Christmas just wouldn’t feel like Christmas to me without a tree. Growing up, we not only had a big one in our living room, we kids were allowed a tiny tree in our shared bedroom. We couldn’t use any “real” ornaments for it; we had to make our own. We strung popcorn and cranberry garlands and made plenty of ornaments out of paper. That little green shrub was magic.
Over the years, I’ve decorated Christmas trees in various ways. When I was single and nomadic, my housemates and I seemed to always come up with decorations to make a tree proud. One year, I remember my roommate wanted to do the entire thing in blues, silvers, whites, and bright greens — no reds, no gold, no Santas or candy canes. I was skeptical but went along with it — and was amazed at how gorgeous it turned out. My fallback still tends to be a slightly old-fashioned tree with white lights, but I learned that it can really be fun to change things up.
Although I’ve given up on tinsel over the years, I like garland. I used to take the time to make long strands of popcorn and cranberries — I suppose to relive my childhood — but a few years ago I found some vintage-looking silver garlands that I liked at a local shop and have been using them ever since.
I’ve also amassed a lovely collection of ornaments over the years and enjoy pulling them out, one by one, reminiscing about where each came from…different people and phases of life, places I’ve lived and traveled. Ornaments are so great to receive and to give. In fact, years ago, I started sending my godchildren an ornament every Christmas so that, when they leave the nest, they’ll have a special collection for their own trees.
Last year, for the first time in a long time, B and I strung colored lights. Since our girls prefer them to white, we’re using them this year, too. One thing I’ve still never found, though, is a tree topper that I love. S and H want to make a star with gold glitter for this year’s tree, so that’s what we’ll do — but one of these days I’d like to find just the right topper that can take its place among our annual accoutrements.
If you put up a tree, how do you decorate it? If you could do something a little different with it, what would that be?
And if you are looking to change it up this year, check out these creative Christmas tree ideas from Design*Sponge. If I were living in a small city apartment, that book page tree or the tabletop tree would be perfect!
Images: 1, Pinterest; 2, Zoe Saint-Paul