Saturday, 11 December 2010

O Christmas Tree!

I surprised myself when I realised how strongly I feel about certain aspects of the Christmas tree tradition!

Firstly: Artificial tree, not real. We have had real trees a couple of times in the past, but I'm definitely very firmly in the artificial camp now. It saves money and it saves mess, but these factors I could get round OK.... The real reason? A few years ago we were driving up to Scotland and on the way we passed a Christmas tree farm. It broke my heart to see all these trees being grown purely so they could be cut down to adorn people's living rooms for a few short weeks. We've had an artificial tree ever since.*

Secondly: As with wrapping paper, I love the look of a definite colour scheme and elegantly coordinated ornaments - but, it's not for me! At least, not at the moment. Our ornaments consist of all kinds of bits and bobs accumulated over the years, many of which have been handmade by me or The Children, some which were given to us or bought from particular locations, and nearly all of which I can remember the origin of exactly. The memories contained within our box of decorations are very special and very powerful. Perhaps one day when The Children are older we'll have a themed tree; I do like the idea and would like to do it some time, but right now, our mish-mash of all kinds of everything (and lots of tinsel) is just right for us.

And thirdly: We decorate the tree together. It's such a lovely thing to do as a The Family. Now The Children are a bit bigger they can reach further up the tree so it looks a bit more balanced, but it does still mean that ornaments are placed wherever they first find a space and there's no cohesive 'look' - even assuming that a cohesive 'look' might be possible with the kind of ornaments we have! In fact, our tree generally looks like someone was carrying the box of decorations into the room, tripped over, and everything fell towards to the tree and landed randomly on the branches. And you know what? It's just right for us. I wouldn't have it any other way :-)

*I'm well aware that my feelings about real Christmas trees are silly sentimentality and don't mean to make anyone feel guilty about their own choice! It's completely fine for you to have a real tree, OK?!


Miriam said...

Oh Mel, I love your post, & your JYC page.
I have the same strong feelings but for a real tree!
Your feelings are your own, real & true & part of you... who we love...just as you are.
I love that you have inspired me to post about my own feelings about my love of the Christmas tree. Thank you

helena said...

a christmas tree is a source of memories for me too - decorations made by diferent family members and bought in different places, each with a story and placed on the tree collectively in a haphazard manner

Liberty :) said...

sounds lovely and I might need to pinch your idea of ribbons making the shape of a tree! it is lovely!

Cheri said...

We have artificial because that's all we've ever known here - one tree - 22 years! How I wouldn't love one of the newer pre-lit ones! And themed trees? They are for people like my mother who decorate every single room and have 3 or 4 trees a year. That's a little TOO much Christmas for me!

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Great post, and I love the ribbon tree you created, Mel!

People are funny about their tree opinions, aren't they? I LOVE the smell of a real tree, but I'm with you on the mess and the sentiment of destroying a perfectly good and wonderful living tree. We have some friends who are big on getting a tree permit and going to the forest to cut one down. They talked us into going with them one year and when Doug chopped down a tree and it fell to the ground cried. The following year we invested in an artificial tree and I'm so glad we did!

And I love that you have a mish-mash of sentimental ornaments on your tree! Even though I went with a co-ordinated look this year, some of my sentimental ornaments still worked their way onto the tree!

Loves!!! xo

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

...oops...should have said that "I" cried when it fell to the ground. Doug didn't cry, but he was pretty tired after the ordeal! Cutting down a tree is hard work. xo

Maria Ontiveros said...

First, love your page!!! What a terrific design.
Our tree is a huge part of our holiday tradition. We always get a real tree, and it's usually HUGE. WE have tons of ornaments (yes, a mish mash is for us) gathered from all kinds of places.
We're going to get our tree tomorrow and really looking forward to it.

Alison said...

Love your 'ribbon tree'! We too have artificial trees and I've never been tempted to have a real one! Like you, I can tell where each decoration came from or who gave us them...I love unpacking them.Enjoy your time decorating as a family..I now do mine on my own as DD is away at Uni.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I agree with you on the tree thing. Though I do find replantable trees acceptable in theory. My allergies make them unacceptable in practice.

I'm working on a similar looking layout for my prompt.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree on the decorations Mel. We add a few more each year from whatever Father Christmas brings in the stocking and the children have made at school. Everything has a memory attached to it and although this years tree looks sparse I can't bring myself to buy new decorations from the shop. The reason the tree looks sparse this year is that although it is the same height as usual it is wider and more bushy. We have in the past bought the potted trees to plant out side and I always feel sad if they don't survive due to not being cared for as well as I should.
This years is a cut tree and I find myself looking at it thinking how it only had nine years of life before sitting in my room (the youngest counted the tree rings when we trimmed the bottom)
This year as I sat looking at our tree the thought occurred to me that it is a bit odd really that we bring a living tree into our house each year. I do think it really belongs out side as a home to the birds and insects.
Whatever your tree, have a lovely Christmas all!

Tammy said...

Absolutely love your page. SO creative!!!

We do the tree farm thing here and it's brought so many memories and the mess on the floor is worth it for us. :)

Denise said...

Absolutely love your page and your ribbon tree and there certainly is nothing like that pine smell of a real tree xx

gayle said...

I do like your ribbon tree :) would make a lovely card too! Interesting to see your take on JYC, really must insist on having JYC as an early Christmas gift next year ;) xx

Heather said...

love your ribbon tree Mel :)
we stick to artificial trees now because I cant be doing with the needles everywhere! I have to admit to being a bit OCD about the tree decorations too - small ones towards the top & increasing in size down to the bottom!! Woe betide anyone should just randomly place an ornament without my prior approval!!

Amy said...

I really love the layered look to this envelope cover Mel :-)

Sandra said...

Just loving your pages - this tree page is fabulous.

Sarah said...

I love your ribbon tree too. Might have to pinch that idea sometime if that's ok?

I have an artificial tree for most of the reasons you do. I did have a real tree once, but never again!

Anonymous said...

LOVE your ribbon tree! We've been cutting our tree down for years each year. This year we bought a pre-cut tree and I fear it was so much easier it may become the new tradition now that the kids are grown!

Rachel Brett said...

I love your ribbon tree Mel, its so cute! I have an artificial tree too, mainly because of the mess that comes with a real tree but also because of the cutting down thing.

I would love a real Christmas tree in my garden though so that I could decorate it with lights each year :)