...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!