My family has always decorated for Christmas on Thanksgiving Day. While my mom was in the kitchen prepping the turkey and other delicious dishes, my brothers would lug up the boxes of decorations from the basement... My dad would put up our tree and I would be on light duty, wrapping strand after strand of lights on the tree. Between dishes, my mom would decorate around the house, switching out linens in the bathroom and kitchen, fluffing the pillows on the couch... Once the turkey was stuffed and put in the oven, we would all take turns hanging our favorite ornaments on the tree.
When I moved away, things changed a bit. It's expected, but I still miss old traditions. Hubby's birthday is in the beginning of December, so for his sake, I try to hold off on Christmas décor until we have the opportunity to fully celebrate his day. But sometimes we skip decorating all together... For one thing, our apartment is teensy, so it's hard to put up (or store) a lot of decorations. Finding space for a tree and other decorative pieces can be challenge. And for another, decorating the place is sometimes quite fruitless since we usually travel back home for Christmas as soon as winter break starts for me.
This year, we aren't traveling home. Instead, my father will be visiting us from Japan! Again, the décor vs. space dilemma came up... How do we make the place festive and put a tree up while having another body in the house. We would need enough room to pull out the sofa bed and pull out our dining table to seat three (we keep our dining table pushed against the wall since it only needs to seat two on a normal day). Plus my dad would likely bring a large suitcase that would take up some additional floor space. There were all space issues that we had to consider while deciding on if we should put up the tree... But obviously, the tree won. :)
We opted to position the tree in the little space between our dining table and kitchen. The tree is not huge - four and a half feet tall - so it fit pretty perfectly in there. Plus, the basket on the middle shelf behind the tree is perfect for holding the pup's presents so she doesn't get into them early! I'm not quite sure what we plan to do with the dining situation, but we'll figure that out when the time comes, I'm sure. Our tree is from Target - a finwood cashmere pine - and I love the fluffiness of the branches. When I was much younger and lived in Hawaii, we used to get live Christmas trees. Although I adore the look and smell of a fresh cut tree, the convenience of our cashmere pine works well for us.
I like a lot of lights, probably from being on light duty on our family's Christmas tree for so many years - I think I usually put 12 strands of light on the seven foot tree... I put four strands on this one. The tree came prelit with two strands of mini lights, which helped to make the lighting job a bit easier. I also added two strands of pearl lights from Target. Although you really can't tell in the photo, I used the kind that has three styles of bulbs - sugar frosted, faceted, and pearl. I love the look. The beautiful beaded garland is from our wedding. We bought them from Smith and Hawken (before Target bought them) to add to our greenery. My sweet mother-in-law spent an afternoon untangling about ten strands of this stuff out of giant boxwood wreaths. That was six years ago and this is the first year that I thought to put them on our tree. I can't believe it took me so long! I love it! The other garland is from, you guessed it, Target!
I've been collecting peace dove ornaments since I was in high school and have quite a large selection now. It's a nice variety of glass, paper, metal, wood, fabric and other materials. In fact, out tree topper (scroll up to see) isn't a tree topper at all... it's a felted wool ornament that hubby found for me several years ago. I can't keep it too much lower on the tree because the dog thinks it should belong in her toy basket, so I wrapped the hanging string to the top branch and perched the bird upon it. It works well because the wool felt kind of sticks to the bristly branch. Shown in this close up of the tree are several LeBien glass ornaments from Pier One, along with a wood dove that I found at one of those handcrafted shops. The pretty blue painted Styrofoam one towards the bottom of the photo is from Target a couple of years ago. And of course, one of my favorites - a spray painted pasta ornament that my baby brother made in grade school. He's seventeen now...!
I've only added a few other decorations around the house for now... A small tree that my hubby made a few years ago in the corner, a scarf around my cardboard deer, some bulbs in a vase (pictured behind the Christmas tree) and some bulbs hung from a picture frame. That was such a happy accident! Hubby usually hangs them in kitchen overlook, but when I picked up a bunch of them by the ribbons to ask him if he wanted to hang them up, I stopped and said, "No wait! I love this!" He seemed happy enough that he didn't have more work to do. :) I added them to a frame in the living room as well. The rest of the garland and festivity are the usual décor. I like that this space always feels a little like a party. :)
I'm still deciding on what other decorations should go up... I'll be sure to share more photos if I do more decorating, but for now, I have some wrapping to do! Thanks for stopping by today!