My other ramblings

The Perfect Christmas Tree?

It’s that time now when the tree is retrieved from the loft (unless you buy a real one!) and the living room is filled with the plasticy ‘scent’ of tinsel that brings back memories of wearing it as a halo in the Nativity. (I wonder if Yankee Candles will add ‘tinsel sparkle’ as a fragrance for next year-I want royalties if they do!) 

It looks like someone tipped a couple of tins of baubles over this, but each thing was lovingly attached by a 2 year old!

Putting up our tree is like a journey through the 10 years we’ve lived together. Although we have the same ‘basic’ decorations, we buy something each year. From the utterly hideous purply pink Rudolph bauble which we bought for our first Christmas here to the things the children have made, each thing is special and leads to discussion about where or when we bought it, or who made it. It is certainly not a ‘show’ tree, but the treasures which those branches bear could tell a thousand stories.

The metal love heart which I bought at Leeds Christmas market the first year we were married when I went on a girly weekend still hangs there with pride. The salt dough Santa handprint which I made with my son as a trial run before making them with my class always has a special place as a reminder of when those hands were tiny. Then there are those things which are the result of taking the children into a shop and letting then choose an decoration. It’s a bit like Christmas roulette, and it is the reason why we have two clip on gold glittery birds on the tree. They will always remind us of the day we let the children have free reign of choosing, and the pride they felt when helping us to attach them. 

One decoration which always seems to make an appearance has been fondly renamed ‘The mutant robin’ as it is approximately 20 times the size of a real one. It was made by my son (with a lot of help from his childminder) when he was one and dominates the tree but we couldn’t leave it off. The red painted bell was another of his creations. I really think that the things the children have crafted are the perfect finishing touches, and I hope I’m still hanging their creations on the tree when they have their own children just like my mum still does with the things we made back in the 90s.

Clockwise from top left: hideous purple bauble, cookie cutter love heart, salt dough hand print, glittery bird chosen by the children, mutant robin, clay bell crafted by my son

I keep reading about people who buy new things each year and throw the decorations away in January, and who insist on colour coordination. Do people really do that? To me it seems terribly wasteful to throw them away, though I can kind of understand why you might want some semblance of colour coordination. (That goes out of the window once children are thrown into the mix!)
We let the children loose with the decorations and I haven’t rearranged much (yet). However the white tinsel you can see on the tree was literally thrown at it by my five year old and I will arrange it more artfully (or maybe hide it!) The two year old treats the tree as a sort of interactive toy and rearranges things at will. I’m sure it will eventually meet her discerning tastes!

So what’s your perfect tree? Do the children have their own so you can have a ‘neat’ one for your own? Who decorates it? Are you a keeper or a thrower? Do you have any treasured ornaments? And have you ever rearranged the decorations after someone else has put them on? Go on, let it all out and confess!

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53 thoughts on “The Perfect Christmas Tree?

  1. My tree ( when I put it up) is a mish mash of decorations bought and given to me over the years. Whenever I go on hols I always try and buy something for the tree. I remember a july holiday in Sorrento and my delight when I found a Christmas shop

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    1. That is a lovely idea, a great reminder of special times. We don’t often find things in summer, but we did buy a decoration at the village show and kept it in a safe place until now and then remembered where it was when we put the tree up! (I’ve bought Christmas things before and put them away only to find them at Easter!)

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  2. I’m completely in command of our tree. I’ll let people put things on it but they have to watch my expression and play a kind of silent version of warm, warmer, Cold! Until I agree with where they totally wanted to put it….
    We moved before last Christmas and I got to buy all new decorations so everything matched and I was so happy about the tree it made my Christmas. We’ll be decorating tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it πŸ™‚

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  3. Your tree is so lovely πŸ™‚ my tree is kinda too small. I have crochet a lot of ornament and decor…I believe every decor has its scent of memories–as it bring back the spirit of christmas–This year I could not believe we will have REAL christmas tree not a plastic one ^^

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  4. I love your tree! Ours is a fake that the kids always complain about the branches, but it has held up better than any of the previous ones. We have ornaments we have purchased and ones that hold special memories because they were given to us and individualized. As for tinsel, I remember my grandmother “drowning” her real tree in silver tinsel every year and yes, it had a most interesting smell. Whenever I smell that particular scent, the memories of her tree and all of us crammed into a tiny house come flooding back! They are good memories of family, special foods, and sharing. Thank you for bringing them back with your post.

