O Tannenbaum

Our Christmas tree is up, and it makes me SO HAPPY! Every year we put it up the weekend before Thanksgiving, and even though we're not going anywhere this Thanksgiving, I still want two full months of enjoyment out of my décor, esp. after all the effort to put it up! :-P I was also chomping at the bit, b/c last year, we didn't put up any décor since we were moving over Christmas; it was soooooo sad! (Not the move, but to have an un-decorated Thanksgiving to mid-Dec.) I'm so happy to have ours up, again!!!!!

What is it about the lights & glitter that make the Christmas tree so magical? It brings a completely different feeling to the whole room. I'm extra excited, b/c we have the tree in our family room for the first time, (instead of on display in the living room by front windows, like in our last two homes.) The kids are old enough to be trusted not to tear it apart, (we used to baby gate it, when they were mobile infants :-P) and we will enjoy it even more in here with us where we "live."

What do your Christmas trees look like? I have always admired the chic theme-color trees that look like they came out of Vogue Living or Elle Decor; but they just do not say as much as I want mine to. (I'm sure you are shocked that even my Christmas tree has a LOT to say! :-P) Our tree is a rainbow reflection of our family. It always has colored lights, (I grew up with white lights outside, but colored lights on our tree - it always felt so fun & festive, not frosty & formal.) 90% of our ornaments are hand blown glass ornaments - they are my favorites: classic, beautiful, colorful. The rest are either special hand-me-downs, picture frames, mementos, or ones the kids have made. It's amazing how many ornaments we have slowly added over the last 7 years.

I want every single ornament on our tree to have a story or special meaning to us. I would never go out & buy a box of random balls to hang on it - that's just not me. Hobby Lobby actually has the BEST - most unique & interesting - selection of hand blown glass ornaments, and they very often have them 50% off, (which rocks, b/c blown glass is notoriously expensive!) I usually buy a few new ones every year. This year, I got a brick house with a pig in the window & a wolf hanging from the bottom to represent Will's performance in the "Three Piggy Opera" at Montessori; an alligator to represent Will's T-ball & soccer teams, which were both named the Gators, & b/c the kids were so obsessed with the gator at our new zoo, which we joined; a gorgeous scene from The Nutcracker, b/c Will & Annelise have both gotten into that story; and a pumpkin carriage (a la Cinderella, but not Disney brand) for Annelise, b/c she is our pumpkin princess! If it's on my tree, it MUST have meaning or reflect us in some way. The Christmas after we last went to Italy before we had kids, Hobby Lobby had an international monument series that had Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, and the leaning Tower of Pisa. I was bowled over, again, pulling them back out tonight at how gorgeous & detailed they are, and then I got all excited just for Italy all over, again!

Our Christmas tree is pretty much a giant, colorful scrapbook of our family - and that realization absolutely thrills me. :-)