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Traditional tanenbaum


I’m traditional about very few things in life. I’m a pretty independent woman, so much so that I can sometimes be offputting to gentlemen offering to help with something. I have no problem painting a piece of fine furniture white (or any other color) if I’m going to like it better that way. And we all know my approach to gardening can’t be found in any book. But when it comes to Christmas, I’m a traditionalist at heart.

I love looking at themed trees and decorations and I’m always impressed by people who change their tree decorations every year, but for me, it’s not my Christmas tree until it is just so. And that just so is exactly the same every year. I like to put on white and red lights (Go Badgers!). I like to hang simple glass balls in a variety of colors as a “background” to other ornaments. I like my favorite ornaments to be displayed front and center and the ugly ones that I feel bad leaving in the basement in the back of the tree (I love looking at the backs of people’s Christmas trees … it’s very telling). And I love to finish off my tree with hundreds of glass icicles, so that it’s absolutely dripping with them by the time I’m finished (like I did with a big ol’ tree in 2009).

But this year I had to scale back a bit. Mr. Much More Patient has been out of town since before Thanksgiving (and I’m very happy to be picking him up at the airport tomorrow afternoon) so that meant I was on my own for whatever Christmas decorations I wanted to do. And that meant that traipsing into the far reaches of the Christmas tree farm to cut down a tree then drag it a mile back to the parking lot was not in the cards (by the way, I think I might be over that tradition). We didn’t put up a tree last year because we were still at the tail end of the renovation and I was tempted to skip it again this year, but two years in a row without a tree is an alarming trend. So I went for small, but not short. Basically I found the cheapest 8-foot tree in the lot (it was “untrimmed” and “kind of a wild one” so it was marked way down which was great because I love a more natural looking tree). Then I cut off the bottom 3 feet of branches and stuck it in an urn I found on clearance at a local nursery. I jammed it full of beach stones for stability and filled it with water.

And then my living room flooded. Whoops. Probably should have checked if the thing was waterproof or not first.

Plan B. Insert a five-gallon bucket into the urn. Build an old-fashioned X-stand (using an old 2×4, chop saw and drill, all by myself I might add), screw that onto the tree, stick the tree in the bucket, and then fashion an elaborate web to add stability by drilling holes in the bucket and stringing line between them and around the tree.

But that left the bucket partly exposed, so I fashioned a cute little urn scarf out of burlap. I love that little scarf.

Then I proceeded to decorate as usual, although I left a lot of ornaments off due to space constraints.

I also got lots of my wrapping finished early this year so I’m able to enjoy the pretty presents under the tree.

A bit of tidying up, a few boxes of cookies to pack up for neighbors and we’re all set to celebrate. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate and if not, have a great weekend!

Here’s a quick shot of how the Christmas card turned out. Enjoy.

By the way, if you haven’t already done it already, remember to make your tree trunk ornament

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