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    1. Thank you. Our fake tree was stupidly expensive as we didn’t realise we had thrown away the broken one the previous year and we bought the shop display one of their ‘luxury’ tree. It was worth it though, it’s been going for years and it’s still good. Glad I bought back some nice memories for you. 😊

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  5. Definitely a keeper, and my sister and I also got to choose decorations when we were younger! Although the snowman has been ‘lost’, as it was made about 18 years ago and always get looked at upside-down before we remember what it was…

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  6. Love this! Although I love a ‘perfect’ looking tree all colour co-ordinated, for me a true perfect tree must have a combination of handmade crumbling decorations from when the children were smaller and a miss match of years of accumulating various decorations. I tried to have a sort out last year but didn’t do very well! Too much sentiment attached to so many of those decorations. πŸ™‚ Your tree looks fab!

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  7. I collect those old European blown-glass ornaments (the ones that come in every shape/thing imaginable, including the lucky pickle). People keep giving me more every year, and I do have a (fake) tree to put them on … in the basement storage unit of our apartment building! Sadly, we no longer have room in our small place to put up the tree, so all those beautiful ornaments will have to wait.

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  8. Love your tree and all the memories it brings each year.
    I must admit I am a tree fanatic, a tree in every room(including the downstairs bathroom). They are all colour coordinated to the room they are in.Saying that each tree has memory associated homemade and handmade (by other people) decorations on them. I am a little OCD (ok a lot) about the trees so my hubby just goes to the local whilst I put the decs up LOL. I am a “keeper” and very seldom get rid of anything ,I just add more each year. …..Mags x

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  9. How beautiful, Mrs. Craft! Amazing how we carry the stories of all the ornaments/baubles. We have an artificial tree (my allergies), the children (now all grown) decorated it (with a little real time help, and a little middle of the night rearranging…not all ornaments can hang at a 4 yr old’s eye level, you know?) We started “collecting” ornaments for each child when they were born (one a year, from us, each of the grand families), so they all have plenty of ornaments. My oldest son has moved out, and I had a moment of PANIC this week – “OH! Does he need his ornaments now??” (Not this year, definitely next year – my panic faded!)

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    1. Thank you. We have collected ornaments for our two each year with their names on and we have some really lovely ones. I think I’ll feel sad when they’re old enough to want them for their own trees too!

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  10. I am one of those that has to have a darn good tree. I do have a colour scheme, sort of, and each year I buy at least one more ornament or decoration. But I don’t throw any out! And yes I have rearranged the handiwork of others afterwards. Terrible, but it would drive me mad if I left it looking unbalanced!

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  11. Over the years, we’ve tried various colour schemes for trees but we always come back to a country styled tree, with gingham (or plaid) and handmade gingerbread ornaments which are all hand cut in wood (by Mr.C) and then I paint them up and hang them on the tree.

    From the time we got married we always bought a gift for the tree every year, but eventually the tree got SO laden down that we had to put a stop to it. And then … we sold our cottage and moved to a smaller one, 200 miles away, and this new place doesn’t have room enough for the big ol’ trees we’re used to, so now we have two trees. A small 3.5 foot oneand a slimmer 6ft+ (can’t remember the exact height and it’s still in the loft at the mo) which stands on the floor. Both decorated with handpainted Gingerbread ornaments, and our Grandson loves them.

    ADORE your idea for a Yankee Candled smelling Christmas Tree!!! Why they haven’t thought of this before I don’t know. I’m putting my order in right now … I want one smelling of their (now retired I think) CHRISTMAS COOKIES. Ohhhhh I used to burn those candles at Christmas, and I finally ran out of my very last one, last Christmas.

    So … when you sell this fabulous idea to Yankee Candle, can you please make them promise to make CHRISTMAS COOKIES as part of the range of smelling trees, because I’d buy them, and so would our youngest daughter.

    GREAT idea Mrs. Craft…. and … I love your Christmas tree. It’s so ‘you and your family’. It speaks of you. It’s so personal to you, and because of that, it’s the absolute perfect tree. It’s beautiful.
    Sending love and warm Christmassy Squidges ~ Cobs. x

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  12. I’ve just blogged my tree too (well trees as I’ve got two πŸ™‚ ) and again we are very similar in that its not a themed tree, but a sentimental journey covering years. I know it sounds cheesy but taking the lid off the decorations box and seeing them all is like saying hello to old friends. Do people really throw decorations away each year? That’s awful and completely alien to me. I love Christmas. Everything goes up stupidly early and everything stays up till the Twelfth night. The smell of tinsel is as traditional as the Christmas tree smell. Have you seen Yankee Candle have a new scent called Champagne? It actually smells fizzy!

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      1. I have just popped over. I seem to be extra busy and not have as much time for reading other blogs as I’d like. I’m going to try harder lol! Your blog will get there. 😊

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