Tis’ the season… or so they tell me. I’m not going to lie, I haven’t really found my excited to decorate for Christmas self yet this year. I’m just not really in the mood to haul out half a trillion boxes in order to make my living room look like a scene out of the movie Elf. With that said, let me remind you that I have three super excited for Christmas children that would love for the house to look like the North Pole, so this past weekend we went out and cut a tree for our living room. No, I’m not talking about going to the tree farm and strolling through the rows of trees for five minutes until we find the most perfectly shaped tree of all time. I’m talking about turning on the 4-wheel drive and trudging through a foot of snow for an hour only to end up settling on a tree that is “good enough”. From now on you can just call me Ellen Griswold, ya know… Christmas Vacation.
Why yes, I do have an absolutely gorgeous faux tree I could have put up, but what’s the fun in that, right? Also, did I mention our tree was free??? The US government has started the “Every Kid in a Park” initiative in an effort to encourage children to visit nation parks, forests and public lands. If you have a 4th grader, (and I do) you can print out a voucher by visiting www.everykidinapark.gov and bring it to your local national forest office to claim a free permit.
Our little tree outing really was fun. Our tree is far from perfect, but it’s a lot more special to me than my fake tree will ever be. So special, it needed a creative Christmas tree container.
Because our tree isn’t huge, I could get away with using an old metal crate to place our tree in. I started by digging a plastic kitty litter container out of our recycle bin and cutting the top off. I then had my husband hold the tree upright while I filled around the stump with rocks. I then stuffed some white fabric around the plastic container to hide it. (Don’t forget to add plenty of water)
Once our tree was in place, I strung on the lights and my children and I got busy decorating. Yes, I’m “that” mom who lets the kiddos help decorate then takes everything off after they’re in bed and re-decorates.
I kept our tree very simple this year by only using burgundy, gold and white.
There were only a few tears when I banned our Sponge Bob ornaments from the tree. My six-year-old may never understand why I like my grandmothers handmade, vintage snowflakes over an annoying guy who lives in a pineapple.
In order to tie in the white fabric around the tree stump, I added a simple white bow to the top of the tree.
Our little tree is perfect for this corner of the living room. And I’ve only vacuumed up six billion needles since it arrived. Are you picking up on my sarcasm? Because I’m laying it on pretty thick.
Do you have a fourth grader? Are you brave (or crazy) enough to get out there and cut down your own tree?
Whatever tree you may prefer, remember, Christmas doesn’t have to be about perfection. Just enjoy that special time with your loved ones and make it something they will remember for years to come. (And yes, little man just might be getting his very own tree to deck out with all the Sponge Bob he can handle.)