If you have been following this blog for a while, or if you are a friend of mine (or an ex facebook friend perhaps, given my "banging on about causes" tendencies), then you are well aware of my attitude towards the environment and that every wee effort makes a difference. Perhaps you read my post last year about Oslo's Tree, and then later, Indigo's Tree, or even the year earlier when I wrote about our perfect tree. If you did see any of those posts, then you may remember that I have never (at least not in my adult life living away from my parents) had a real Christmas tree. I just thought it was a small area I could make a stand and always felt that our sweet little Dr Seuss trees were plenty festive. But this year, Oslo's birthday party is a little late because he decided he wanted to have a Christmas themed party. And the main thing he requested was to have a real Christmas tree. We went back and forth on this and finally he agreed that we would try it just this year so we had experienced it and so that the house looked extra special for his special day. I wish I had photographed us going out to get the tree - we were such novices, it was quite funny. Oslo picked the most beautifully shaped tree and we couldn't be happier. The next night, after we had figured out how to work the stand and I had attempted to put the lights on the tree, Ben lit a fire, I put on some carols and we all decorated the tree together. It was such a special evening and brought back memories of my own childhood and the wonderful ritual of adorning the tree.
I divided the balls into baskets so the kids would feel it was all fair. Most of our balls were pretty small as we had only ever had such wee trees, so I did have to buy a couple boxes of larger balls, but luckily we also had some gorgeous hand me downs which since my post last year, I have found out came from my lovely friend Sarah! Check out my post on the elaborate advent calendars I made as I have a few more ornaments in the early days gifts for the kids.
It was really very dark as I only wanted the fairy lights on so it was impossible to focus, but even though these photos are a bit blurry, I still love them.
The star is also from Sarah and is so natural and rustic - I adore it. But the top of our tree seemed really tall until the next branch and the poor star looked very lonely so we gave her a couple angels to keep her company.
After the tree was done, or rather when the kids were done, they roasted some bread on the fire - bit gross as it never actually became toast so much as raw and burned at the same time, but it was a fun activity and added to the excitement of it all. I made the garland out of fairy lights, bells and ribbons - very simple and sweet.
I also put fairy lights in the doll house (deserving of a long post another day!) and it gives the home such life, like people are wandering about inside, living busy lives.
This is the tree by day with and without light on - amazing the difference the lights make.
I also decided I wanted to do some other simple crafts. I spray painted some mixed nuts and put them around candles in the living room. Why is it something so simple can suddenly make a space feel so festive?
Not sure if any of you have heard of pinterest, but I have started using it to get ideas for shoots and share them with clients when just my words are not enough. I then collected ideas for Indigo's circus birthday party and now for Oslo's Christmas themed one. It can be a little obsessive and I have been known to stay up a little too late just getting swept up in all the beautiful imagery. But one also stumbles upon fabulous crafts and I just had to do these. I sort of changed it from the original but I simply adore them and how they are in keeping with my advent calendar number tags.
I picked up the crystals in a box of things at an auction and this was the perfect use for them.
Originally, I tried them with this Christmas ornament but think the chandelier droplet is so much dreamier.
The morning after I made them, I noticed a moth had decided to lay her eggs on the ribbon. I didn't have the heart to wipe them away so they are still there, and I am interested to know how long it will be before we have a whole slew of baby moths flying about our living room.
Here is the whole room so far - I am sure I will obsess a little more and add things, but still want to get a cedar and decorate that for the den downstairs - that will be load of reds and golds instead of the natural colour palette.
Happy decorating - no matter how you celebrate, enjoy these times with your family and friends - it really is what life is all about and I just feel so blessed to have the good fortune to even agonise about whether or not to get a real tree or a substitute one in a pot. Either way, the holidays are about love and laughter and of that I plan to have lots. xxxx