Monday, December 14, 2009

This Christmas - The Tree

Well, we got our tree up. All in all we are pretty happy with it - cut it down in the forest Christmas Vacation-style, strapped it to the top of the Civic and set it up outside - and what tree would be complete without lights?

Okay, I'm joking of course. My recent trip to New York and viewing the Rockefeller Center tree put our little 7 footer to shame, but then again I live in a 4 story walk up, not a 50 floor office building, so perhaps I should be paying attention to proportions. The lights display was outside another building and I unfortunately did not snap a pic of a giant ornament sculpture.

Here's the real deal:

We picked this up at the local garden center a couple weeks ago. Upon further research, we could have saved quite a bit of money by purchasing one from Home Depot for about $20, but I'm clinging to the justification that I'm supporting my local community. . .whatever gets me through the night. . . I have never  had a fake tree and do not really intend on ever having one - although I understand the reasoning behind getting them for some folks. (I'm assuming you spray some fake woodsy scent or fill the room with pine tree air fresheners to get the same effect of having a fragrant one in your house during the holidays?)

Although I have to admit a love for the theme trees you may see in department stores or in the pages of Martha, I am going to wait until I have a house big enough for more than one tree to tackle a theme. In the meantime, the childhood ornaments I snagged from my mom and a collection of found treasures over the past 9 years have made up the tree. This year I was able to add some of Bob's childhood ornaments which definitely helped the ratio of ornaments to branches - this tree is double the size of the ones I've had in my studio apartment the past few years! My favorite one is the wooden violin girl I got from my violin teacher when I was six years old.

I realized after year two that I was drawn to star shaped ornaments so if I had to pick a theme that would be it - I have amassed quite a collection of stars from family Christmas gifts and my own purchases. Rather than asking for any old ornament, it is nice to think that my family thinks of me when they see stars.

Okay, who knows the German tradition of the Glass Pickle? We had one growing up and my sister and I would fight each other to find it first, tucked away in the branches. Although the first person to find it gets an extra gift, I seem to recall we both always received the book store gift card, pair of socks or other $5 "pickle gift." I suppose my parents did not want to be in the middle of that throwdown when one of us did not get the present! I bought a small version of the pickle and you can find it in our tree - if you look hard enough!

I am looking forward to filling the bottom of the tree with wrapped gifts, although it will hurt a bit to cover up my lovely blue tree skirt from Target. In the meantime, we just have to remember to water it twice a day (my tree stand is quite small and there isn't a lot of non-trunk space for the water!) and turn on the lights the second we get home from work!

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