of lights at. Thanks for sharing.

Jenny Harris said...

Loved this post - love the tall/skinny tree, the proportions are just right for your space. The ornaments are all pretty too - I especially love the toile ball with the berries on top - something about a ball with springs of happiness on top makes me smile.

Thanks for visiting my blog - I've enjoyed yours too!

Merry Christmas!

NanaDiana said...

Vanessa-What a great post! I read every word of it...and I love your tall skinny tree. Your Mom did good!

Your angel tree topper was worth spending the money on-she is still beautiful all these years later.

Have a great week- Hugs-Diana

dogsmom said...

Beautiful photos, lovely traditions and well told.

Christie said...

Vanessa, your tree is stunning...elegant...!! I love it!! It looks like it could have come straight from the pages of the CR book! Now, thats a compliment! I love the sentiment behind the ornaments...as I unwrapped my ornaments...some made by me as a little girl, I was reminded of a wonderful lady who carefully packed and saved them...my mom! Oh, I know you cherish these special moments with your mom! Oh! Sweet Becca came over to my blog and gave you a sweet compliment! I had seen her over here and can you believe she lives in SC somewhere not too far! I hope you are enjoying the holidays! As always, thank you for your sweet words at TPL!! Love, Christie

LUCKY 7 DESIGN said...

Vanessa I believe this is my first visit to your blog and Im so delighted I found you. lol I live in NJ but I swear I shouldve been a southern belle. Hosting parties and decorating my home repeatedly each time better and better. You tree is gorgeous and Im so envious...I wanted a tall/thin tree (like my former self..lol) but hubby brought home a 9ft tree that probably the same in width. lol I love your curtains, I have similar ones in my dining room. I loved that you included the history of the ornaments and family in your post. I will definately be back...Happy Holidays!

Marla @ Always Nesting said...

Beautiful tree and I love your ornaments, especially the toile. I've never seen any like them and love that look.

Pamela said...

Vanessa your tree is simply gorgeous girl! I love it! Your tree is the tallest you have ever had and ours is our shortest. For the first time ever I had two strings of lights left over and ornaments that would not fit!:) I normally love to go taller and wider but this year the shortie called out to me. The Hubster told me to start a new trend in tree decorating and just leave it naked. He said I would be all the rage in bloggy land!;) Needless to say she got dressed. I wills hare her soon.

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

Your tree is just gorgeous!! Love it! I remember when we used to get real trees. We were living in a mobile home at the time before we had kids. Outside in the field, the trees didn't look that big. Boy when we got it home, we had to give it a little haircut because otherwise it was sitting out to the middle of the room!!! After that, we started taking a tape measure!!

Lori said...

Hi Vanessa! All of your Christmas decorations are gorgeous! I love your tree and mantels too! So glad you could decorate with your mom. I know how special that must have been for you. I live in Ohio and my mom lives in Colorado so we don't get to decorate together for the Holiday's.

Merry Christmas!

Lori : )
Thrifty Decor Mom

Teresa@oursoutherncountryhomeandfarm said...

It is beautiful. Everything that you have done.

Thoughts for the day said...

Beautiful peaceful room. I could just sit there with a cup of hot tea and enjoy the 'calm' ...
The decorating style is similar to mine and decorating with discount things that come from tjmax or marshalls is a wise steward of your money. I have found awesome things there. thank you for sharing your peaceful room.

Life in Rehab said...

To DIE for! Elegant, sumptuous, and perfectly over the top!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Vanessa, thank you SOOO much for putting my button on your blog. Yay! I made a button. I still can't get over it!

I like to think the 'Friends In Blogland' title for your Followers is actually the title of my button on your sidebar. I'm the only button there so that must mean I'm your only one....!!!!!

:-)

Aaah, Vanessa, you li'l sweetiepie.

Sarahx

Becca said...

Okay, I have decided that I can no longer read your posts after I've applied makeup ... I just can't! Once again, you've made me tear up reading your recollection of sweet memories ... how your Grandmother loves birds ... ornaments passed down ... the sweet angel you scrimped and saved for. You truly are a reminder of what Christmas is all about. Your tree is so steeped in tradition ... I absolutely love it. It's one of the prettiest I've seen. And, just sayin' but did you just grow the triple trey ceiling? Why have I not seen that before? Beautiful! I love that family is "a number 1" to you ... your kiddos are so lucky to have so many wonderful traditions to grow up with. Hugs and love, Becca

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Thanks Vanessa for sharing this at the party and of course you can link two or more!

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

Your tree is beautiful, Vanessa! Your whole living room looks wonderful! I bet your kids are loving it!

Jan @ bobbypins boardwalk said...

Vanessa, it is absolutely magical. What a gorgeous tree and room. Well done. Thank you for sharing on the Boardwalk Bragfest!

Carrie @ Dittle Dattle said...

Beautiful ornaments on a fabulous tree! I love the idea of adding beaded garland in a glass container! Thank you for linking up to "Amaze Me Monday" blog party. I hope to see you next week!

The Inspired Nest said...

Girl, your tree is gorgeous. I wish I could get my beaded garland to swoop like yours! (Those drapes are gorgeous too!) I am in love with that pear ornament! I will be searching around for the Radko book!
Lacy

Skooks said...

She's tall and lovely! The beads look like they're dripping off. :) Gorgeous.