Sunday, December 31, 2006

The 7 Trees of Christmas

Well, before the final minutes of 2006 tick by and we officially no longer want to think about Christmas, I thought I would show you the 7 Christmas trees that I put up each year. On my other blog, Don't Make Us Stop This Car, I had mentioned that I put up 7 trees and several people inquired as to where they went, how I decorated them and why I put up 7.

The answer to the last question is that I put up 7 because I like Christmas trees. It's that simple.

Now before I show you this year's trees, please let me add in a disclaimer. This was probably one of the worst years I've had for Christmas decorating. I basically just didn't feel like doing it. And what I did do had to withstand the little hands of Jr. So this really isn't my best work, but hopefully it will inspire you to try something new next year.

This is our main tree that's in our family room. We just bought it this year. Actually, we bought 4 trees and set up 4 trees before we settled on this one---but that's a story for another time. We've almost always had an artificial tree, but our other tree was 37 years old and I just couldn't bear trying to make it beautiful one more year (yes, there is a story to that tree. again, for another time). This tree holds the bulk of our ornaments: ornaments from when Jim and I were growing up, ornaments the kids have made, and ornaments we've acquired since we've been married. The tree skirt was made by Jim's mom and depicts the nativity. The corner I cut this year was by not putting anything on the top. I usually put a big bow with matching ribbon cascading down. But not this year. Just didn't feel like it.

This tree is affectionately called the "Vacation Tree" and sits next to our fireplace. Every time we go on vacation we try and buy an ornament from that location. All of those ornaments go on this tree. I always make sure the year is on the ornament, even if I have to write it on the back, so we never have to guess what year we went where. A seashell garland goes around the tree that was purchased on Chincoteague Island.

I first did this tree last year as a surprise for Jim. It is a Ohio State Buckeyes tree so Jim can celebrate his beloved Buckeyes during the holidays. Last year he put it in his office at work; this year it never made it in, so it sits in our gigantic bay window in the family room. It is graced with crimson and grey ribbon and all the cards have quotes from OSU's infamous coach, Woody Hayes, on them.

This is one of my favorites. It is my "Tea Tree" and can be found in the kitchen. I like to drink tea so I decorate this tree with some of my favorite teas, tea cups, saucers and any other tea trinket I find. It is a very inviting tree.

Here's one of the tea pots on the Tea Tree.

The "Legacy Tree" is in the living room. Because we live away from most of our family (especially extended family), I decided to decorate this tree with pictures of family members who have either died or who live far away. The kids love to look at the pictures and have us tell stories about their relatives. It's been really neat to help them connect with our grandparents who have already died. There are also a few other special items on this tree: a #10 cue ball, a playing card, and a page out of a great, great aunt's cookbook that is in her original writing. Those three items may mean nothing in your family, but in mine they hold great significance. That's what's so special about the Legacy Tree.

Here's a picture of Jim's grandfather and Nanny. Nanny passed away 7 years ago and his grandfather died many, many years before that.

Moving upstairs...this miniature tree is in Jr.'s room. There are all kinds of symbols on it that relate in some way to the Christmas story. There's even a poem that goes with the tree that explains the significance of all the items. The reason this tree is in his room is because all the ornaments are glued on!!

Last year, we did a princess themed tree in the girls' room. This year they wanted to do something different, but it still had to be pink and purple. So I simply took two different types of ribbon and weaved it through the tree. Then (here's the hi-tech part) I took pipe cleaners and bent them into psuedo-shape ornaments and then filled in the holes with wadded up tissue paper. Nothing says class on a Christmas tree like wadded up tissue paper---but it actually turned out kind of neat.

At Christmas, my SIL was kind enough to try and bring meaning to this tree that sits in my bedroom. She thought maybe I was trying to symbolize the virgin birth by having a completely bare tree. YEAH, that's what I was doing; symbolizing the virgin birth by putting nothing, nada, zilch, zero on this tree. Actually (and I know you'll find this hard to believe) but I just didn't feel like decorating it. No virgin birth, just laziness. Got to this 7th and final tree and just didn't care anymore. So it has sat in our bedroom completely naked this entire holiday.

Well, I think that's all she wrote for the 2006 Christmas Tree rundown. In all seriousness, it is not hard to decorate multiple trees. You don't need more ornaments, you just need your imagination. I just take regular household items (tea bags, pipe cleaners, tissue paper) and throw it on a tree.

For the girls' princess tree, we used one of their dress-up boas as garland and then "decorated" it with their play shoes, purses and tiaras. Anything sparkly, pink and purple. It was darling. I'm thinking of using little cars and trucks on Jr.'s tree next year. Just take what you have.

And I will say, when you can see them all lit up they look much better. Or maybe it's just the darkness and how the shawdows hide the pipe cleaners.

Anyway, let me be the last person of 2006 to wish you a very Merry Christmas!


jb said...

Thank you for sharing your trees with me/us, I enjoyed seeing them and it gives me some ideas of what I might do in the future. We finally bought a 7.5 foot tree for our living room and it looks great. We only has a REALLY LITTLE one in the past b/c of living in a very small apartment. I am looking forward to putting it up again next year, and finding a star to put at the top!

MK said...

I couldn't help but think at least your naked tree was in your bedroom..... ;-)