My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box
somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be
wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From
your thoughts, you can create greatness.This is what I need to remind
myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with
gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes
to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create.
Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but
how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around
you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgmental,
love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are

Saturday, December 1, 2012

O' Tannenbaum...How Lovely are your branches!

I was SO glad to have visited St. Charles. It got us in the Holiday Spirit, and I found the most coveted Burlap Ribbon. I had started to decorate my tree more than two weeks ago. First, Noah helped me get all the lights on. Then, he helped me get all the lights back off...we've never had such a large tree before. As you can see below in the last photo, the star almost touches the ceiling. Anyway, it was too big for our lights, so we took them all back off, used a one ended strand at the top, and put the other four long strands back on. Whew!
That's as far as I got that day. Then, a few days later (or maybe even a week... :/), I started to put the decorations on. That's when I realized I hadn't put the garland on. I bought a bunch of tulle that was on sale really cheap at Hobby Lobby that I wanted to make a garland out of like I saw here, but never got round to it. What I really wanted was a burlap ribbon garland, but could not find any. I did find some woven jute strap trim that we bought (for 50% off) to re-do the seat of these two nifty chairs we are going to refinish, but the amount I would need for this monster tree was going to cost me a fortune. So, strike that, too.
The tree sat.
And sat.
Until Wednesday when we went to St. Charles. Right there, inside the door of one of out favorite hip vintage-eclectic stores was a galvanized tub full of rolls of 10 foot long 3" wired burlap ribbon. Perfect. I went home that very night and took what few decorations I had on my tree back off again, and decorated my tree. At 10 O'clock at night.
Getting that done made me feel so much better. Then, getting out my Grandmother's and Mother's antique ornaments was the best part....

So, here is our 7 foot tree, made 8 feet in this big stand.
It's a Frasier fur, the only kind I really like.

A few of my favorites, including this very old elf that belonged to my Grandma. It's so wonderful to be able to still enjoy these things that I loved so much as a child.

                                                       The original "Elf on the Shelf"

I made this for myself and all of my friends and family one year. Super easy to do, and not a lot of money, but what a lovely thing, and quite the impact, I think. I saw this in an Archivers that year, and they had their wooden letters on clearance. A double score for me, since I had everything else on hand.

                                  Another little watcher tucked himself back in the branches...

             My grandmother's antique "Jumping Jack". I feel so blessed to still have these things.

                        Some more of Santa's helpers. These were my absolute favorite growing up.

These pine cone ornaments are also antiques of my grandmother's. I loved mixing all of the old with the new mercury glass ornaments that I got in Lebanon, Illinois one year during the Holiday Town Lighting Ceremony. They were all on clearance, too. I think they are beautiful.
The paper snowman is one of many I made after seeing them in Archivers, as well.

I picked up this Santa Moon ornament at a Dollar Tree many years ago. I love it and just can't part with it. We've had it since our son was very small.

My husband's (Noah) Noah's Ark ornament, and a new Nutcracker Jumping Jack to go with my antique. Noah has a lot of Ark themed things.

Well, here's the finished product. I'm so glad I got it done, even if I was a little late getting to it. Better late than never. It was so precious to me to go through and take my time decorating the tree this year, looking at all the ornaments from my own childhood. I think of my mother, and Noah's mother every day, but none as much as this time of year, I suppose. It is our first year without out Mom's, and we just don't know what to do with ourselves sometimes. It's a strange year for us. But, we know, our mom's wouldn't stand for us letting the season pass us by and not taking part in it's beauty. My Mom loved Christmas. I want to honor her by keeping our traditions, and memories.

How do you decorate your tree? We always put Charlie Brown Christmas in while we decorate our tree. I still have all of Tyler's little ornaments from school and Cub Scouts. I have Noah's childhood ornaments he made in school, and mine. Do you have yours; do you use them on your tree? Do you hang candy canes, like I do? White lights or candy colored?
Whatever your traditions, what's most important is who your with and how you feel, not what's piled up under the tree...

Until next time...thanks for reading!


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