Christmas Tree Time!

If you read my post yesterday, you’ll remember that I got a GREEN tree this year. By green I mean “non-flocked”.  This is a big deal for me because for the past six years of my married life, I have gotten a flocked tree. I LOVE THEM. They are so beautiful I think. But this year I decided we’d get a green one…you can read all the reasons in yesterday’s post. Ha.
Anyway, every year it seems that I am running to the Christmas tree lot the night before our youth staff comes over for our Christmas party and staying up very late decorating it. So I decided to go the day after Thanksgiving and I thought it would be really fun to have my parents go with us. And it was! We had a great time picking out a tree and decorating it. 
We get our tree at Tim’s Trees in the Macy’s parking lot on Pacific. We go there every year, they have the most beautiful trees. Tim and his wife Patty are so sweet and Tim looks just like Santa. I forgot to get a picture of him but Jake kept calling him Santa and giving him hugs. It was so cute.
Evy and Brandon when we first arrived. Evy’s hat is from Dear Lillie, but we forgot the cute flower that goes on it!! 😦 Anyway, we LOVE it!

We’re excited {or Jake is at least, ha!} 🙂

Following Mumsy around looking for a tree

We found one! Jake and Gramps turning it for us to see if it has any holes or ugly sides.

Mumsy and Gramps 

Evy does not go ANYWHERE without her blanket from Auntie Monica. It’s her wrap tonight at the tree lot. ha.

Mumsy and Gramps with Jake {making a very strange face} in front of the tree that made me stop and wonder if I was silly for not getting a flocked tree?!? ugh.

Tim {or Santa} gave the kids candy canes. They were soooo excited!

Jake guarding the tree while Daddy went to get the car.

Jake being helpful getting the tree on the roof

Daddy tying the tree to the top of the car

And then on to decorating! Evy went to bed and this year was the first year Jake helped us. The tree looks very interesting! ha. But I love it. We had so much fun and I had to move a couple things around after Jake went to bed, but it was so great to see Jake have so much fun. He’s really getting into the whole Christmas spirit. Seems like he really gets it this year.
He was so excited, he started opening the ornaments even before we were ready. We said, “hang on Jake”…
And here was his response! ha.
Putting the first bird on the tree

Jake hanging the stockings. And yes, that’s a bin of hoodies he’s using for his step stool. ha.
Picking out the ornaments
Hanging the first ornament of the season, Jake’s fire truck from Mumsy last year. Every year Mumsy gets all the kids their own ornament. It’s very special and fun.

Despite the fact that we were hanging up a gazillion ornaments, all Jake cared about were these nutcrackers. These were my Dad’s and the green one always was in our house in Tahoe, up high where we couldn’t play with it. Unfortunately Jake found them in the tub and pretended they were soldiers marching in and out of the room. My dad wasn’t too happy! ha.

The finish product

So remember that post yesterday? About not caring so much about the beautiful things and enjoying the special things. Usually my tree has beautiful orn
aments with some of the random ones in the back, but I am finding that a tree isn’t really about that to me. I used to go over to my sister in law’s house and see her tree filled with random ornaments and wonder why in the world she didn’t have a theme?!? But now I know why…
Some ornaments are just so special. And they NEED to be seen. 🙂 So here’s a few of my ornaments. And so sorry the pictures are so bad. They were taken late at night.
In this picture my mom gave us that wise man ornament last year, the Just Married car our first year of marriage, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel the second year of our marriage {we were trying to get one before we got pregnant with Jake} and the mouse solider I bought in the Germany exhibit while we were at Disneyworld last year.

This glass ball below is very special to me. The Christmas before Brandon and I got married, I had a little girl named Serene in my class. Her mom’s name was Stella and she was the same age as me. Stella had been married young and had Serene and another daughter. While she was pregnant with her second daughter, her husband, who worked for CalTrans, was killed while making a portion of a freeway in Fresno. Stella had remarried a very nice man and had little boy. Stella was SUCH a sweetheart and would come into my classroom and cut things or help with the kids or bring treats. A couple years later Stella got pregnant  with a little girl named Ashley and developed a very severe case of placenta previa. Unfortunately, when Stella went into labor some things went very wrong and she passed away right after Ashley was born. Our entire teaching staff was devastated, as we all loved Stella.
Well, she made this darling ornament for me that year I had Serene. It’s a transparency picture of Brandon and I put inside this glass ball. You can’t see it very well as the ball as gotten kinda foggy inside and the transparency has faded quite a bit, but it  means SOOO much to me. I hope it lasts for many more years to come. Every year when I take that ball out I pray for Serene and her family. And ask the Lord to touch them all. I’m sure you understand why this is means a lot to me.

