“Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.” — Larry Wilde
Trimming the Tree
If you are like I am, then your tree has probably been up since before Halloween and decorated since November 1. If you have a little more patience then I have, your tree is probably going up right around now. Decorating or trimming, as they say, the tree has always been one of my favorite Christmas traditions to do. Every year it is like taking a walk down memory lane and I love it.
While we have a gazillion trees, and in years past some of them did have themes and were artistically decorated, our family tree, the tree that has presents under it and Santa visits will never be in Better Homes and Gardens and ya know what? I LOVE that. To quote The Broadway Musical Anastasia, it truly is “Home, Love Family.” And that is what the holidays are about. That is what the family tree represents, memories, heirloom ornaments past from generation to generation and those first grade projects that as kids we were so darn proud of, but as adults we cringe at and yet only parents and grandparents can really truly love them, and they do.
In all of its glitz and glam, Christmas is about the memories, those impromptu screams of delight and the excitement of kids making paper snowflakes. It doesn’t have to be perfect because life isn’t perfect, and it is about those imperfect moments just as much as the perfectly wrapped ones. It is about the kiddos putting two and three ornaments on one branch, or putting some of the uglier ornaments that we all have, but can’t bring ourselves to throw out, right in front for all to see.
Those memories are what get us through when the years are more of a struggle. This year I could not wait to put the tree up and my nephews and my niece were equally as excited as I was. We make it a whole afternoon/night and these are my tips for some fun tree trimming whether you have little kiddos helping you, or just channeling that childlike joy that the holidays seem to bring out in all of us.
We have always gotten artificial trees (according to someone on IG, that means we are’t true Christmas aficionados, which I highly disagree with, cause allergies, and they are expensive and a whole other host of reasons) but it is only the last decade or so that we have gotten pre-lit trees. And friends pre-lit trees are the way to go! It make the whole process ten times easier and faster. You aren’t messing with strands of lights and it goes up one two three. It also makes fluffing those branches a much quicker process, and bonus no chipped manicures! My parents are more traditional so we stuck with a Balsam Hill with white lights, but I adore the flocked trees that are so popular right now.
My second tip when trimming the tree is a step stool! Okay MAYBE this only applies to the short girls in the house, i.e. me, but a step stool is a must! I mean if you have a seven foot tree, getting that star on their is very serious precious business, amiright? A step stool makes it so you can get a better (ahem taller) perspective and you don’t run the risk of knocking the tree over because you can’t reach, which occurs in basically every other Rom-Com Christmas movie. I also recommend tying your tree if you can! That extra step to protect your ornaments.
It has been incredibly bittersweet, because the last two years I have gotten to decorate the tree with my nephews and niece. Not only have I passed on my love and excitement of Christmas to them, (they wanted to decorate Halloween Night, I am such a proud aunt!) but these are memories that I will always cherish. Now that the kiddos are older, the decorating process is relatively quick. It took us maybe an hour to decorate, because of that we always watch a Christmas Movie while doing it. I can’t say it is the first Christmas movie of the season, but it is usually Home Alone, which the kiddos love.
I feel like this is a given! Hot Chocoolate is the drink of Christmas. It is Santa’s favorite drink after all! It should always be a must not just for trimming the tree and at Christmas, but all winter sports. I remember playing outside in the snow and coming in freezing and my Mom would make us hot chocolate. We would also have it when we were trimming the tree and now I am passing that tradition on to my nephews and niece.
I think sometimes we get caught up in how artistically Instagram Perfect everything has to be, when really having branches fluffed perfectly does NOT matter. It is the memories, the magic, all of us channeling our inner kid whether we are a kid or are thirty or seventy. It is the reasons I love that we don’t have a designer tree. Not only are we creating memories, but we are also remembering memories as well. Life can be overwhelming, as can Christmas, but it really is important to remember to enjoy it. To have fun.
Do you get a real or artificial tree? Do you design your tree or have all the childhood memories on it?
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