O Christmas Tree

December is almost half way through (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!), and after getting our tree decorated last weekend, let’s give it a moment in the spotlight…
Pretty, right??

I feel like there are two types of Christmas tree decorators… the traditionalists, and the theme decorators.

Myself, I’m a traditionalist – my favorite part about decorating the tree is to hang all the sentimental ornaments I’ve gotten year after year and reminisce (much to Kris’ chagrin) all about when I got them, and the stories behind each…

Mixed in with all the sentimental ones, I’ve got colorful globes, and glittery ribbon woven throughout.  I had big hopes this year to swap out the gold ribbon for a fun black and white stripe, but it was impossible to find.  So gold ribbon it was.  At least I upgraded from my sheer ribbon last year to a big, chunky glitter ribbon.  It really stands out and sparkles so much at night when the lights are on.
This year, the tree is a bit different from years past – I could not find our tree topper to save my life, but instead of going out to  buy a new one, I just rounded up some ribbon we had stashed in one of the boxes to make a pouf for the top.  
It’s not my favorite, but it’s not half bad and adds almost an extra foot to the top, so I’m ok with it…
I’ve been collecting one ornament a year since I was a baby (some years more than one), so that’s quite a few unique ornaments. I got these ballet slippers when I was maybe 8 years old.  I remember so distinctly – there was a small antique shop near our house, and even though these were one of the more expensive ornaments I wanted them so badly… at the time, there was a book about a ballerina I was obsessed with… it was called The Silver Slippers and the book came with a ballet slipper necklace (one of my most prized possessions) – thus I NEEDED this ballet slipper ornament.
I have no idea what happened to that book (or the necklace) but this ornament is still one of my most cherished.  Isn’t it funny how some things stay with you?


In addition to the personalized ornaments – the angels, the bears, the little birds, and the Santa with his surfboard (that’s Kris’ ornament) my mom has been giving us a box of vintage glass ornaments every year as well – they totally remind me of the ornaments in the movie A Child’s Christmas in Whales.  It’s a family favorite, and I love being able to hang those up as well.
I love that the tree is colorful and fun – maybe one day I’ll have a second tree to decorate as a “themed” tree – all bird ornaments and feathers, or all jingle bells and silver sparkles – but I love the character this has, and I love how packed in all the ornaments are.  It’s the one time of year that “more” is better (I think).

Growing up, we’d go with our parents to cut our tree down in the Santa Cruz mountains, and while we’ve skipped it a few years, I love our new tradition of going to the school around the corner from our house to buy the tree, and walking it home in the chilly evening.

Even though we haven’t cut ours down this year, I honestly cannot imagine not having a fresh tree.  To me, there would be no magic in taking a tree out of a box, and the smell… oh the smell… it’s SO GOOD.

It’s like a fresh fir forest in here I tell ya!

It’s pretty in the daytime, but at night is when it’s really magical…
Now, not to brag, but I’ve got to take a moment to give myself some credit for thinking creatively. Storing stuff is always in issue in this little apartment… after the ornaments were on the tree, we were left with boxes upon boxes, and without anywhere to put them, I decided to wrap them.
Yep, those presents under the tree are just empty boxes my friends.  What better place to store them than in plain sight – the tree looks so much better with presents under it, and I don’t have to worry about what to do with these boxes… win-win.

The guy at the tree lot also cut quite a lot off the bottom of the tree, so we ended up putting a box under the Christmas tree stand to bump it up a bit.

I actually think we will do this every year from now on.  I like how it creates space under the bottom branches for the presents to tuck under!  Another happy coincidence…

So what about you??  Are you a Christmas tree traditionalist or do you prefer the themed trees?

Wall Trees

Living in San Francisco, these old apartments don’t leave much space for Christmas decor, much less a beautiful, big Christmas tree.
Luckily, Kris and I have a large living room, and there is a perfect spot for the tree in the window, but a lot of my friends simply don’t have a tree – which I find SO sad!  I couldn’t imagine December without that lovely piney smell, and the soft glow of the fairy lights.  Especially since these are the shortest days of the year, I feel like I’m never even home when it’s light outside anymore!
That said, I have seen so many ideas for wall trees that would be perfect for apartment living!  All of these temporary solutions to having a tree without ACTUALLY having a tree!
I love the rustic feel of this tree that uses old branches stacked vertically in a tree shape.  Small ornaments and fairy lights are pretty, and you’ll hardly miss the real thing!
Or grab a can of paint, and free hand a Christmas tree right on the wall!  As long as you have the original room’s paint color, it will take literally 10 minutes to paint back over it once the holidays are over – less time than packing up all those ornaments, right??


Gallery walls are a huge trend right now, so why not twist that idea, and make a gallery tree.  Use ornaments, magnets, small frames, and whatever else you have.  Keep it lightweight and you’ll likely be able to use double sided tape for most of it, and small tacks for the rest!


Washi Tape – hard to find in normal stores, but easy to order online in plenty of patterns and colors.  It doesn’t get more temporary (or easy) than this!  And how cute!


A few thin twigs, a few tacks, and some small Christmas ornaments are all you need to make this next wall tree! I love how this one leans over as though the ornaments are weighing it’s wispy frame down.  How clever!


Hello there Chalkboard paint!  If you already have a chalkboard wall in your home, then you’re pretty much set, but if not, it’s kind of the perfect opportunity to jump on this bandwagon!  How sweet is this chalkboard tree?? (now if only I had that kind of artistic talent!)