All Of The Embarrassment, Joy, Wonder, Confusion And Beautiful Utter Chaos That Is My Life... Mixed In With Some Travel, Photos, Design And A Sale On Low Carb Bread!
Monday, December 12, 2011
Chopping #5 Off The List!
That's right, I am just flying through this 40 before 40 list! Look at me go! In case you don't remember (you really should be taking notes) #5 on my list was chopping down my own Christmas tree! Thank you Very Much New Hampshire! We actually bought a house down the street from a cut your own Christmas Tree farm! Or as Pete likes to call it "Get it yaself trees"
What a fun and super rewarding new tradition we have started! Usually we would pile in the car and head down to the IHOP parking lot to fight the masses for a $75 Blah tree that was already half dead. NEVER AGAIN!
This was so fun and sooooo easy! They provided saws and dollies to haul your trees back to them where they shake all the dead needles off and bind it all up for you! $45 got us entertainment for the afternoon and an almost 10 foot tree!!
There certainly was an air of "Hunter/Gatherer" as we waded through the pine tree forests. Every time I thought we saw a good one, it seemed to have already be taken or had a group of small children running towards it. You had to be quick and determined. At first I didn't really enjoy the idea of "killing our own tree" But then when I thought about the THOUSANDS of cut trees in those IHOP parking lots that don't get used, this seemed like a way better idea. And what a happy little life it lived, raised by a loving family with a dog and children, with a beautiful view of a barn and lake. Not too shabby. Now it lives with us.
We had the perfect spot to put this massive tree, right in the nook by our stairs! That way we could climb the stairs to put the ornaments on top and of course our star. We still needed a ladder for the front though. Because it wasn't shoved against a wall we had to make all the sides even!
Every year my favorite part of the holidays is getting out the ornament boxes and unwrapping the toilet paper to each ornament. It's like... well... Christmas! I never know which one I'm going to get and what memory it will evoke! I have my favorites from my childhood like the Czech glass ones and the babies in the walnut shells. There are my squirrels and polar bears which I collect like an addict. The racists ones from Pete's childhood. And the engraved ones that Pete started to get me the year we started dating to document all of our Christmas' together. Each one is so special and SHOULD have a place on the tree.
However this year we decided to go all Potter Barn on this tree's ass. Every year our tree looks the same, because every year we put the same ornaments on. This year we decided to go with a theme, a woodland theme! Since we have this giant farm house in the middle of the woods, it seemed fitting.
I must say it is the most gorgeous tree we have ever had, like EVER! It is covered in feathers and squirrels and mushrooms and all sorts of woodsy goodness, though as my sister pointed out, while cute, the felt penguin should not have made the cut. She's right. We have never had a tree like this before. It brings so much joy and warmth into our home. we can't help but sit on the couch and repeatedly say "Look at the Tree! Just look at it!" And the best part is I was still able to put some sentiment into it. My walnut babies made the woodland cut, The tree skirt was made by my Mom and it was on our tree growing up. Also most of the Squirrels were given to us by family and friends so that makes them extra special!
We even themed our wrapping! We have birch, birds and gnomes hugging our gifts under the tree. With hemp and raffia for bows and a galvanized tub for a tree holder the image works so well together. Also a little tip for making fancy paper go further - news paper! I bought a $9.00 roll of awesome paper at The Paper Source (Which only gives you two sheets) and really made it stretch by using it in pieces like strips. I would wrap gifts in newspaper and then add flare with the fancy paper. It gave all the gifts a unified look and I really made the good stuff stretch!
Now the hard part is waiting until Christmas to actually open all this goodness that is taunting us! And I have to let my inner child out and not be afraid of ripping the paper. Maybe next year we will have a new theme and the woodland paper won't match. I have my dreams set on a "travel tree" with vintage travel tags and all the ornaments we have collected from around the world on our adventures! But that's next year, for now I'm gonna cozy up to my furry woodland friends, and Pete.