Sunday 11 December 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Bit Like Christmas

Today was the day. According to the girls we needed to go and buy our tree. Now I am a real tree sort of person. I am not sure if it is the Canadian in me - though I grew up with lots of friends who happily had artificial trees - or just the fact that when I was a child we always had a real tree and I associate it as part of our Christmas tradition. Whatever the reason, a real tree it has to be.

But it won't be for many more years if the difficulty buying a tree gets much more pronounced! Or should I say buying an affordable tree that we like! We went to our local garden centre and there were trees for less than £20 but they looked like they had fallen off the back of a truck (literally - and then maybe reversed over) they were so pathetic. Then we spotted the really nice ones, before I staggered away, reeling from the price tag - some almost £75!! Am I just getting pathetically old and unrealistic or is that a lot of money for a tree for the holiday?!

Eventually we decided on one and brought it home, got it standing straight and (somewhat) tall. Then the decorating commenced. Everyone has different ideas of what they would like their tree to look like. Ours is a complete mishmash reflecting our life. Himself didn't bring any decorations in his dowry nor has he contributed since. The tree is my thing not his, and the girls too now that I have thoroughly brainwashed them.

The girls have been receiving ornaments since they were born,
the collection added to every year so that one day in the future,
when they have their own home, they will already have a box full of memories to take with them.
This photo represents the last few in Emily's box because I forgot to take a photo earlier.
Like most families, we have the ornaments made in pre-school.
And the ornaments made more recently by the girls.
Emily's Christmas pudding.

Helen's snowman and Rudolph made two years ago.

And there are numerous gifts from family and friends.
This was made by a very old friend of mine quite a few years ago now.
(Old as known me forever old, not ancient old, just to clarify as she reads this and I don't want her taking it the wrong way!)
I love all these ornaments, and the traditional glass baubles as well. But in some ways the ornaments that make me smile the most are the ones I picked up on my travels back in my single days. There are all sorts from all over the world. These are just a few -

Australia - obviously!
In actual fact a Chinese New Year decoration but perfect on our tree.
Our tree might not be to everyone's taste but it is ours and we like it. It is full of good memories in its eclectic assortment of ornaments. What is your tree like?



  1. When I finally get it decorated, mine is eclectic too! Love your hand made ones, and the koala of course!

  2. I love your eclectic tree ornaments and might have to send you a Moroccan one now. You have succeeded in making me feel very festive!

  3. Mine's imaginary ;o) I have some decorations scattered around my TV unit though, including a koala dressed as a reindeer (there's a photo on my blog at the moment)

    The tree with all the family decorations will be up at my mum and dad's when we go down there for Christmas though :o)

  4. Oh, mine is ecclectic too, full of family memories, childrens' makes and a new ornament bought for the tree every year. Today should have been the day, but the Teenager is too busy socialising! We are very lucky to have a farm shop that grow them locally (about 2 miles away) though I have not checked the prices this year, tend to stick to the old faithful from the attic each year, but I DO love a real tree :) Smells wonderful!

  5. Mishmash is the best way to go, I have "done" the tree today too and also hung the pre-school cracker but think it might pre-date yours (it must be 1985)I also have a set of those wee Chinese doll decs, got them in Hong Kong in'96. Who would ever want to buy a pre-decorated tree, you can't buy memories can you?

  6. This year (just posted about it!) I went for beautiful, as the rest of the house seems to have become rather eclectic and mad - I needed a little oasis of calm amidst the gaudy!

    We have the boxes of nursery-makes scattered about, and many 'old faithfuls' did make the grade for the tree!

    (£25, non-drop pine 7foot, back of a lorry! Best tree I've ever bought!) xxx

  7. You have a koala!

    Real trees aren't all that big here . Pretty much everyone has an artificial tree. And if prices for real trees are similar here its no wonder we all go plastic.

    I have a load of decorations from over the years too. I really miss having Miss P "help" us decorate so this year we roped Little P into the process. I think Im cured of him "helping " for a couple of years !

  8. Love your ornaments. We're eclectic too and also have real real trees -I'm holding out a few more days in the hope of keeping needles on until twelfth night!

  9. I had to laugh at your description of your family's Christmas tree; it sounds a lot like ours - a mishmash. I also read to my husband the part you wrote about "Himself" not having any ornaments in his dowry. That also sounds like us! We haven't bought our tree yet, since my daughter doesn't come home from university until Friday. We'll put it up then - a real one, of course!

    Your daughters' hand-made ornaments are so cute.

  10. Ours will have an eclectic mix of decorations including a smattering of handmade :) I've been told we can get the tree next weekend (unless he has apoplexy at the price!!) He always threatens to buy an artificial one next year, but I do love a real one. I'll be trying to brainwash the small person here too.
    Emily's and Helen's ornaments are wonderful!

  11. great bunch of decs, love the hedgehog :-) Trees are way too expensive, but I'd agree 100% on it has to be a real tree or no tree!

  12. Every year I threaten to ditch the dusty play dough/ wonky sequinned/ pasta necklace/ crappy lace and faded felt mish mash that my kiddies made. And each year I just cant bring myself to do it! So up they go on a real tree and watch as a Sydney summer causes all the needles to drop and the top wilts downwards and the Angel falls off.

    I dream of having a Catalogue type Tree with decorator lights and matching expensive glass ornaments and amazing perfectly wrapped even shaped boxes underneath all with my name on them.

  13. My tree went up on Friday. I will get around to taking photos probably tomorrow, but it's basically a mix of stuff collected over the years, and bits from mum and gran. I wish I could do the co-ordinated colour scheme, but it's not going to happen! I'd have to throw too much away.

  14. The tree is my favourite Christmas decoration, and like yours we have lots of memories on there. We get a real one too, and it was £35 this year! It better not drop a single needle until boxing day! Jxo

  15. Ours is non-existant at the moment! But it is always a real one and the girls decorate it in a mishmash sort of way but with lots of memories...I now have decorations that used to be on the tree from my childhood and I hope they will be passed on for generations to come!

  16. Hooray for decking out the tree! I'm not sure I should admit this but we're not having one this year...we go to Sweden on the 22nd and come back in the New Year, so I figured I wouldn't bother. I have a few wreaths etc up around the place, but tree-wise I will have to live vicariously through yours....

  17. I love your tree full of memories!! They are all cute, especially the ones the girls made and the hedgehog is really sweet :)

  18. What a great tree!! I love all your ornaments from you travels. Very impressive!! Sad to say, we don't have a 'real' tree, but it's still a happy tree full of memories from my sons younger days. I love all the ornaments they made when they were in school, which I still hang on the tree to this day, even though they are 22 & 24 years old. :o)

  19. Love all your decorations! My tree is still in the loft - yup, it's a fake one! Have you ever tried to get a real one standing straight with only one set of hands and four paws?! Love the hand made decorations, very sweet (and very well made!)

  20. love your tree decorations! We are very similar here, lots of pre school decs and lots that remind us of different things. And this year I got to add my table runner swap decorations too!

  21. I love your plan to fill boxes with ornaments before your girls are all grown up. I really cherish the ornaments my mom let me take with me when I got married.

  22. I see some lovely treasures hanging on your tree. I'm sure each one holds a special story.


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