Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas trees through the years {and a face lift}

I've always been nuts about the holidays. 

Years ago, when I was a shiny, newly-minted "adult," having cracked out on my own with my very first "grown up apartment," my first Christmas away from home and out of the dorms was just not complete without a tree.  And yes, is case you were wondering, all those quotation marks were absolutely necessary in hindsight, now that I know what it really means to adult.

My sissy - the mother of 2 boys! - still in high school.  Isn't she cute?!  This was ten years ago, people!

My sweet husband - er, um... I mean, this really awesome guy I was dating - came through and made my dream come true in a big way.  Because he was totes kewl and was still trying to woo me.  And also because I picked a good one.  Casey: making my dreams come true since 2003! 


C'mon... it's pretty good when you're barely of drinking age, right?

That sweet little tree followed us into our first house a couple of years later.


We always referred to it as the Charlie Brown tree.  I never thought it was such a bad little tree.  (But, thanks to a screaming after Christmas sale, we did upgrade to the grande version just a few days after this photo was taken.)


And there you have it.  That's pretty much how our tree has looked every single Christmas since. 



Everything around the tree has changed rather dramatically, but the tree itself has remained the same.

This year, our sweet little tree is pretty well on its last legs.  The lights need to come completely off and be re-strung.  The lights on the upper-most boughs go on and off at random, and Casey added two strings of lights to the rest of the tree because it was in such bad shape.  The branches are all bent at odd angles and have to be reset to look right.  The pine needle pieces literally come of in your hands.  Poor sweet abused tree!  It has served our family well, but I'm pretty sure this is its last year in our family. 

So, we decided to send it off in style with a bit of a face lift. 

After a decade of reusing literally the exact same ribbon, well, it was time to spring for something new. 

I love the way it looks in our living room!  The neutral ribbon fits in so much better.

The kids had a great time decorating this year, though I did do a little bit of moving things around for balance.  Unlike last year when I just let it all be.  How'd I do that, anyway?  There were only a few to move; they largely did a nice job. 

We kept the paper star that the kids made as our tree topper.  I adore it, and I'm convinced that these are the perks of parenting.  A little bit of forced labor/adorable charm. 

Oh, who am I kidding.  It wasn't forced labor, I couldn't have stopped them if I'd wanted to.  They would make enough paper stars to flood the neighborhood. 

We also added some neutral stockings to our arsenal that 1) match each other and 2) match the decor in our new house (what?  I know this is our fourth Christmas here, but that still counts, right?  I still don't have baseboards done.  It will be new till that happens!).

Funny story: I didn't notice literally until I was editing this photo that we're one ornament short on that left side.  I didn't know that it was missing, and it is back now... but nobody seems to know how it fell down or who put it back up.  It's a Christmas miracle!  Must have been Ellie, our Elf on the Clock.  

It's pretty cozy in our Christmas-y house.  The tree provides just the perfect atmosphere for tickling the ever-loving stuffing out of little tummies.

And early  morning, mussy-haired play sessions. (Some of my favorite memories!  I think I'll miss you most of all!)

With the tree up, we're officially ready for the most wonderful time of the year!

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