And this ornament is from our honeymoon in Disneyworld. It’s the first ornament we bought as a couple. We actually aren’t big Mickey fans, but it reminds us of how much fun we had together on our honeymoon. Love it!

And the last ornament I will bore you with. This ornament was made by one of my student teaching classes. It was the 2nd grade class I taught for my pre student teaching. It’s the coolest idea, a plastic ornament filled with different paints and then all the kids wrote on it with gold pen. I would totally love to make these for Jake’s teachers and for grandparent gifts, so I am going to search for the directions. If I do them, I’ll do a little tutorial. It’s really the coolest ornament!

Well, that’s all for now. What kind of tree do you get? Do you have a real tree, a flocked tree or a fake tree? Do you have special ornaments or do you use only decorative ones, and if you do decorative, what do you do with all the “special” ornaments you get throughout the year?
xoxo
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4 thoughts on “Christmas Tree Time!

  1. We always had a 'home ornament' tree so that's what I grew up loving. My parents would laugh over every little pipe-cleaner snowman or whatever ornament we gave them, and lovingly find a place on the tree for each one. That mattered more to me than the fancy colored balls or any other 'store' decoration. So that's what we do now as a family: each year we buy an ornament that is super unique to us and an important event in our lives that year. Each of the kids gets a special ornament as well; so fun to pull them out each year and remember what they all mean!And now that Samuel is in school, we are collecting the homemade gingerbread men and jaggedy-cut out felt Christmas trees with his face glued on on it from an extra school picture…My tree wouldn't win any Martha Stewart awards or be featured in any nice magazines…but everything on it is special to us as a family and THAT is what is important. I have to admit, when I see nice trees with impersonal, gorgeously matched decorations…I feel a little sad that it's so pretty but really has no meaning. Those belong in hotels and malls but not in houses that are really homes…haha…hope I don't offend anyone but I think your kids will care more about the 'special' ornaments that they contributed or that were bought for them than just having a nice 'don't touch' tree.

  2. I have to agree with SoShawna. To me – the tree is about "home" and "family". We have always tried to get an ornament from every place we visit. It is fun when unpacking them and decorating the tree to remember the trip and/or special memories that we have. I also have ornaments that were mine as a child and that I made as a child. Some that the kids made growing up and even a reindeer made from a candy cane that my grandmother made many years ago. Amy, I LOVE your tree and I really enjoyed looking at the pictures and your stories about the special ornaments. Thank you for sharing!

  3. On the US mainland, we always bought the "prettiest tree" on the lot. We decorated it together, and Hot Lips/Daddy always likes colored lights… to which I added a string of white. Really made our trees sparkle. Overseas, in the Pacific, we had to use an artificial tree. We found every tree used each year to be the "prettiest tree" we ever had.I started a tradition years ago purchasing an ornament, or something that could be used as one, everywhere we travelled. I have ornaments from M&M factory, Coca Cola, the Disneys (both), Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, on and on. Made from all different kinds of media– handmade and mass produced– they each have their own story.But one year I got a great idea from a magazine. My most precious ornaments were bought when we first married (the one-eyed yarn angel, for example) and while I was on bedrest with our first child (handmade mouse, constructed with maternity dress scraps, thread whiskers and a jute tail). Each and every ornament had a precious story, so I recorded these in an "Ornament Journal." Ideally, a photo of each ornament should be pasted there, too, but I sat down and recorded the description and history of each ornament. Who knows what tomorrow holds? Life is short, and I wanted my kids to know about these special treasures. Makes me miss those ornaments this year because they're packed inside a box on Guam!

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