Friday, December 16, 2011

Christams tree solution

I know that some of you have been curious about what we ended doing for a Christmas tree this year. I was so into the idea of doing something different and getting away from the traditional tree idea... and then I was excited about not having pine needles all over the floor for once. But, once I got better from being sick, there was suddenly no time again. My idea of making a tree obviously didn't happen. So then I thought I liked the idea of a live tree (still less needles!)... but I wasn't so keen on the price tag that came with the live tree. It was back to the drawing board again - which in this case meant going to the local tree farm to get a cut tree.

Yesterday we were getting ready to go to Seekon Tree Farm and get a cut tree when our friend showed up with the perfect solution - he had been trimming pine trees (I think - I'm actually not sure what he was doing) and he had chopped off the top of a tree and brought it to us knowing that we were looking for a tree still. It was perfect!
We thought it would be too charlie brown like, but it's totally not. I'm really into this tree actually.
The kids really liked it too. I think they were starting to get worried that we might not have a tree this year since Christmas is just a little more than a week away.
I have been thinking about this tradition of having a tree in the house... and I realize that I have had a hand in making it part of what my kids expect, but mostly because I have always had a Christmas tree in my life every year and couldn't really imagine a holiday season without one. This isn't such a bad thing, but I want to work towards changing the idea of what a tree needs to look like. I think with better planning for next year, we might just yet be able to build our own creatively fantastic tree.

But for now, while turning the top of a pine tree into a Christmas tree may not be traditional, we pretty much have a normal tree this year.
My youngest of course loves the nutcracker ornament.
And I still love these handmade sweater ornaments made by my sister in law last year (or possibly before then). Maybe if she reads this she might post the pattern (hint hint)... but since I can't follow a pattern to save my life, I will not be duplicating these anytime soon.
My youngest set up the traditional wooden train track around the base of the tree. The tree skirt I am really not a fan of, but we have had it forever and there is no reason to get a new one. It was actually once a woman's skirt that I turned into a tree skirt - it was really easy actually. I'm pretty sure that I just cut off the top and cut it open to wrap around the tree. I don't even think I hemmed it.

Now that the tree is up, I'm finally starting to think about gifts. I am working hard to keep the gifts small, thoughtful and with the thought of zero waste in mind. I obviously can't tell you some of the stuff we are giving because a few of you out there might be recipients... but I do want to touch on the wrapping of those gifts.
Without giving too much away, here is a little sample of what I am doing. I have been collecting any funnies from the paper that I can get my hands on at work, but otherwise, I will just use any newspaper really. I have so much scrap cloth in my life that I decided to use some as wrapping - I just tied some spare yarn around the top. (If you have the time and energy to sew some cloth into bags as wrapping, then you will have two gifts in one!)

This year, for the first time, we have requested from family that any gifts to us or the kids be kept minimal and second hand if possible. We also requested that as little disposable stuff as possible come our way - considering that we have no trash pick up and are still using the same trash bag from 2 or 3 months ago, we don't want to have to throw things away. I suggested wrapping paper that could easily be thrown in the fireplace on Christmas morning (you cannot do this with regular wrapping paper!) like newspaper, etc. I was so pleased when the first package from family arrived today and I opened it to see what was inside:

Good job mom!

I would love to tell you all more about my ideas for my family as we spend our first Christmas cutting back on holiday craziness, but I will have to save that for after Christmas (just in case)...

Until then I hope everyone has a great holiday!


  1. Love your tree - how perfect for you guys!

    Here's the link to the mini sweater ornament pattern on my blog.

    -Michele's sister in law, Allie