Saturday, December 20, 2008

O Christmas Tree...

After seeing a few online Christmas tree parties, like on Tip Junkie and Thrifty Decor Chic (have I mentioned before how much I love these two sites? No? They're fabulous. Check 'em out!), I couldn't resist begging Mark to take pictures of my beautiful tree so I could share, too. So turn on your favorite carols, grab some hot chocolate, and enjoy!

I love decorating my tree every year. And every year it's different. Mark and I grew up with two very different Christmas trees - my family always had a "real" tree, while Mark had the same artificial tree throughout his entire childhood. In my family, we all bought, made, or received as gifts an ornament of our own each year. My parents would decorate the tree together one night, then the children could put their ornaments on once mom and dad's were arranged. The tree was a symbol of our family and always a great tradition for us.

In Mark's family, his mom decorates the tree. It's always extremely beautiful and follows a theme. She uses ribbon and artificial flowers, and all of her ornaments are themed and match each other.

The first few Christmases I celebrated away from home, I decorated my "real" tree the same as my parents had. I had all of my own ornaments they had sent me home with that first Christmas, and I bought some beaded garland and lights to go with them. Then Mark and I got married, and spent our first Christmas together with his parents. They sent us home with their old artificial tree, and boxes and bags of lights and other decor they weren't using that year. The resulting tree was the perfect combination of our two families' trees.

Mark and I buy an ornament every year for our tree, and I've been collecting my own ribbons and stems the past few years of after-Christmas sales. Every year I love to stand back and admire the beautiful hodgepodge of our lives together.

I had a love-hate relationship with that tree that was nearly 30 years old, and the last straw landed this year as I set it up. In a rage I started taking it back apart and putting it back in its box, demanding that Mark had a couple of options if he wanted a Christmas tree in the house this year, and none of them included the old tree. (Ok, so it didn't come off that unreasonable and the old tree ended up downstairs with Mark's handiwork and lights on it, but we lucked into a 65% off sale the very next day so I got a brand new tree out of the deal.)

Here is the 2008 tree:

I asked Mark to take some pictures for me of the tree, and he of course couldn't resist the cool photographic effects of the following picture:

This close-up shows three things: the ribbon, one of the flowers, and one of a set of ornaments I inherited this year from a great aunt who has passed away. If you click on the picture, it will enlarge to show detail. The ornament set is the 12 days of Christmas, and each one depicts one of each day. They're very lovely, and I am so excited to add them to my collection

This next picture is our "First Christmas Together" ornament from 2005. We love this ornament, not just for the significance of the year, but it was just so perfect for us - I don't know if you can really tell, but the heart is silver and the couple is gold, which is kind of our "thing". (Our wedding rings are both two-toned.)

This is my "Baby's First Christmas" ornament I've been hanging on trees since I was a kid. It just wouldn't be Christmas without this one.
Ever seen "A Christmas Story"? (You'll shoot your eye out, kid!) It's a must-see for us every year, so when I found this Leg Lamp ornament last year, it was a must-have.
It even lights up!

This was my 2004 ornament. It was a gift from my parents that year. If you can't see it, it's a replica of the bell from the story "Polar Express" which is my favorite children's story of all time. Dad used to read it to me every year, so it was kind of our thing (which is why I got the bell and my brothers didn't). The Polar Express had just been made into a movie that same year, and it was also the first movie Mark and I went to see together on one of our earlier dates. He got me the book for Christmas that year.

And that wraps it up! I hope you enjoyed the very wordy (yet very limited) tour of my tree!


Super Angie said...

Your tree is freaking gorgeous!!!!!!! Holy cow!!!!! It looks like it belongs in a magazine! Mark's light picture is rocking too!

tonksfam said...

Very pretty! You put our ribbon to shame :) Any tips on how to get the ribbon to look just right?

Yearsley couple said...

Man, that is the most beautiful tree. hey doug and I want to have a photo journey with our friends (you guys) and our snowmobiles. Doug found a beautiful place that he thinks mark will love too. When are you available? Love you tons kat Y.

Dorese @ Dorese's Pieces said...

Tricks to the ribbon, which by the way Debi, I would have to argue about looking "just right"... I've been rather frustrated with it myself. :) My "trick" though is to not pull it too tight - give it a lot of slack so you can twist it around itself and around branches, etc. Maybe next I'll post a picture of my mother-in-law's tree to show you how it should really look!

Justin, Kalia, & the little nippers said...

I hate ribbon on trees in general, but I actually love your tree! You did a great job making it beautiful, yet homey! I love it!! In my house though, it would have been shot by now, ours is anyway. It's gone down officially 3 times so far courtesy of Silas!! So live it up while you can!!!

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...

WOW that is beautiful!! I LOVE that ribbon!!!