Saturday, December 4, 2010

When life hands you a fake fichus, make it a Christmas tree

This has been the Year of Living...Strangely.  We've done crazy things that we would have thought were (well...) crazy before, but there's been this drive within the family to scale back, live authentically, have more fun, and eek as much out of life as possible. 

Which leads us to this tree.

When I was little, I loved my grandparents' tree.  There was a color theme (rose and silver), it was frosted white, and all the ornaments matched.  It looked straight of Macy's.  When I grew up, I was going to have a gorgeous matching tree.  Not one of those hodge-podge trees my parents put up every year, with handmade ornaments and other such nonsense.

Enter Motherhood.  The cinnamon ornament of Jack's handprint when he was 18-months-old is one of the most precious things ever.  I have my mom's knitted baby sock in there.  The Skwish Classic toy that my mom gave to Simone for Christmas the year she died.  I was there when she bought it.  Is it an ornament?  Not officially.  But if it fits in the tree, it passes.  The clip-on toy we bought in Amsterdam, when I was pregnant with Andrew.  All three grew out of needing toys clipped to their shirt, so now I'll clip it to the tree. :)

The dress hanging from the tree?  Simone's first holiday outfit.  I found it dirt-cheap at a garage sale when I was pregnant with her.  I hung it on my dresser knob and stared at it in wonder that I was going to have a little girl who'd wear that outfit.  I still remember that feeling so vividly.  I'm thinking about sewing along the bottom of the dress to turn it into a baggie of sorts.  Maybe put slips of "holiday activities" in it for the kids to pull out during advent? 

The other years, we've had an actual tree.  But in scaling back 90% of our belongings, it didn't make sense to keep a huge artificial tree.  And I'm allergic to the real ones.  So this is our tree.  It came with the furnished rental. 

To be honest, I completely adore it.

We used to have boxes galore of Christmas decorations.  I'm a nut about Christmas.  My mom and I would stand in line the day after Christmas to get 50% off of decorations. 

But now...the decorations have completely changed.  I used to want a beautiful, matching, Macy's style Christmas.  I pretty much donated every single one of those decorations.  If it's actually beautiful and I saved it, it's just coincidence.  Because I saved all the handmade child-art ornaments, our super-cool giant stockings, and not a whole lot else. 

That our whole Christmas now fits into one tub?  I love it.

This year, we're using Christmas a new way.  Borrowing others' decorations, like going to Hunt Club Farms, Polar Express at the Botanical Gardens, the oceanfront lights.  There are so many beautiful ways to celebrate Christmas.  They don't all have to be in the house, right?

This is proving to be the sweetest, most stress-free holiday yet. 

And for the actual day?  Spending a week in Las Vegas.  Ha!  That should be interesting.  We're trying a year of NOT driving 24 hours through blizzards to see family, and instead having family meet us in Vegas. 

I'll report back on that one.

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