“The smell of pine needles, spruce and the smell of a Christmas tree – those to me, are the scents of the holidays.” ~ Blake Lively
Oh, Christmas Tree
Nothing screams Christmas more then putting up the Christmas tree. The lights, the decorations, the presents! It makes the season that much more festive! Being honest with no shame with y’all, our tree has been up since the beginning of November. I have no shame and since we have my nephews and niece half the time now, I have
corrupted inflicted showered them with so much Christmas cheer that they were ready to celebrate the holidays long before the stores sold out of their Halloween candy.
This year I was itching to put it up the moment Hallmark started their Christmas movies, which coincidentally began BEFORE Halloween. My Mom admittedly nixed that idea. Thus while some people might frown on putting up the tree before Thanksgiving, (and definitely before Halloween) we put it up two whole weeks early! Such rebels we are!
The Family Tree
For as long as I can remember we have used a fake tree, which I know some people would find sacrilegious. No Griswold Family tree outings for us, which is probably a good thing! It isn’t something I missed, because for us the fun has always been the decorating.
We have the Family Tree. The one that Santa leaves presents under as well as our gifts to each other. It is in our living room, and lights up the house every year. In the good ol’ days before pre-lit was a thing, my mom and/or my brothers would struggle to put the tree up, and string the ultimate colored lights, because not only could you not have to many lights, but they needed to be colorful of course.
As kids we were all about the
tacky vibrant colors. God Bless my mother for humoring us and thank the lord my tastes have gotten more refined as I have gotten older. In my teens, we made the switch to white lights, and when pre-lit trees became popular, putting up the tree became infinitely easier.
We never had a tree that came out of Better Homes and Gardens. And I LOVE that. Christmas is not only magical but it is also messy. It brings the kid out in all of us, and teaches us that perfection is highly overrated and that not everything will go to plan. (Thank you Griswalds, again) Christmas is about memories and sentiment, not how well a tree is decorated.
As kids we each had our own tree in our room, and I still have one, that I actually kept up year round, since it seemed a shame to enjoy it just for the week I was home for Christmas. My Mom had a fancier tree that was themed in her room and THAT definitely belonged in Better Homes and Gardens. It had all glass ornaments and she would put her Christmas in the City Village, underneath it. Instead of sleeping, I would lay for hours watching the ornaments glisten from the lights and imagine the people moving in the village below.
The family tree was a smorgasbord of memorable Hallmark moments, handmade wooden ornaments my great grandfather had carved and the school ornaments we would make as gifts for our parents. The latter were really just messy piles of materials, because I am no Picasso, and my parents were saints for not only oohing and ahhing over them, but actually putting them on the tree. It is a tree that was and still is, filled with memories of family vacations, celebratory dates, and of course tributes to our guardian angels.
As we got older, my Mom stopped putting up her tree, and put more of her glass ornaments which included Christopher Radkos on the family tree. With their vibrant colors, kitty designs and glitter dusting them, they have always been some of my favorite ornaments. She replaced the Christmas chains and tinsel with ribbon and pine cone, but it is still a tree filled with love and SO many memories.
Memories that I am excited to share with my nephews and niece. This was the first year that they helped us decorate. Usually it has been my Mom, or I, if I have come home early enough to help her do it. We can be perfectionists decorating, and I definitely have certain ornaments I prefer in the back. Ahem all the Red Sox ornaments, oops now my secret is out.
While I can be meticulous, it was so much fun watching the kiddos, giddy from excitement, hang ornaments in “The perfect spot.” Listening to my mom explain ornaments their Dad, my brother, had made and much like he did with me, (cause short girl problems) lifting them up to decorate the tree when the step stool fell short. (pun intended) Once we finished decorating, which we did with Home Alone in the background, we drank eggnog and then laid under the tree watching all the lights make the ornaments glitter.
It was the most perfect tree trimming. It is what Christmas is all about, the traditions of old, making memories in the present, so we remember them in our future. I am so grateful that in this moment, I can have this time with my family.
When did your tree go up? Do you put-up a real tree or a fake one?
Other Blogmas posts: