Friday, November 30, 2012

Virtual Advent - Decorating the Tree


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I'm so excited to be participating in this year's Virtual Advent Tour. The challenge for me every year is deciding exactly what to post. This time around I wracked my brain a bit until it finally just dawned on me!

It's been several years since I've put up a proper Christmas tree. My mom typically puts up small trees -- one dedicated to her beloved schnauzer and another that she made for my grandmother when I was a child. These small trees have a place in our hearts, so the big tree, and all the work associated with it, fell to the wayside for a while.

This is the first year that I'm living in my own house at Christmas (since my son was born), and my mom was kind enough to loan the large tree to me. I whipped it out earlier this week, and as soon as I started placing the ornaments, I knew I'd found my Virtual Advent post. :)

Before ornaments. 
Growing up, the putting up of the tree always got me into the Christmas spirit. We usually started decorating the day after Thanksgiving, and it was a magical time for me. This year I could relate to my mom more. With a small kiddo in the house, the work and heavy lifting were on me. But he had a blast once the tree was set up.


This is the first year Greyson has really "gotten" that there are Christmas activities in which he can participate. I asked him to help me decorate the tree, and he took it upon himself to be the carrier of the Christmas ornaments, shuttling them to me from the boxes as I hung and secured them. I can't even tell you how many times he said, "More!!!" and handed me an armload of ornaments. So stinkin' cute.


The Christmas tree has always been a collection in my house. There's no grand "theme" or overwhelming type of ornament. We're not terribly color-coordinated. We have Christmas balls of all colors, special commemorative ornaments from when I was growing up, and small wooden Christmas trinkets that fill in the spaces between. It's always seemed a homey, cozy type of tree to me.


I think Greyson must feel the same. He was quick to plop down on a quilt and watch TV by the tree's glow.


And without further ado, this is my favorite ornament on our tree. We've had this little girl angel playing a flute for as long as I can remember. There are tons of angels on our tree, as my mom often chose those when she was having ornaments customized with my name when I was a little girl.

One of the things I'm looking most forward to is making sure Greyson has special Christmas items that reflect his age as he grows up. It's one of the best parts of remembering and reminiscing while decorating -- feeling like I (and now he) was always first at Christmas.

How do you decorate for the holidays? Is it a highlight or a chore? What are your favorite decorations?


26 comments:

  1. Lovely post! I collected an ornament each year for my kids. This was the first year that Mitch's were hung at his house so it felt a little odd not to have them - but also feels good to see his first proper Christmas tree with the familiar decorations.

    Obviously, we had the same hodge-podge, multi-color theme with everything from race cars (son's first car) to High School Musical (year Amanda touched Corbin Bleu) to bears (camping at Yellowstone). I also thought it felt homey and comfy.

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful tree. Hope the decorating becomes a tradition for Grayson.

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  2. Your tree looks wonderful! I always wanted to collect ornaments each year for my tree, but I don't even put one up... I want to, but we lack the space and Casey would probably eat it, climb it, or break it...

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  3. We had a great time decorating our tree too. David loved putting his ornaments on the tree and insists that we turn the tree's lights on, no matter what time of day it is.

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  4. That's really nice, to add ornaments that mean something that year and then look back on those memories in later years. We never did that, but I'd really like to create as much Xmas magic for my son, who I believe is Greyson's age - almost 3. Though maybe G is a bit older...

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  5. A very special holiday tradition looks to have a beautiful start.

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  6. What a fabulous post and tree!

    I try to buy at least one new ornament every year, but I don't think we will be putting a tree up this year so I probably won't.

    Thanks for participating in the tour.

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  7. Love the shot of Greyson looking up at the tree - it really captures the wonder of Christmas that is best experienced as a child!

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  8. A nice post! And congrats on getting your tree and a blog post up on the same weekend!

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  9. Love the tree! The mix of decorations is the best, I find, the old and the new, all those memories, it makes your tree personal. Ours is much like that,too. Every ornament has a memory attached to it.

    I'm in awe that you got the tree up and did your post on the same weekend. That's fabulous too! Enjoy Christmas with your family, Andi. Lovely advent calendar post!

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  10. It's so much fun when the little ones finally understand what all the fuss is about!

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  11. It sounds like Greyson had a blast! So much fun to involve kidlets in Christmas traditions!

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  12. school is kicking my behind right now but i hope Ben and I can put up the tree the week of the 10th. I haven't had one in several years now and am really excited. I also like mix-matched eclectic trees. And your Greyson's getting so big!!!

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  13. I just put my tree up this last week, which is early for my family, we normally put the Christmas decs up the first weekend after my dad's birthday (which is on Wednesday) but I ordered a new tree this year and it arrived last monday, so rather than find somewhere to hide the box, or put up with it sitting in the corner of room, I decided to just put the thing up!

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  14. Ooh thanks for some insight into your family traditions! Since I now have a blended family - 2 step-sons - we don't really have any traditions and I'm trying to make some new ones since I'm the one that's into Christmas big time. Out tree is a mix of colors too ... last year I tried to make it all white, silver & blue ... but since they have to put up every decoration they can get their hands on - I lost that battle, but loved the end result.

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  15. Having little kids around at Christmas is the best. It makes me sad that mine are growing (grown)up.

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  16. We always put the tree up the day (or Saturday) after Thanksgiving, too! A lifelong family tradition. Like you, we enjoy a wide assortment of ornaments and don't have any prevailing "theme" on the family tree. Over the years, I've worried that thing would topple under the weight of so many different decorations!

    When my boyfriend bought his first home last year (giving us the privilege of decorating without consulting with any roommates!), he tried to convince me we needed only a red and gold tree. Like, nothing else on it. I let that slide last December, but this year I've littered that bad boy with all sorts of my random ornaments -- stuff I've collected on travels, favorite pieces from when I was a kid. It's just fun to admire it -- and I'm totally fine with it being utterly theme-less.

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  18. Oops Iost my comment. Here I go again.
    I love the picture of Greyson, a child in awe of a beautiful tree. It makes me recall my own young boy who loved lights so much. Those first few years it seemed as if light alone was gift enough. Presents and expectation of presents came later.

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  19. We always had hot chocolate with whipped cream in special Christmas mugs on tree trimming day, but this year, since we're no longer in a house but in a condo, we got hot chocolate from the coffee place downstairs. It felt decadent, somehow!

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  20. I love your tree! So gorgeous.

    My tree is an important part of my holiday traditions. I put it up as early as possible every year (which is to say, as soon as my family will let me; they're rather less enamoured of the tree than I am), and make a big production out of it. I make sure to arrange all my favourite ornaments in the best places, with some of the older but still lovely (and weighty) ones relegated to the far side of the tree. Once I've got everything arranged, I drape the tinsel just so and feel terribly smug with myself. :)

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  21. I love that picture of Greyson sitting by the tree, and I can just see him shuttling ornaments over to you by the armload. Children are the best part of putting up a tree.(Only my poor son greatly laments that I had him pull it down the driveway at the end of the season all! by! himself! It makes me think of that horrible scene in A Tree Grows In Brooklyn where the children have the tree thrown at them, and whoever's standing gets to take it home. Ah, but I digress into woeful Christmas stories whereas yours is quite lovely.) Every ornament, every tradition, every glowing light is so worth it.

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  22. your tree looks wonderful and what a fun tradition to begin with your son. I have always loved the Christmas tree, the getting, the putting up, and having it up. I always hate to take it down and leave it up well into January. Winter needs the light. stopping by from Virtual Advent tour. Have a very merry Christmas, Kelley at the road goes ever ever on

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  23. Every once in awhile I decide that a tree is too much trouble and don't bother. I always regret it. So, even though this is one of the years when it makes no sense to have a tree, I hauled it upstairs and put lights on it. I'll finish decorating it tomorrow for St. Nicholas Day.

    Your tree is pretty and Greyson is the perfect age to appreciate the results.

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  24. What Suey said. And yours is a lovely tree. Merry Christmas!

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  25. I just adore that picture of Greyson sitting on the quilt (which I also love) watching the tree. Elle isn't to the point of "getting" Christmas but it has been so much fun to watch the discovery through her eyes and makes the work of decorating well worth the effort. Now--it will be that much sweeter when they can help take down the stuff, right? ;)

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  26. I still have all the ornaments my sons made for the Christmas tree (the ones that stayed together, anyway!) and it makes me feel happy each year to see the little red door ornament that opens to a school photo of a smiling Jon and the tiny clay pot Ben turned upside down and painted at Scouts to make a weird clanking bell ornament.

    Enjoy.

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